City of goodbyes

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A LONGER, SAPPIER VERSION OF MY INSTAGRAM FAREWELL TO KELLY.

And, for those of you who skimmed past my ridiculously long Instagram caption the other day (I really don’t blame you because as I said, it was ridiculously long and reading is hard), I said goodbye for now to one of my best friends. Kelly booked a cruise y’all!!! SO proud of that human. She leaves to dance her way around the world aboard the Regent 7 Seas Navigator in about a week after stopping by home. Taking her to the airport was such a bittersweet moment for Kristyn and I. Definitely had all the nostalgia feels (tell me why I started crying when I saw a sign that said “airport”….annoying) and couldn’t help but replay this last year in my head a million times. We’ve all come so far, but freaking Kelly literally accomplished her biggest goal in under a year!!! Incredible. I feel like a proud mom over here. Buuuuut. I definitely have a selfish side of me that wishes she was still gonna be around for the next 6 months because #twinbeds. Luckily one of the best friends that I’ve made out here, Annie has now become my twin bed mate (I say mate because she’s from Australia). Then I’m like, oh shit I can’t get too comfy here cause she leaves to go back to Australia in November…and then I got to thinking. Damn, there have been so many friends that I’ve made out here that I have already said goodbye to and many more that are coming up.

I guess that’s part of living in such a creative city that has its roots embedded so deeply into the entertainment industry. People come here for the opportunities…I know I did. That doesn’t necessarily mean you stay here for whatever those opportunities may be. Obviously there are a lot of jobs in the city, but there are just as many (if not more) that travel. Which is so cool because who doesn’t want to see the world? I definitely have a bit of a travel bug, so I don’t blame anyone for leaving. I would do the exact same if I booked a dream job that led me elsewhere (for a short period of time anyway). People are coming and going. Frequently. Then those jobs connect them to other jobs that travel and the cycle continues. Honestly, LA kind of just feels like a temporary home to creatives. Myself included. Don’t get me wrong, I really do see myself as a lifer in California. I mean I’ve been wanting to live here since I was about 10 years old…but I know I won’t stay in LA for the rest of my life. But for now, it makes sense for 22 year old me. I’m loving the Clippers and I feel like my journey in this city is just getting started.

It is kind of funny that I ended up here, though…since I am the worst human in the world at goodbyes. Like do I hug you? Will I see you again? I don’t really miss people that often so I probably won’t miss you that much…or will I? What if you fall out of touch with me purposefully? And I swear to God it takes all I have not to sarcastically say “see ya never!!!” when I should actually be taking the farewell seriously (public apology to anyone I ever said that to). Living here and being thrown into constantly making friends who peace out of LA has helped me grow as a person though. I definitely went through a phase during, and even after college, where I didn’t know how to #emotion. And while I definitely still struggle being vulnerable, I’ve realized how important it is to tell those influential people in your life how much they mean to you and just how hard the goodbye (or see ya later) is for you.

 

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Yo, I’m so juiced

THREE DAY JUICE CLEANSE HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN COMPLETED. After consulting with a few friends who are juice cleanse veterans, I decided to go with cleanse 1 from Pressed Juicery. It’s a bit higher calorie and meant for first time juicers (because it’s a bit tastier than some of the other ones) and also athletes due to it’s calorie content. Perfect. In most of my experiences with juice cleanses, work outs are a bit scary. So I’m looking forward to being able to sustain normal activity during these three days. I’m also obsessed with with the pressed freezes from Pressed so I already had a little bit of a bias towards going there.

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DAY ONE

1. 9:30 am: Vanilla almond (almonds, dates, vanilla bean and sea salt)

YUM. Obviously I’m going into this whole thing super optimistic and I’m sure by the third day I’m going to probably hate the taste of it…but for now YUM. I opened this one up in the parking lot of Pressed Juicery because I knew that I would love it. This one is one of the heavier juices, almost like a shake. That being said, it’s a little chalky. For some reason I like that though. Even when it comes to my chai, I won’t order it if it’s made with syrup because I like the chalkiness of the chai powder. Strange (and also a little coffee shop snob of me).Greens 3 (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon and ginger)

2. 11:30 am: Greens 3 (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon and ginger)

Alright, this one tastes more like what you would think a juice cleanse should taste like. Pretty earthy. I did a few one-day cleanses back in college and this is the taste I remember. The apple and lemon is the saving grace in this one for sure. I’m also a huge ginger fan so as earthy as it is, I’m still a fan. I should note that you’re supposed to drink at least 2 cups of water between each juice. There is no water in any of the juices, so in order to keep hydrated and digestion working properly, H20 is crucial. I also opened up the chlorophyll water (which is bright green) for the day as well. It helps sustain energy throughout the day.

3. 2:30 pm: Roots 2 (carrot, kale, romaine, spinach, parsley, apple, lemon and ginger)

It’s orange!!! This one’s not too much different than the last one as far as taste goes. But the carrot does take the edge off a bit. By this point in the day, I’m half way through the 6 and I had yet to be hungry. I haven’t done a lot of extra physical activity up until this point (my body was crying after rehearsal the night before).

