Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Friday, December 19, 2014
This has got to be one of the most magical and busy Christmases I have ever experienced! And the very first thing I do after putting up my Christmas tree is attend a performance of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ at the Academy of Music by the ever-talented Pennsylvania Ballet company. Every year this magical performance wows me with its fanciful sets and whimsy, delightful dancing and holiday treats.
This year I took my fiancé Stephen, who has never seen any ballet before, much less The Nutcracker, for the Sunday afternoon December 14 performance. I was so excited to show him the wonder and merriment of this time-honored Christmas tradition.
The amazingly talented orchestra, conducted by Beatrice Jona Affron, drew us into the world of Marie and Fritz on Christmas Eve while they and their parents, Frau and Dr. Stahlbaum, welcome family and friends for a delightful party. Herr Drosselmeier, all the children’s favorite family member arrives with presents for them all, and he gifts Marie with a unique nutcracker. Tensions build when Fritz steals the dolls from Marie and smashes it’s head. Fritz was a delight to watch, even though he is very naughty!
Drosselmeier tends to the doll, and soon the guests must go. After all are gone, Marie sneaks to the ballroom and falls asleep with her doll to comfort it. Her mother finds her out of bed, and searches for her, finding her asleep, covers her up and hurries back to bed. And then Marie dreams the most wonderful dream- of brave toy soldiers fighting mischievous mice with a scary Mouse King, where she fearlessly assists The Nutcracker as he heroically defeats the Mouse King! Marie and her Nutcracker watch as it snows and the charming snowflakes dance their intricate steps, and wonder off to the Land of Sweets.
Act Two draws us in to the whimsical world of candy as The Sugarplum Fairy and her angels dance and the brave Nutcracker tells his heroic story. More sweets come to visit, including popping candy canes, hot chocolate, and tea, and my favorite- coffee- dance their delights. Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles make the audience giggle as they jump around, and the Dewdrop whirls among her flowers. The Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier are most impressive as they tell their romantic and beautiful story among the sweets, and dance a final pas de deux. Soon Marie and her Nutcracker must go, for it is time to awaken, and sail away with glorious memories and sweets and happiness in a Christmas dream.
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ always evokes a warm and fierce holiday spirit and I was so happy to show that to Stephen, which he loved! The Nutcracker is a children’s ballet, but it appeals to all ages and never fails to fill me with delight and wonder.
The Pennsylvania Ballet was founded in 1963 by Balanchine student and protégée Barbara Weisberger. The Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the nation’s leading ballet companies. The Company’s annual local season features six programs of classic favorites and new works, and always the Philadelphia holiday tradition, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™. For more information, visit paballet.org or call215.551.7000.
We continued our adventure to the Nutcracker Market in the Kimmel Center, where we found many glorious local vendors and bought up a good many things – spiced Chai Honey from Taste, seahorse pottery, ornaments, and more. After watching the entertainment – dancers and carolers, we greeted Santa Claus and Mrs Claus then headed out into the afternoon- on our next adventure!
Don’t miss this time-honored family tradition. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ performances run until Wednesday, December 31.
Special thanks to the Academy of Music.
PA Ballet George Balanchine's The Nutcracker company artist photos courtesy of PA Ballet and by Alexander Iziliaev.
Friday, December 12, 2014
I asked my friend Amanda what her fave beauty product was:
|Too Faced Natural Face Makeup|
#500DaysOfBeauty- Day 33
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Kate Schumacher, Sales & Marketing Manager.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Monday, December 1, 2014
When I first heard about Zyn Beauty- essentially mobile makeup- I was intrigued. Doesn't it take a long time to get gorgeous? Time most of us don't have; I know I don't.
Zyn Beauty is the brain child of two attorneys- the tagline balance between busy and beautiful- certainly had a niche to fill. Who has hours to stand around and get their makeup done? Most of us have to get up pretty early in the morning to achieve a gorgeous face- and Zyn knows you don't have a lot of time, but want to look your best. And- also, no one wants to pay hundreds for this either.
