Short trip to San Francisco Packing List

Nicole Voris

I pride myself on being a light packer.  I try to make it a game with myself to see how efficiently I can pack without missing anything I need.  With ballet though sometimes it feels like I need to pack two wardrobes, one for the studio and one for the street.

Here is what I brought:

Here’s what’s on the packing list.

Dance clothes:

  • 2 Ballet Zaida Leotards
  • 1 pair of black tights
  • 1 pair of bootie shorts
  • 1 theraband
  • 1 tennis ball
  • 1 pair of warm up pants
  • 1 pair of legwarmers
  • 1 pair of pointe shoes in good condition (to last through two classes)
  • 1 pair of flat shoes
  • 1 set of toe pads/toe spacers (not shown)
  • 1 black sweater that I will also wear as “street clothes”
  • 1 bag to use as my dance bag (I chose my favorite giraffe print bag that my mom got for me)

Regular clothes list:

  • 1 black sweater (same sweater from dance clothes list)
  • 1 pair of black jeans
  • 1 pair of black leggings
  • 3 shirts (one crop top, one turtle neck long sleeve, and one white blouse)
  • 6 pairs of underwear
  • 2 socks
  • 1 bra
  • 1 set of warm pajamas
  • 1 leather jacket (San Francisco can be cold all year round)
  • 1 pair of flats
  • 1 pair of ankle boots


  • My cross body bag that I will use as a purse
  • A tripod for my iphone
  • Cosmetics/toiletry bag
  • My reusable water bottle

Electronics (not shown above)

  • Iphone 6 plus
  • Ipad Mini
  • Charger
  • Headphones
  • My reusable water bottle


When making my packing list I try to choose clothes that go well together and are in the same color pallet.  I chose to go with mostly blacks and whites so that I could mix and match.  I also chose shirts that are easy to wash in the sink and that dry quickly.  My brown jacket isn’t in the white and black family, but I don’t have a problem wearing brown and black together, I personally find it aesthetically pleasing. :)

How did I pack it?  I have recently switched to using a travel backpack.  I use an Ebags weekend mother loader.  It has a ton of pockets, can pack a lot, fits my frame, and gives me much more freedom when traveling.

I packed all of my clothes and toiletries in the main pocket for convenience.  It’s easier for me if everything is together.  There is a center divider so I packed all of the dance clothes on the left and the regular clothes on the right.

I didn’t pack my boots, leather jacket, or leggings because I will wear them on the drive up.

In the back pocket regularly reserved for a laptop I packed my dance bag.

In one of the front pockets I took advantage of the organization system to pack my electronics.

I also packed my purse in that pocket so I would only have to worry about carrying my backpack when we get to our destination.

Fully packed!  I still have tons of room in the backpack and could probably fit twice as much! San Francisco, here we come!

Three Places To Visit In Singapore

Jeanette Kakareka

When English National Ballet is on tour, I always make an effort to go out and experience things any time that I'm free--even when I'm tired. While that does mean that our month-long tour in Asia was exhausting, it was also one of my most memorable trips!



The first night in Singapore, we arrived at our hotel very late at night after a long, but particularly enjoyable, flight from Beijing. The next day was a day off so we made our way to Sentosa, a small island with an assortment of activities to keep you busy.

The small group of us headed straight for Universal Studios, which is one of the first attractions you find on the island. It's certainly manageable to fit everything in one day, including more than one go on your favourite rides. Our favourites were the Revenge of the Mummy and Transformers: The Ride.

Later that night, even though we were tired from walking in the heat all day long, we grabbed a taxi and drove to the Night Safari. It's the world's first safari park built for nocturnal animals, separate from their daytime park. This was probably my favourite outing the whole month! Not only can you get amazingly (sometimes uncomfortably,) close to the animals, but they are also passionate about education and conservation. 

Our last show in Singapore was a 3pm matinee of Le Corsaire, so afterwards, we had a filling dinner of Singapore chilli crab and lots more seafood! The next day we ignored the predictions of rain and headed towards Sentosa again--this time for the Zipline! Here is a photo of us right after we were unlatched from the top!

And we couldn't leave without a small dip.

TIP: We realised this a little too late, but there is actually a train that you can take from the VivoCity tube stop (Level 3, Lobby L) to different stops inside of Sentosa. This is much easier (and cooler) than trying to walk the whole way across the boardwalk.