4. 5 pm: Citrus 2 (pineapple, apple, lemon and mint)

This one tastes like a tropical cocktail…minus the alcohol. I love pineapple juice so I’m a huge fan. I will say it’s a bit challenging to choke down a drink so sweet after the last two drinks were so earthy tasting. Still good, nonetheless. I drank this one as I headed to work for a 6 hour shift. Which means (as you probably guessed) I had to take my last two juices to work. So now I’m officially that bougie girl who does juice cleanses at work, oops. I still felt great at this point and was sending a prayer to the juice gods that that would continue throughout my shift.

5. 7:30 pm: Greens 2 (kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon)

Alight, this is when I started feeling slightly crazy. Just before it was time to go in for juice number 5, I low-key felt buzzed at work. I’m not sure if this is just from all of the running around at Kahuna Tiki or if my body was starting to adjust to the whole 3 day liquid diet but wooof. I had never looked forward to drinking baby poop green liquid in my life. Even though this is one of the lighter drinks, it was interesting to feel the shift in my energy and stability after sucking this one down. I was gonna survive work, yay!!!!!

6. 10 pm: Chocolate Almond (almonds, dates, cacao, sea salt)

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This one is basically the sister of the first drink of the day. So. Great. Perfect sweet treat to end the night feeling energized and full. Like I said earlier with the vanilla almond, this one is also heavier and slightly chalky. I drank this one at work as well. To be honest, I was a little nervous about sticking to the schedule of the cleanse while still going about my normal daily activities. I think a lot of people are. But after the first day went so smooth, that’s definitely not a valid worry to have. People (at least around here) are familiar and acceptable of the juice cleanse life. They know what it is, even if they don’t know much about it. That being said, no one looks at you weird or tries to tempt or force you into eating solids.

*Bonus* 11:45 pm: Aloe water

Since Pressed was having a special, I went ahead and threw in the Aloe water along with the Chlorophyll water for each day. It brought the total from $84 to $104 (normally it would have been near $160). You’re supposed to drink the aloe water just before bed to aid with digestion. I still had some chlorophyll water left at that point as well so I basically sat in my kitchen watching K-pop videos with Annie (my Aussie roommate who is obsessed) until they were finished. This got a little weird though. Have you ever sucked down like 3 glasses of ice water the second you sit down at a restaurant and suffered from intense chills?? <— Me trying to be relatable but i don’t know if this has ever happened to anyone else. Well, if so, that’s the kind of feeling I had immediately after. I’m typically a pretty warm blooded human and would take being a little chilly over being too hot any day. But I had to grab a sweatshirt and a few extra blankets until I warmed up a little bit #strange. Anyway, by the time it was a little past midnight I was MORE than ready for bed and feeling pretty accomplished that the first day went so smooth!

DAY TWO

Disclaimer: Just so you know, each day consists of the same juices in the same order. So for the next few days, I’m not going to spend too much time focusing on the taste of everything, cause (if you can read) you already know that.

8 am 

Wooo, good morning day two!!! I woke up feeling very refreshed, unbloated and a little bit hungry. On a normal morning, I’m usually a bit groggier- especially lately. For some reason it’s been so difficult to get out of bed this last week, so I was pleasantly surprised to be ready to roll out of bed at a decent time. I didn’t necessarily have anything on my agenda for the day, so I went into the day not feeling too nervous about adding another 24 hours to my cleanse, starting with the yummy vanilla almond drink.

11:30 am

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I headed out to run a few errands and took the second juice along (this is the super green one). Still feeling energized and fine, I had a realization. I couldn’t even go sit at a coffee shop after finishing up my errands. That’s like one of my favorite things to do. I mean I guess I could have gotten a table and sat there until they figured out that I didn’t buy anything from there. Dang. So many activities are centered around food and beverages, it’s wild. I’ve always known that but the struggle is REAL when you’re mid juice cleanse. So basically, the only thing I could do while I was out and about was pop into a few stores and window shop. What could have easily been a 3 hour trip down Ventura Blvd. turned into 40 minutes cause I was just out of things to do and had stuff to do back at the homestead.

1:30 pm

By this time, I’m starting to feel a little bit sleepy. I couldn’t really tell if this was because of the juices or if it was just one of those weeks. We had a lot happening here since Kelly was getting ready to leave for the cruise and Annie was moving into my room so that could have also played into it. I ended up fighting the urge to nap and did some apartment hunting while I sipped on the carrot/ginger juice. I’m stressed out enough about finding a new place so that distracted me from the fact that I was now 36 hours (HALF WAY!!!!) into the cleanse.

That lasted a little while, but I ended up back in my bed after about an hour. I had planned to get back into Sienna’s heels class that night so I thought I should try to preserve my energy.

4:30 pm

You should know that I may be one of the world’s worst nappers. What I am good at is laying in bed for the length of a nap and staring at a computer screen or finding 1 million things to do on the computer that make me feel productive. So, rather than nap, that’s what I did to prepare for class. That and drink my 4th juice, the yummy tropical tasting one. I ended up eating a handful of raw and unsalted almonds too before heading out the door. Pressed Juicery recommends this if you are feeling a bit drained or needed more fuel for any reason.

