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.

Word vomit

If you saw my Instagram or Facebook post then you probably knew this was coming. And quite honestly, I imagine this being a little bit difficult to type. Really I’m not even sure if it’ll make the cut and be published but here we go anyway.

As you may well know, I have two dogs who are, as I like to say, “old as dirt.” Had two dogs. Yesterday, I received a message from my parents asking me to give them a call after  my dance class. Of course my intuition immediately knew that something was up. I wondered if I had sent them a text that I meant to send to a friend or maybe they got a few of my parking tickets in the mail. Especially when I called on my way home and they said it would be better if I waited to take the call until I was at home and out of the car. By then I had had it. I needed to know what was going on and when I asked for a hint they simply said “It’s about Bear.”

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This didn’t come as a huge surprise to me. When I was home a few weeks ago, we had noticed that she was moving a little bit slower. My dad has basically had Rottweilers his entire life and most of them had some sort of issue involving their bones ranging from minor joint pain to full fledged bone cancer. We assumed that this may be the case, and so did her vet, so we ended up buying her some treats that were designed specifically for joint pain. We noticed an improvement, but we also noticed some strange lumps forming on her belly. Those aren’t related to joint pain…

They had grown a decent amount between the time I left for California and when I returned home last month. We had had the vet check them out a few times and we had basically decided to keep an eye on the lumps and her disposition to see if there were any changes for the worse.

If you read my last blog, you also know that I did I shitty job of seeing all of my friends back in Iowa. For some reason I couldn’t get myself to leave my parents or my dogs. Now it makes sense. I spent the entire week cuddled up to bear. My parents said they hadn’t seen her that social and lovey dovey in months. She knew. But I could have never prepared myself for the phone call I received last night.

She was gone. They took her to the vet to have her lumps, they had grown significantly since I had returned back to California, drained and checked out. The vet found more than what he had bargained for. It was cancer and it had spread. A lot. Still on the operating table, the vet called my parents. They were faced with the decision of putting her through extensive surgery, recovery, pain and (maybe) a few more weeks of life or letting her go in peace.

Bear left us around noon yesterday. I can’t imagine how different my house in Iowa is. No one to steal the good couch or squeeze on with. Fluffy (our other dog) is probably lost. In fact, I know she is. But I also know that she knows what happened. She got in the habit of leaving a few little crumbs of her soft food for Bear to finish off. Last night, my parents said that she ate every bite. She knew Bear wasn’t coming home. I just can’t help but wish that we had the same instinct.

It feels like my family is down one member. One unconditional lover who didn’t care if we got fired from a job or had a shitty day or even yelled at her one hour before.

I’m beginning to learn how I work a little bit better and called today off specifically for this blog post. I had full intention of doing what I normally do. Go on as if I’m unaffected, afterall, I’m halfway across the country. But I stopped. Called my dad and said “not this time.” I needed to get this out. I needed to deal with it in the moment and be present in it. In the painful, empty and sheer realness of it. Otherwise, I’m going to feel it x20 in three months like I always do. To make this even more of a growing experience, I challenged myself to write this in public. Why? Because I knew I would cry and crying in front of people makes me want to crawl out of my skin. But I let it happen. I needed to let it happen, to not wear a mask as I so often do.

So to finish up, thanks for reading this. Sometimes the only thing that makes me feel better is just letting my fingers do their thing on the keyboard while I turn my brain off. That being said, I’m making the choice not to proofread this.

 

Give your furry friends some extra love today. They can teach you so much.

 

Weekend getaways & why they are 1000% necessary

It’s May. That means it’s about to be one year since I walked in the commencement ceremony at Iowa. Wtf. As I sit here typing this, in what might quite possibly be the polar opposite of where I would have typed this a year ago, I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed and proud that I made the leap. And while LA is great and all, I think I kind of forgot that life existed outside of good ole La La Land. This huge bubble of a city. Luckily for me, this realization that I needed to gtfo for a hot second came at the perfect time. So I put my wheels to the road (and also reimbursed my friends for gas monies…thanks friends) and have spent the last four weekends basically running around like a crazy person.