Enter the brilliance of Zakiya and Nirvana, who often found themselves canceling beauty appointments if they worked late, or not being able to fit an appointment into their busy lives. They decided to create a mobile service that went to the client and worked with their needs- hair, nails, makeup- without the client having to travel to several locations.
I told Angela the look I was going for: sexy-casual, with full hair and great makeup. Most of my classmates I see on FaceBook, but it's been a while since I've seen many of my classmates in person.
Angela is a true professional- she added product and turned my fine hair into a full head of fun curls with body and sassy bangs. My makeup was a palette of bronzes and golds with dramatic eyes and a first for me- false eyelashes- which once they were on I loved wearing! So bold!
And at the reunion- everyone said I looked fabulous, which was very awesome to hear. The confidence that those false eyelashes gave me was great!
The thanks goes to Angela Ware and Zyn Beauty!
Day 32 #500DaysOfBeauty
Saturday, November 15, 2014
I recently discovered a wee gem set in the heart of Philadelphia, in the Rittenhouse area on 17thstreet. As you know, dear readers, this blog is all things beauty, all products, all pampering. When a friend mentioned this place I wanted to try it out. I love all things that pamper me!
Le Rêve Spa has all the typical spa elements, plus a Himalayan salt bed, deluxe décor, and pampering products. Waxing, nails, massage, makeup, Botox (and more), couples relaxation massages, aromatherapy treatments, bridal spa parties, steam showers and so much more. I was booked for a waxing and massage- and that time was too short.
Owner Sophia Brodsky, from the Ukraine and into all things spa, has opened her dream facility and ready to pamper all ye who enter these crystal and wood hallways.
First, we began the waxing procedures in the comfy wax room. I was given a choice of soft warm wax with a cloth strip (and pulled) which I what I am used too. Or, I could try the hard wax- a melty wax that quickly hardens and is solid enough to pull and remove the hair. I opted for the hard wax for my bikini area and…my underarms!
I am a 14 year veteran of bikini waxes- I will never shave again ever- but I have never waxed my dainty armpits. I don’t have a lot of hair, which can be a problem shaving. There are fine hairs in hard to reach spots and I figured waxing it off would handle it. And I wouldn’t have to worry about shaving for some time!
My beauty therapist, Nagi, first did the bikini wax using the hard wax- the usual oh! Moment but def hurt less than traditional soft hot wax & strip. I had to wait a bit (a few minutes) for the wax to harden as opposed to spreading the hot wax then placing the strip and yanking- this process takes longer but doesn’t hurt as much.
Then we moved upwards to my underarms. Nagi said I had cute little underarms and not much hair so it would not take long. I wanted to try this treatment because I seem to miss spots and have to resort to dry-shaving in the mirror.
She spread on the wax, waited, and pulled. It didn’t even hurt! (guess I had numbed them with all my previous dry-shaving lol). I was pretty pleased with the entire process- I won’t be shaving my underarms anymore. Like my bikini line, waxing it is!
After this, Nagi brought me some water and I changed into a soft robe and slippers and was lead into another treatment room. Soft lightening and the scent of lavender filled the air. I got onto the massage table and Nagi began working on my back.
I wish I could tell you how the entire body massage was, but I had drifted off somewhere in the middle. I wasn’t paying much attention, only on how fantastic this massage was. I was so relaxed, so comfortable, that I just zoned out. I would awake every so often, but I would float away again.
When my therapist finished her massage, I was blissed out. All my muscles felt great and I felt like all the knots were worked out. After the massage, I was reminded to drinks lots of water to get the toxins out. She was very professional. I tend to carry a lot of stress in my hands and lower back (sitting and writing all day!), and she worked on those problem areas.
Out the door I went, and I wasn’t even stressed out by traffic on 76. That’s how relaxed I was!
So treat yourself or someone you love to a day at Le Rêve Spa in Rittenhouse. Prices are good, atmosphere is nice, and you’ll feel so much better. It was a nice respite from a crazy week!
Le Rêve Rittenhouse Spa
(215) 563-8888 - Spa
(215) 790-4444 - Medical Spa Services