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So uninteresting.

With that, I headed off to heels class. Not only was this the most activity I had done since starting the cleanse, but it was also my first time back in class (and in heels) since making Clippers. Hello nerves. The first thing I noticed was that the only thing in my head for the first 30 minutes of class was “shit I’m probably gonna fall over” and “there’s no way I can pick up this choreo, I have juice brain”. While those may have been valid thoughts, the second I was able to shake them, I couldn’t tell a difference between class on any other day. I finished feeling accomplished, energized and definitely sweaty. WOOP!

7 pm

Time for the other green af juice. I actually ended up liking this one just as much as the others by the end of the cleanse. Kelly and I were about to head to go see the most recent Annabelle in Burbank and I knew I was about to endure the smell of popcorn for the next 2 hours. That actually didn’t end up being to bad but by the time the movie was over, I was HANGRY and NEEDED the last juice of the day: the chocolate almond.

11:45 pm

One small problem- Annie had taken the keys, Kristyn was at work and Kelly and I were locked out of the apartment. Guess what we did to kill time…WALK AROUND RALPHS WHICH IS FULL OF FOOD. Great idea!!!!!! It wasn’t even that I was craving any specific food, or any food for that matter, but the fact that I couldn’t even buy anything there had me feeling a bit trapped. Luckily, we only had to wait about 45 minutes for Kristyn to get off work to let us in. I basically broke the door down trying to get upstairs to drink my final juice of the day.

Also FYI, the new Annabelle movie is shit.

It was finally time for bed and my aloe water. We had an early morning ahead of us for the Iowa v ISU game!

DAY THREE: THE LAST DAY!!!!

7:30 am

WOOO GO HAWKS!!!! We woke up at the crack of dawn (I basically chugged my final vanilla almond juice), dressed our favorite Aussie roommate like a real life hawks fan and headed to Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica! The alumni association out here has declared it an Iowa bar and puts on fun little events for the games there! It’s so fun to go and see people from college who are out here or even jus the Iowa pennants hanging on the wall. AND you get 40% off your tab if you wear Hawkeye gear!! Obviously I didn’t rack up much of a tab this time, but seriously if you love the Hawks and you’re out here ya gotta go!!!

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Before heading down the road, I packed 3 juices in my big ass mom purse. I even threw in an ice pack to keep them cold. Since I wasn’t drinking (or eating for that matter) I drove us to Santa Monica for the game (like a true mom).

10:30 am

Here comes Holly drinks juice at a bar part one. So by this point I’m on like my 4th water, Kelly is on her 2nd G&T and the other girls are finishing up their first mimosa. Sweet potato fries have been ordered and I’m over here at the end of the table cracking out the green juice. Pretty comical. The weird part was that it wasn’t even difficult to ignore the food that they ordered. Not even the smell of it made me want it. I’m not sure if it was because the juice was keeping me satisfied or the fact that I had spent over $100 on the juices and was therefore committed, but either way I remained happily food and drinkless.

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1:30 pm (ish)

FREAKING GO HAWKS. What a good game you guys. So cool to see all of the fans at Barney’s going absolutely crazy as we beat the cyclones (again). We had run into some friends who went to Iowa and decided to go to the Bungalow afterwards. On the way there, I smashed the carrot one so I could get that out of the way before going into the bar. Honestly, the most annoying part of this whole thing wasn’t the lack of alcohol consumed, but dealing with everyone and their brother bumping into my mom bag. Seriously I about swung it at like 6 people’s heads. I still had a blast though. As per usual, Kelly whipped out Heads Up at the bar. By about 4 we were ready to head out, and guess who was hungry…Kelly. I was so excited to go watch Kelly eat another meal!!!!!

3:30 pm

What’s worse is she picked one of my favorite spots, Lemonade. Lucklily it was time for the tropical juice so I kind of felt like I was drinking one of their bomb lemonades….kinda. If you feel like I’m sugar coating the whole cleanse, I’m really not. I’m not 100% sure of all the science that goes into creating a cleanse regime but I really did feel satisfied about 80% of the time.

7 pm

After we got home, I was planning on diving into my bed and then I remembered…our photoshoot for clippers is tomorrow and my nails are a wreck. We had specific instructions to have them done (or at least looking nice), so I figured I should go take care of that. Of course, they could only do them if I got there around 6:15 so that left me with about 20 minutes of pillow time. I finished the 5th juice on the way out of my place while all of my full and slightly buzzed roommates took a little snooze.

*If you think you’re noticing a theme here to STAY BUSY while on a juice cleanse, you’re spot on.

10:30 pm

 

TIME FOR MY FINAL JUICE!!!!! Our friend Caitlyn stayed at our place that night and we had originally all planned to go to dinner…buttttt #JuiceCleanse. So we opted for a quick trip to grab some chipotle for her (nothing has ever smelled so good) to take back to our place for a movie night in. I crushed my very last chocolate almond while watching Memoirs of a Geisha (solid movie) and headed off to bed dreaming about what the heck I was going to eat the next morning. Ultimately though, I was feeling SO accomplished. I FINISHED THE CLEANSE AND DIDN’T DIE!!!!