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Let’s start with my first weekend trip away from LA in the 6 months I’ve been here: Coachella. I caught a wild hare the day tickets went on sale and treated myself to weekend 1 tickets with my coworker #splurge. And yes I still made rent that month (god bless). I’ll preface this by saying that contrary to popular belief; I had never been to a music festival of any kind until Summerfest in Milwaukee last June. While that was literally the time of my life (shout out to the squad that weekend), Summerfest and Coachella have little in common other than music and alcohol. You may be wondering what more there is to a music festival? Well first of all, three days in the desert heat is HARD. Yes everyone wants that “do it for the gram” photo moment at Coachella, but dang I don’t know how some of those people survived the heat in those outfits. I tried to choose my wardrobe wisely and made sure to have a bandana to protect my lungs from the dirt/dust/sand/god knows what else that’s blowing around all day and night. I was blessed to have gone with some ‘Chella vets, so I had a bit of an upper hand on the must-do’s.

We had an absolute blast frolicking through the desert, people watching and of course finding open space to do literal choreography. It really is so special to see SO many different types of people, enjoying the festival in whichever way they felt fit (and there are about 1 million ways to do so), coming together because of music. And let me just say that the music was INSANE. Especially Bon Iver, The XX and Gaga. It made me realize how many different types of people are in California. Duh, Holly that sounds like a no-brainer. But in North Hollywood 98% of everyone I come into contact with is an actor, dancer, singer etc. Yeah, I definitely gravitate towards those types anyway…but it was a good reminder that there is so much more to see outside of LA. And it’s so wild that these different places and sights are right at my fingertips. Coachella always seemed so far away when I admired pictures from afar growing up but now that I finally got to experience it for myself, It was only a three hour drive, filled with snacks and catching up away.

After returning back to LA, I had a whole three days to recover and head home for the first time for a few short days. Going home, even if it’s just from college, is always a tough one. There are a million people you want to see, sights you want to revisit, and events happening…where do you find the time to relax?? For me, the challenging part of this trip home was leaving my dogs and my parents. I spent the whole first day cuddling next to my (very old, like fossil old) poochies and watching movies with my parents. The next few days were spent trying to see everyone I possibly could in a short amount of time. I started by going to an old dance friend’s wedding and WOW was it great to see her so happy, as well as all of my old friends from the studio days. I could have sat and talked to each of them for hours, but time is limited and my trip was so so short. Next, we met as much of the family (AND MY BEST FRIEND THANK GOD!!! If you know India and I you know we have the most polar opposite schedules ever) at ice cream in between the wedding and our next stop, the Carrikers (aka my second family). We enjoyed a night of home cooked food, drinks and multiple desserts. Before I knew it, I only had one more day left. I had enjoyed a lot of down time so I was PUMPED to spend it dancing.

I taught my first class, since moving to LA, at Dance Vision. To say that I was inspired by the dancers that attended would be an understatement. I always get so stressed before teaching. I start questioning myself, doubting my choreography, my class structure and my qualifications. But from the second the class began to the final time doing the combination I felt so respected and at ease. I left with my heart SO full and even got to see my Des Moines crew (minus 1 @kaylameyer) for dinner before heading home. What a good freaking week. I said my goodbyes, and hopped on a plane back home. I was inspired and ready to crack down on my eating, workouts and goals.

I started the week back with a trip to Trader Joe’s (my favorite). I’m gonna write a separate post eventually about this, but I decided to commit to the #PaleoLyfe. Not so much because it’s trendy, but because I do so much better when I have specific guidelines. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater but calling myself “paleo” with specific do’s and don’ts makes it a challenge. And I love a good challenge. Especially when it comes with so many health benefits.

After a week of getting back on track, Kelly and I headed to Vegas for an audition on a whim. We woke up at 3:30 am, packed some healthy eats for the day and headed down the road. Although the audition didn’t turn out how we had hoped, we decided to make the most of our little adventure to Vegas. One of Kelly’s old friends from Illinois happened to be there so we headed to the nearest bar for a few drinks. I may or may not have ordered a dirty martini at 11 am. The bartenders treated us to a few on the house which then led to us sneaking into the pool at the Aria thanks to our new friend, the old man security guard. Lit! After a few hours of sun, we hit the road…after all we were heading back to Vegas in 4 short days for Kristyn’s 21st. HERE’S THE BEST PART. We stopped to see the Seven Magic Mountains, an art installation in the middle of the desert, which honestly made the whole day worth it.