I can only hope that there will be an excuse for me to go back to Singapore one day!

Saturday morning beach adventure

Nicole Voris



Early on a Saturday morning we headed out.  That early there was little traffic, an unusual occurrence in Los Angeles.  

After an hour of driving through the Calabasas hills we arrived at the "hidden" beach. Hello El Matador!   It was still super foggy when we arrived around 9 am.  Hiking down a mix of steep trails and staircases we begin to see the rocks and boulders reaching out from the sand.


It was both stunning and creepy at the same time.  I couldn’t decide if it reminded more of the opening scene of a horror film or a romantic comedy.


Walking down the beach we navigated around rocks, boulders, and caves to come to our morning spot. 


In the next fifteen minutes the June gloom began to burn off revealing a new gorgeous scene.  This beach was so different from the other Los Angeles beaches I have been to.  Despite being surrounded by luxury homes, the boulders and caves block the view.  It gives you the impression that you are hundreds of miles away from civilization and only you and your fellow beach goers exist.  (The lack of Internet access probably contributes to this feeling.)

I feel lucky that I got to experience this gorgeous morning and am anxious to go back.  The ocean is healing to the soul.   If you get a chance to experience this beach try not to pass it up!!  Be sure to check the tide though, don't get stuck when it's high!

Day trip to Muir Woods

Nicole Voris


I fully admit to the fact that I am a city girl.  I love leaving my front steps and walking just a few blocks to my favorite restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and theaters.  Having grown up in the country though, I still love my escapes to the great outdoors.


On a recent trip to San Francisco we had a free day to do as we pleased.  I had never made it out to the beautiful Muir Woods despite having lived in the bay area for 3+ years.  The day we went was surprisingly warm, a rarity for the bay area.  The gorgeous centuries old trees provided us a stunning cover though.  We ventured off the boardwalk and onto one of the parks beautiful winding trails.  It was a perfect days escape from the city! And just look at those trees!!

If you ever make a trip out here remember to bring water and snacks.  Also try to take the shuttle instead of driving! Parking is a mess! Enjoy the ride instead of worrying about getting there! 


Blog Navigation

My top 3 coffee spots in Arizona

Alanna Christina

If you follow my Instagram it’s pretty clear that I love a good cup of coffee, it’s something that to me is a simple pleasure in life. If you ask my friends they’d  probably say how I get “overly excited” about coffee. (pshhh! No such thing as overly excited about coffee.) I also look for unique atmospheres of different coffee shops, I love going to places that have a special vibe all their own. To me, coffee shops are the place you go to hangout, read, work or just take a break from life and people watch. I’ll be sharing my top three favorite coffee shops in Arizona and the reasons behind them being so spectacular, and in no particular order as you’ll soon find out. To me, each shop is a special and unique gem of it’s own kind.

Starting with Echo Coffee in Scottsdale, AZ.

What’s right away a cool thing about Echo is that they are an organic coffee shop, pretty sweet right? They give off a relaxed vibe, playing great music that isn’t overly loud, and have friendly barista’s. Mainly the shop is filled with young professionals either quietly chatting or working/studying with books and laptops astray.

I seriously suggest trying there Dirty Chai. It’s my personal favorite from them.

Next up is Gold Bar Espresso in Tempe, AZ.

Gold Bar is sorta a dreamy neighborhood hangout spot, it’s my typical to go coffee and gathering place. Right away when you walk in you get the feeling of a quaint coffee shop, the owners and baristas are super sweet and always down for a chat. 

Depending on the time of day you go, Gold Bar is either filled with groups of friends, students studying (it’s literally surrounding by Schools) or old and young people alike just enjoying a cup of coffee and reading. Something I seriously adore about them is that they have game nights and live jazz once a week. 


Last up is Lux Central in Phoenix.

Lux has a magical-hiperstry-city-vibe to it, nothing beats the atmosphere they have going on. They have multiple rooms with tables and chairs to couches and arm chairs, filled with loads unique and awesome people.

Not only does Lux have amazing coffee and pastry’s, but they also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have a bar. So basically they have something for everyone. 

My personal favorite thing about Lux, their hours are unbeatable. Sundays-Thursdays they’re open from 6am-12am, and Fridays-Saturdays, 6am-2am.

So if you live in PHX, or your stopping on through, check out these places and drink some coffee loves. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.