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Neck pillow on FLEEK. 

POST CLEANSE

I feel like this is the neglected portion of any info on juice cleanses you may find online. It’s so crucial not to binge eat (on whatever you may have been craving during your cleanse) the second you finish all of your juices. I mean you’ve done nothing but digest liquids for 72 hours…how do you think your body is going to react if you hit up your favorite Mexican joint right after a cleanse??? EASE INTO NORMAL FOOD PEOPLE. Trust me. Luckily for me, I wasn’t craving anything bad. I just did my body so much good for 3 days and didn’t want to undo all of that. Actually the only thing I was craving was a kale noodle poke bowl from this place across the street (this is strange, I am aware).

Moving on. I woke up feeling light and refreshed. My skin was pretty clear and I could tell that I had lost some water weight. I hopped on the scale just out of curiosity and ended up being about 4 pounds down. Don’t get me wrong…weight loss wasn’t the goal here, but I’ll take it. Not a bad confidence booster before going into my first photoshoot with the Clippers!

We all went to Kreation (you have to go if you haven’t) in the morning and they recommended I order the jungle bowl- this is an accai bowl with lots of greens and the same ingredients that were in a lot of the juices. I did make a mistake though. I had them add banana. OUCH. Bananas have made my stomach hurt in the past but DANG. My stomach was in knots the entire way to the photoshoot. But by the time I got there and had drank a lot of water, I felt relatively normal. During the shoot I snacked on a few nuts and veggies here and there…even had a cup of coffee (which made me feel turnt after not drinking any caffeine for 3 days). I didn’t quite trust my stomach with much else at the point.

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After a GREAT day with the team (I’ll be writing about that a little bit later) you better believe I smashed a Kale noodle poke bowl when I got home.

ALL IN ALL

When it was all said and done, I loved my first juice cleanse experience. I felt like I could have even done it for a few more days. So if you’re teetering on giving it a go, I say DO IT. As far as advice goes I would say

  1. img_4696Plan to do your cleanse accordingly. If you have a wedding to go to, a birthday to celebrate or lots of physical activity coming your way that’s probably not the right time to try and do it. Don’t make it harder on yourself than it has to be.
  2. COMMIT. If you’re gonna spend the money on the juices, drink them. Make the sacrifices you need to to complete the cleanse, it’s only 3 days of your life.
  3. Stay busy to stay mentally tough. Obviously don’t wear yourself out, but if you’re just sitting around all day your mind is going to start to drift (pizza, tacos, ice cream……..).
  4. Follow the rules. You gotta stay hydrated otherwise you will feel like ass at the end of the three days.
  5. Ease back in to solid foods!!! Your body will love you for it.

 

 

 

 

What just happened (August in a nutshell)

I feel slightly as if I have just been placed inside my NutriBullet (the best) and blended into a soft smoothie. That is Holly speak for “Holy shit this month was &#*@&$^ crazy, what day is it?” From my first choreography weekends with the Clippers, to a whirlwind trip home to teach and see friends, to our first annual college reunion, to a trip to Utah and ending with Las Vegas…it’s a shock that I’m somehow in one place with minimal things missing and forgotten in any of these states (round of applause for me cause this seriously never happens). Tired, a bit dazed and definitely groggy, I can’t help but feel overwhelmingly thankful for all of the insane sights and incredible people I got to spend money I don’t have with this month. And consequentially slightly scared for a September of savings and hermit-living. Let’s avoid that thought and dive in.

Home is Where ze Heart is

Originally I was supposed to head back to Iowa the first of August to do some choreography and stay there until just before my birthday. After making the team, I had to rearrange my travel plans a bit. It was crazy how willing everyone was to accommodate to my new schedule. It felt like it was truly meant to be. Going home is always a bit of a challenge for me. I’m always stuck somewhere between wanted to make up for lost time with everyone and wanting to be glued to my couch with my dog in my lap and my parents by my side. This time, since I have no clue when I’ll be back to Iowa, I spent the weeks leading up to my trip home (which now happened from the 10th-18th) frivolously planning the next week. No like I literally had a shared google document with my family so they knew when I was going to be where….#extra. Long story short, and so so so not surprising, I put way too much on my plate. As in I spent a total of 2 nights at my actual house. Between teaching and visiting friends (visits that were LONG overdue), I went from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids to Des Moines to Oskaloosa to Cedar Falls to Pella over to Ankeny to Eldridge and finally to Hampton before heading back to Minneapolis to catch my flight home. Exhausting, yes, but spending the time near my birthday surrounded by my best friend, my parents, my extended family and my second family (the Carrikers), was exactly what the doctor ordered.

