To dance is to be outside yourself

Today is the first day of the State Championships for many Oregon dance teams, including my little sister, who is on the same team I was some five years ago! Did you catch that picture on my Instagram the other day, with a winning picture of me and my teammates holding our 1st place trophy? It was one of the best days of my life. So much hard work, talent, dedication and friendship combined to create a dance routine for the books that won us 1st place. Here's the picture in case you missed it!

Clackamas Cavalettes win State 2007

Our team was in the show division, which means we got to use a mat and props to make our routine more of a "show" than just a dance, make sense? I've been told many times that we looked like a color guard team, but we don't have those in Oregon, or at least they are not grouped in with dance teams at the competition level.

Yesterday and this weekend marks the 7 year anniversary of that show, "Hide and Seek" and I thought I'd share a video of that routine from my YouTube channel. I still am not tired of this song and could probably dance the entire thing from memory. Enjoy!

Clackamas Cavalettes present "Hide and Seek" - State 2007

♥ ♥ ♥

One more thing! I'm sponsoring one of my favorite blogs this month, Because of Jackie, and I'm a part of an awesome group giveaway on her blog! Enter in the Rafflecopter below for a chance at $120 PayPal cash! #legit #youknowyouwantit

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great weekend, everyone! And, GO CAVALETTES!!!


With just a bit of luck...

the harder you work the lucker you get

I am a bit Irish so maybe it's in my blood, but I've always been oddly lucky all my life. I've won more 
giveaways and contests in my life than the average person, all the way from elementary school fundraiser prizes to just last week on a blog contest. It may sound weird but I always get a funny feeling when I'm about to win something. Maybe I should try the lottery more often? Haha!

On another more serious note, I believe the main successes in life that may appear to others as "lucky" are actually the result of hard work and increasing your chances rather than pure luck. Like succeeding at your career or in relationships, there are a lot of things you can do to increase your chances of getting the dream job or finding that special person. You can do extra work outside of your current job to expand your portfolio, you can go to more meet-ups and networking events to expand your connections, you can go to more parties, outdoor clubs and social events to meet more people. 

Not everything you do necessarily guarantees a good outcome, but can prepare you in the best way possible so that you are ready and in a good position to accept a great opportunity (or person) if it comes along. I feel like this is really true of my life as of late and I can't wait to see how it pans out. Hard work counts. Keep working and good things will eventually come.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Spring Fever!

Maybe Oregon was just teasing, but we had a brilliantly sunny day yesterday. I'm talking clear blue skies, sun that almost felt warm on your skin and temperatures nearing the upper 50s. Whaaaat?! I guess this isn't as big of a deal compared with the rest of the country who has been stuck in a nonstop polar vortex, but let's just say Portland has had its own share of rain, doom, and gloom lately. I AM READY FOR SPRING. 

Here are some beautiful flowers I captured last night growing in the luscious I garden at my friend Mike's house. Well, he usually goes by Michael. Okay, you got me, it was at the craft store Michael's. And they're obviously fake. But still so pretty!!! <3

Spring Fever: a state of [stylish] grace

Spring Fever: a state of [stylish] grace

I need more real flowers in my life. What are you doing to tell Spring to hurry up?

Fashion Sketch Friday: Best Actress 2014!

Remember last week's Fashion Sketch Friday where I shared the infographic of all the dresses ever worn by all the Best Actress winners of the Academy Awards every year? And I promised to sketch the dress of the winner from Sunday's Oscars? Well, here it is! Finally a new sketch! I'm excited to get back into this again, I even bought a new sketch pad and (another) book on illustrating at Barnes and Noble last weekend.

Without further ado, here is the Academy Awards Best Actress winner of 2014, Cate Blanchett and her stunningly beautiful and sparkly Armani gown! My illustration first, then a picture of the real thing!

Best Actress dress 2014: Cate Blanchett | Illustration by Kayla Hedwall

Best Actress 2014: Cate Blanchett
Photo credit: Steve Granitz via Getty Images

What did you think of her gown? Some people have said it washed her out too much, but I thought it was gorgeous and so classy. Hey, I'd wear it! Such a perfect gown for the Oscars.

Inspiration: Full skirts and denim on denim

I've been doing a lot of blog browsing and Pinterest-ing recently to collect images and inspiration for my spring wardrobe as the season slowly changes here in the Pacific Northwest. It can be rainy and 40 degrees one day, then sunny, windy and almost 60 the next (this literally happened last week), so my "spring" wardrobe is quite varied, to say the least. I've got to be prepared for anything! Regardless of the weather, it's always nice to have warm, springtime outfit inspiration in store for when that day does finally arrive.

Currently inspired by...

I am in LOVE with the new below-the-knee, midi length style of skirt! It's so classy and can really add a glamorous element to an outfit if done the right way, especially with volume. Not to mention, this type of skirt flatters me well because of my height - Yay! No more short skirts that are like shirts on me!

Also, denim on denim is SO great if done right like Erica of Casually Styled did with contrasting hues. I'm still on the lookout for the perfect chambray button up.. any suggestions? P.S. Did you notice all the wonderful pink hues and a definite touch of Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid in these photos?! Both skirts are definitely in that category! Makes me want to head to the fabric store to see what I can find to make myself a skirt or dress in this beautiful hue... What are your thoughts on this new longer length skirt trend? Denim on denim looks like it's here to stay. What about pink on red? Let's chat!