Like I said, we had plans to head back to Vegas for Kristyn’s 21st birthday extravaganza with me, Kelly, her coworker Rocco, and of course the birthday girl…AND BONUS GUESTS the Hoffman superiors!!! I had been working with her mom during the weeks leading up to the trip to surprise her. For those of you who know Kristyn, she is the absolute hardest person to surprise. But we did it, y’all!!!! Between the nightclubs, day clubs, casinos, shows, restaurants, surprises and memories, the weekend could not have gone better. To say that she rung in her birthday the right way would be an understatement. I can honestly say I have never laughed that much in a weekend…ever. Our abs were actually sore and definitely not from working out during that weekend, although we did do our fair share of dancing. As in we literally never stopped dancing. So now the 362 clan is officially all legal…and very over drinking after this last weekend’s liquid diet (so in line with my paleo-ness)

SO. I’m back in LA, most likely until I go home in August for a bit, back on track and can’t wait to continue this kick I’m on of being adventurous. Seeing all there is to see and meeting everyone there is to meet.

I think a lot of times people our age get too caught up in the whole “I’M BROKE” mindset. Yeah. So are we. Who isn’t at this stage? It does not by any means equate to staying in your apartment to “save money.” Not only are you making yourself miserable by focusing on your lack of extra money, you’re missing out on SO MUCH of the world around you. Pack food, skip the expensive drinks, Google free shit to see. It’s out there. Stop making excuses.

 

I moved to LA & now I like yoga

Ugh and I hate myself for sipping a matcha latte while I write this.

When I think about the top 5 ways to make fun of an Iowan I would say corn, cows, farms, beer and probably……corn…..again. My top 5 stereotype slams to Californians are quite the opposite: vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, kale and yoga. Don’t get me wrong, all of the 5 (unlike my Iowa list) are great for your body – except gluten free because I refuse to believe that 90% of the population here has celiac disease, but that’s beside the point.

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It’s funny how you only make fun of something for so long until you find yourself submerged in it. Kind of like everyone who thinks I’m disgusting for my peanut butter and pickle sandwich UNTIL THEY TRY IT.

Moving on. We’re lucky enough to have a gym in our apartment complex. Thank god cause gym memberships can be expeeeeeensive. But sometimes it’s just not that motivating to take the elevator to the basement and see the same 4 people that go to the gym at the same time. Not wanting to spend money (a reoccurring theme in 362), but still wanting to switch up our fitness routine, we started looking around. Turns out there are so many free trials in LA!!!! WHO KNEW. Naturally, we scoured the internet for the longest ones to try out first and stumbled upon Core Power yoga. CORE POWER DOES A FREE WEEK PEOPLE. And apparently that’s nationwide. And apparently everyone seemed to already know this before Kelly and I did……but better late than never!

The first few classes were slightly brutal. It can be SO hard to shut your mind off and I don’t think I’ve ever taken that many deep breaths in my life. But after the week was over, I had noticed EXTREME differences. During my last class I was finally able to lay there, in complete stillness, extremely present in the moment. This may seem like a strange thing to note as a victory. Of course I noticed the obvious things like improved strength, flexibility and balance. But stillness. Stillness is a weird thing. To just sit there and be absolutely content with nothing moving except for your heart and lungs. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me. Like to the point where if I try to give myself a day off to just relax, it’s nearly impossible. That’s why I felt like I took a lot away from being able to tune out all other outside distractions. I also really loved the idea of setting a mantra or intent before going into a task- yoga or not- and being fully submerged in that mantra. Actually, since my experience at Core Power, I’ve even carried that over into my dancing by making my movement tailor to these specific rules or thoughts. Some that work really well for me are patience, vulnerability and persistence.

Now I’m no yogi by any means, but I’ll be back for sure. In fact, you may have seen me in the system as Molly Zymer coming in for her first free week!!! Yeah. I stooped that low and created an alias to get a free week- don’t tell my mom.

Anyway, I highly recommend yoga for your sanity, especially if you constantly struggle with not being present. I plan on buying a membership (a major hit to the bank account), but in the meantime the internet is a brilliant brilliant thing and if you can get past feeling like a freak doing yoga in your apartment, DO IT. Also, check out free shit in your area cause it’s insane. Especially when you live somewhere as big as Los Angeles. I’ll be testing out a variety of different work out methods (fo free) so stay tuned for more adventures. And more importantly, if you have any other suggestions for free trials out here letcho girl know!!!

In conclusion, yes. I’ve embraced the yoga-obsessed Californian stereotype and now I have to go so I can finish packing for Coachella……….#california #glutenfree #nonGMO #ihatemyself