WE AREN’T IN COLLEGE ANYMORE

Which brings me to the college crew and I’s first annual college reunion back in Los Angeles. Since I had to change travel plans last minute, I ended up missing the first 2 nights. But believe me when I say we made up for it once I got back into town. We started with lots of catching up and reminiscing. So wild what different lives we all live. I mean one of us is responsible for the lives of elementary students for God’s sake!!! Even after all this time, the support and pride we all have for each other’s accomplishments is so special.  It’s rare to find a group of friends like these girls. We all are equally horrible at keeping constant contact with each other, but the second we all sit down it’s like no time has passed at all. That is until you try to drink alcohol the way you did the last time you were all reunited. I truly believe something happens to your body when you graduate that says NOPE to alcohol. I had just turned 22 and the day after was my first….drum roll please….TWENTY-FOUR HOUR HANGOVER!!!!!! So fun!!!! What a perfect way to spend your ride in the passenger seat to  LAX to drop off the first few friends!!! Feeling slightly green in the gills and sad to see my friends leave, we headed back for one grand finale with Payton and Maddi (the last two standing in LA). By grand finale I mean we ate Italian food and fell asleep before 10 pm. It was, yet again, a successful trip filled with way too many laughs and a few too many drinks. I’m so thankful for you guys and even more proud to call you my friends.

Why am I in Utah??

The next weekend I found myself at Zion National park with Kelly and my friend Josh from high school. Come on friends meeting friends!!! I hadn’t really paid a visit to many national parks before my 3 day venture to California with Kelly and her dad; we had stopped off in Utah and went to Bryce Canyon last November. Since then and because I am becoming #LA my newfound love for hiking has surfaced and I’ve been dying to visit a few more parks. Wish granted. We spent our first day hiking doing an 8 mile round trip hike to Observation Point. Lol. Eight Miles. Not going to lie, it kicked my ass a bit. We all kept each other motivated (crucial for anyone trying to hike anything like this) and hydrated (also crucial) an let me just say- the view was SO worth it. Also there were cute af little chipmunks up there that really wanted to be my friend. After four miles back to the shuttle bus (thank god for that) we were dead tired and ready for Josh-made tacos. That was our go to the entire weekend, by the way…tacos on tacos on tacos. The next day we did the hike through the virgin river (yes, any joke you can think of was already made during our hike). So let me start by saying this hike was a bit of a beast of its own. You’re pretty much walking in water anywhere from ankle-level to shoulder-level the entire time. And the surface we were walking on was less than stable. Slippery rocks for everyone!!! And what’s more, I’m apparently awful at footing. Put it all together and what do we have?? Me face-first in the water about 242842 times…and lots of random strangers getting quite the ab work out from my antics. All was made well when I snagged a high five from a squirrel i affectionately named Brutus.

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Meet Brutus.

Viva Las I’mNeverGoingBackTo Vegas

I spent Labor Day weekend in Vegas with my new Clippers fam. So. Fun. We filled our cars full of snacks and plenty of 2000’s hip hop and headed out of LA on the 4 hour drive. We started off pretty mellow (is that a thing in Vegas?) with 1Oak the first night. We went for 2 chainz and stayed for Hannah’s dance moves. What I mean by that is that Sir 2 chainz was about 2 hours late to his own show and w hen he finally came out it was 2:30 am and he was in a wheelchair….definitely quite the sight to see.

On Saturday we did the LIQUID pool at the Aria followed by a BOMBASF (free) dinner at TAO before going to their night club. A few funny things to note: any and all dancing (or falling) that happened at LIQUID, all videos in slow motion are 1 million times better, I scored some really stylish flip flops from TAO because #HeelsareHard. What’s even harder is the drive home from Vegas (shout out Courtney for that). Aside from the 24 hour hangovers I now endure from just looking at alcohol, this weekend was so so needed. Can’t wait for the rest of the years with these gals and am pumped to be back to the rehearsal grind after the long weekend.

Stability…ish?

Lit (actually sorNow I’m back in LA from here on out. While this past month was quite honestly the time of my life (seriously I felt like I lived out all of my summer dreams in 31 days), I’m so so ready to be back and refocused with new goals as I come up on my ONE YEAR LA ANNIVERSARY!!! How in the world.

Buuuut the craziness isn’t over yet- we’ve got one roommate moving states, one moving out, an Aussie moving in (hey Annie), another roommate heading aboard a ship for 6 months and me moving apartments. It’s definitely hard to find consistency in this crazy place, but this has been the adventure of a lifetime and I’m so ready for even more new ones. *Insert shameless plug for the 3-day juice cleanse I’m starting tomorrow and the blog that will commence afterwards #adventure #staytuned #signingoffnow*

This summer is LIT

Yes, I said lit. Am I sorry? Not really.

I have finally decided to take a second to breathe and give a little update on the last two months out here (which have been, you guessed it, lit).

I spent a lot of time in May fine tuning my goals. I wanted to perform, network and ultimately improve in all aspects of my life from mind to body. Seems lofty. To make sure I was headed in the direction of all of these things, I held myself accountable to doing the proper behind the scenes work. As long as I was doing something each day to get closer to where I wanted to be, even if it’s just visualizing or writing it down, I chalked it up as another day of moving the needle forward. Staying positive and not being hard on myself has always been a struggle of mine (those who know me know I’m the world’s biggest perfectionist), so making the commitment to switch from my biggest critic to my biggest fan was most definitely the hardest part. But holy moly is manifestation a real thing.

In June, I finally got to perform. Not just once, but three times. It’s crazy how quick you forget what it feels like to be on stage. It truly is unlike anything else. It’s ultimately why we, as dancers, sacrifice so much to pursue this career. Always in pursuit of that feeling. Not to mention, I was able to meet so many incredible people and further current relationships in the process of rehearsing for these performances. From there, I had so much momentum rolling. So much motivation and so many things on my plate but I LOVED it. I was busy every single day (hence why it’s August and I’m just now talking about June). My mind was in the right place and I was seeing a direct link to my dancing. Auditions were going well, opportunities were coming my way and LA finally felt like home. Feels like home.

Then it was July.

…which wish literally 4 seconds long. I started off with a great holiday weekend spent with awesome friends and rooftop fireworks that left me overwhelmingly thankful for the relationships I have made since moving to Los Angeles. So many outstanding individuals that have played a huge part in making the transition here a seamless one. I continued to stay busy; started a new job, continued to audition, took class, spent way too much money on foodie things, rehearsed for performances and even a video shoot and then somehow fit some time in there to have a visitor.

At the end of July I auditioned to dance for the NBA as part of Clippers Spirit. I went into the audition optimistic but also aware that there were probably going to be near 400 dancers who are just as talented and qualified as me (if not more). Throughout the audition process, I tapped into that same mindset that I had at the beginning of June. I had gone to a lot of auditions prior to this one just because they were open call and I had happen to hear about them. I’m not signed yet, so I literally go to any and every audition I hear about. But this one was different. I wanted this. Badly.

After lots of dance, nerves and sweat (seriously I looked like I had just gotten out of the shower), my number was announced. Second to last might I add- talk about stress. AHH. I could not believe it. Still can’t. I’m so so thankful for this opportunity and now that I’ve had my first rehearsal weekend and I have my uniforms (!!!) it finally feels official. This next year is going to be such a ride and I can’t wait.

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SHAMELESS PLUG AHEAD (you’ve been warned):

You can read more about my audition experience here! Before auditioning I  looked all over for a blog from former members, so I figured I would start keeping up with my experience for other people who are also interested. Stay tuned for more updates!

I ended July with a bucket list evening at the Hollywood Bowl with Kristyn and Kelly. Have I mentioned that I freaking love musicals??? We got cheap af tickets to see Mama Mia and I’ll just start off by saying that I was already crying before the National Anthem was over. Nice. I must say, if you haven’t been to a show at the Hollywood Bowl then PUT IT ON YOUR TO DO LIST. We had so much fun (and you can read about this experience here). ← shameless plug number two, oops.

And now we are officially caught up. It’s August (MY BIRTHDAY MONTH DON’T YOU FORGET IT) and great things are on the horizons. I start regular rehearsals for Clippers, head home to teach and see family, TURN 22, have my dysFUNctional friends come to LA, AND head to Utah at the end of the month.

Wahoooo! Until later, friends.

I AUDITIONED FOR THE CLIPPERS

When I decided to audition for the Clippers, I literally scoured the internet for some kind of guide so I could have an idea of what to expect. Although I found a lot of info on the spirit website, I wanted to find some sort of blog that detailed the audition experience (or entire experience for that matter). Since I didn’t find what I was looking for, I decided to create my own now that I’m on the team (what in the world?!).

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Auditions can be terrifying. How do you prepare? What do I wear? How many are they taking? Who will be there? Alright. So I can’t answer all of these things, but I definitely can tell you about my experience.

Let me start off by saying that Clippers Spirit is a lot different than most NBA or even NFL dance teams. You don’t audition in briefs, tights and a sparkly sports bra. There’s no bikini round, sports trivia or extensive interview. This is what attracted me to audition in the first place. This squad is different and breaking the mold of what it means to be an NBA dancer. We live in LA, the mecca of the dance industry and this team strives to embody that in everything they do. Score.

About a month before the audition, Kelly and I paid $40 for the try-out prep clinic. If you’re considering auditioning for anything dance related, whether it be a sports team, company or even tour, it’s smart to get yourself in front of the coach/choreographer. This is helpful not only to hopefully make a good impression on the person in charge of choosing the cast, but also to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

We started with a warm up, then proceeded to learn an across the floor combination to showcase technique and style. After that we all went across the floor and received individual feedback from both the coach and current captain before going around again. Once that was through, we learned choreography from once of last season’s routines and also did that in smaller groups of 5. Basically what the clinic ended up being was a mock audition. They told us at the end of the day that we should continue to practice both the across the floor and the combination we learned. And thank God we did.

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Okay. So now it’s a few weeks later and the audition date has finally rolled around. We had spent the last few weeks holding each other accountable with work outs, healthy eating and moral support when we went to the mall to find an audition outfit. Honestly that was the worst part. I am the most indecisive shopper in the entire universe. But I ended up going with a fancy sports bra from Lorna Jane (this one) and some good old fashion booty shorts. We left plenty early to make sure we weren’t at the end of the sign in line since we had a feeling there were going to be a ton of dancers there. We were more than right. In fact, there were about 350 girls vying for a spot on the team. Gulp.

Low and behold, the first day of auditions were exactly like the prep clinic. To a tee. Best $40 I’ve spent in a long time. We learned the across the floor combo (that Kelly and I already knew) and went across the floor in groups of three. Each line danced for either one of the two former captains or the coach, Latrice. Once you reach one of them at the end of the combination, they either tell you “thank you, please stay” or “thank you” (which is dancer code for “you just got cut”).  Even though I already knew the combination and was confident in it, it’s impossible not to get nervous. There have been so many auditions I’ve been to where I am fully confident and get cut anyway. Why would this one be different?? That’s when ya gotta tell yourself to chill tf out. Relax and trust your training. For me, this means weaseling my way closer to the front to get it out of the way. It can be easy to keep waiting to dance in later groups, but personally I think that just leaves more time to get in your head. Be brave and go towards the beginning.

After they made cuts (sigh of relief), the remaining dancers (I think there was about 125ish left at this point) learned a combination from last season. You guessed it, we already knew that one too. I was SO thankful that it was the same one from the clinic. This allowed me to focus solely on the details and performance aspect of it for this round of the audition. They counted us off into groups of 5 and Kelly, Kristyn and I were all sectioned off to dance in the same group. That part of the audition was a blast. We left the floor feeling confident. All that was left to do now was wait. THE WORST.

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After what felt like an eternity, the judges came back from deliberating and asked a few of the hopefuls to dance again. Then the was time to find out which of us would be moving on to the final round the following day. At this point in my LA journey, I’ve gotten extremely used to not hearing my number called. But I had a different feeling about this one. I sat there with my eyes closed and fists clenched waiting to hear 296. Since my group was one of the last ones for choreo round, my number was one of the last ones to be called. BUT IT WAS CALLED NONETHELESS. Enter a wave a gratitude. Holy cow. Out of 350 some girls, my number was one of about 30 to be called for the final round. The finalists were photographed and given an interview time for the next day and sent on our way.

Alrighty, onto day two: FINALS. They recommend wearing the same thing or something similar as the first day of auditions. That way you’re easily identified. Makes sense. I knew that we were going to be learning some sort of hip-hop/jazz funk number so I threw on a cropped sweatshirt over my sports bra to feel a little less jazzy. I’ve learned that I am definitely a person who dances how they feel, so making sure I felt good in what I was wearing was crucial.

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The interviews were about 5-10 minutes long and basically was just a quick “get to know you” session. It was nothing crazy or extensive. Just a short and sweet Q&A to let them know why you deserve to be apart of Clippers Spirit. I talked a lot about my experience on the Iowa Dance Team as well as my admiration of Clippers for breaking the mold of what it means to be a professional dance team. I think I also threw in the word ‘badass’ somewhere in there. I also dabbed at my friend, who was next in line, on the way out. Why do I do these things……????

Onto the dancing. They brought in Kevin Maher (HOW STINKIN COOL) to teach the choreo for the final piece of the audition. I’ve been dying to get in his class so I was pumped. I challenged myself to stand in the front during this portion of the audition. The judges stay in the room the entire time so (as cliche as this is) your audition starts the second you walk through the door. Your dance teachers growing up were right about that one!!!! Once we learned the combo, we were asked to dance in groups of three whenever we felt ready. They also were very adamant that we don’t practice while we were waiting to audition because it’s distracting and unfair to the dancers who go first. Makes sense.

By this point my nerves were on full blast. I ended up dancing about midway through all of the groups and left the floor wanting to dance again. I could have been so much cleaner if I would have relaxed and breathed through the nervous energy. But taking into account that I’m always way harder on myself than I need to be, I felt proud of what I did. I was done. The audition had come to an end and now it was out of our hands.

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Waiting for my number to be called was the absolute most nerve racking moment of the entire audition. Which is weird when ya think about it, because at that point you can’t do anything about it. They announced the number of 8 veteran members and 12 rookies. I knew they were taking 20 total numbers, so as they got closer and closer to reaching 20 I started to prepare myself jusssst in case they didn’t say 296. I still had a great feeling, but I wanted to be ready for whatever was thrown at me. My number was the 19th number to be called. TALK ABOUT STRESS YOU GUYS. But damn, I did it. Finally. It felt like all of my hard work had paid off.

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Now it’s official. We went through orientation at HQ, had our first rehearsal weekend and even received our uniforms. I absolutely can’t wait to continue with this new chapter of my life and can’t help but feel overwhelmingly grateful to have 19 talented and dedicated women alongside me in this journey.

GO CLIPPERS!

Holly at the Hollywood Bowl

CALLING ALL LOVERS OF THE ARTS, PERFORMANCE, VIEWS AND FOOOOOD. Getcho booty to the Hollywood Bowl ASAP.

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A few months ago, Kelly, Kristyn and I were sitting at a coffee shop (Romancing the Bean for those of you who are coffee shop hunters) trying to get our lives together when Kelly randomly signed up for updates from the Hollywood Bowl. To be honest, I wasn’t even entirely sure what that was. I knew there were concerts and stuff there but that’s about it. Part of the perk of signing up was a discount on tickets. Impulsively, Kelly bought 3 tickets (only $18 each) to Mama Mia. I’ve seen a lot of shows (small secret I’m a huge musical buff), but I had yet to see Mama Mia.

When we bought the tickets, it felt like July would never come. The show seemed sooo far in the distance but, like I keep saying, It felt like it was time for the show only a week later. We all took off work for the evening and planned to get there hourrrrrs before the show to picnic our lives away. How fun?! On our way over we hit up Trader Joe’s for cheap(ish) wine, and plenty of snacks.

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Once we got there, we headed to the very top of the hill (our seats were front row…..of the very back section of the entire Bowl). They have cute little picnic areas set up for you to chill out at before the show. We’ve all been staying busy with different things and completely opposite schedules so it felt so good to catch up with Kelly and Kristyn about life over a bottle (or two) of wine and a ridiculous game of Cards Against Humanity. Also very lowkey announcement that the vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s are actually burning hot lava fire flames. And yes, I said vegan. To be extremely LA, I challenged myself to two weeks of it to see if I could do it. Still going strong for your information.

I do this weird thing at musicals where I cry….and that was already happening by the end of the national anthem. Nice! The rest of the waterworks held off until the end of the second act (thank God). The song that always gets me in Mama Mia is ‘Slipping Through my Fingers’. So good.

The talent on the stage was overwhelming and I couldn’t help but wish I was up there. Definitely on my list of goals. It was so unbelievably cool to see so many people from all different backgrounds singing along to ABBA and enjoying themselves just as much as we were. There is such a large community of support for the arts out here and I truly can’t express how thankful I am for that. With this in mind and the Hollywood sign in the background of the stage, I could help but get a little teary eyed (again).

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Dang. How did I get so lucky?

When the beach teaches you more than you learned in college

I’ve been trying to explore a little bit more. As I’ve said before, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable in the stretch between North Hollywood to Studio City. Which is great news that I’m sure my friends and family back home love to hear! I’M COMFY HERE!!! But now that Summer is around the corner and I feel at home, I decided to make a list of places and activities I need to accomplish or see. Time to branch out and really explore California beyond the valley. And let me tell ya, I’m finding some good stuff. Like did you know there’s Yoga on the ocean?!!??! It’s literally called YOGAQUATICS. I’m 200% sure I’ll fall off the board but that’s a for sure on the list.

I started my quest this week with El Matador State beach in Malibu. I’ve been craving a solo beach day pretty much since I moved in. Now that it’s finally hot and I have a few performances coming up this month, it’s the perfect time to get my tan on. I’ve been bad lately (mom don’t read this part) about not wearing sunscreen and, learning from Kristyn the lobster’s mistakes, (okay mom, start reading again) I doused myself with SPF 15 before heading out the door. My whole ride to the beach was filled with good jams and light traffic- finally starting to get the hang of the traffic patterns.IMG_1743Once I got there, I noticed that it was pretty overcast; cold, even. Even so, I figured I would spend a good three hours there and that it probably felt different once I got down to the actual beach. Figuring all this in, I paid for 3 hours of parking up front. Oh and I forgot to mention I got beachside parking. That literally never happens.

It seemed like the stars were aligning for me to have a fun-in-the-sun beach day and who knows, maybe I’ll even meet some cool new people on the beach since I’ve been on a roll with that! If not, I already had plans to call back the 27392 people who I’m still lucky to call friends after absolutely SUCKING at staying in touch (shoutout to you guys!!!). When I finally got down to the beach, the people were sparse, the wind was strong and it was even colder than I thought it would be. Great.IMG_1763In my head, I was initially pissed that I had just driven 45 minutes, paid for parking and hyped up this day so much. I went back and forth between wanting to find a beach beach, thinking that maybe if I walked down far enough, I could just keep my same parking spot? Or maybe I should just go back to a space that I knew. Zuma? Maybe even by the pier. But then I looked around…

Damn. This place was beautiful. I felt like I was on the set of Lemony Snicket’s version of the Little Mermaid, complete with rocks and full of cloudy gloom. How did I miss all of this when I first arrived? How did I ever even have the thought to leave?IMG_1757Naturally, when I began to take in the beauty of El Matador, I pulled out my phone to post photos on every form of social media I could. Dumb. And the beach said “nope.” There is absolutely zero cell service down there. It’s like I was meant to be there alone with just my thoughts and the crash of the ocean against the rocks. Completely disconnected.

Not going to lie, I struggled at first. But I learned so much from my adventure that day. IMG_1798After a few hours of writing, thinking and exploring I packed up my things and headed to a cute little place called Sun Life Organics (another spot on my list). They literally have a drink with all of my favorite things: banana, raw almond butter, hemp milk and even coffee. That’s basically Holly in a shake. AND IT’S CALLED THE BLACK GOLD. Fricken GO HAWKS!

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How cool ^^^

Driving home, Black Gold in hand, I wasn’t so lucky with traffic. But I did have plenty of time to reflect on my exploration at El Matador and what the beach had taught me that day.

Sometimes you don’t get what you expected, but you get what you needed.