Booty Rolls

Posted on: January 27, 2015


Yes you read that right. Booty rolls. Hair whips. Crop tops. High heels.

I made a goal with the new year to take at least two classes a week that are completely out of my comfort zone. I’m pretty comfortable in a hip hop class but ask me to be girly or whip my hair and I shrivel like a raisin.

Not saying that the only classes out here are sassy and girly, there are many styles, but if I am going to start auditioning I should learn to get comfortable in any setting. Since I am indeed a girl, being girly may be something I should be comfortable with, don’t you think?

Scary right? But I think it’s kinda fun. Who knows if I am making a fool of myself in those classes as a little white girl but I’m going for it. Thankfully, I’m still an individual and can make choices about what I allow myself to do. So no, I’m not saying because I live here I have to be whipping my hair all the time but I do need to push myself.

Jumping into a contemporary, jazz, and some hip hop classes I usually can hold my own but i’ve taken some classes lately that have really put me out of my box….I branched out and took class from a teacher I wasn’t familiar with and everyone around me was equally amazing.  I secretly just wanted to sit in the back and watch. The level of talent out here is insane!

What’s that quote about living outside your comfort zone? if you know it please do share because it needs to be my motto!



10 Things I’ve Learned in LA Traffic

Posted on: January 25, 2015



1. There are no laws. Ok maybe not that dramatic but in the handbook it says to follow the flow of traffic at all times.  Welp… if the flow of traffic is going 80 then you betta keep up!

2. Merging is a near death experience.  Motorcycles are allowed to drive in between lanes and come flying up behind you at any moment.  Imagine trying to merge and some motorcycle comes zipping up in your exact merge spot!

3. Everyone believes they are more important than you.  They’ve got somewhere to be and of course they need to get there faster than you.

4. Find an audiobook or soothing meditation music.  If your going to be sitting in your car for at least an hour at a time you might as well make it useful. It’s the perfect time for choreo music search and some car-ography.

5. Cops will stop you for talking on the cell phone but didn’t seem to notice the land rover next to me flying by at at least 85.  goodness even I know that’s over the speed limit.

6. When a really expensive car drives by I secretly hope for a celeb citing. It has yet to happen…

7. We now measure distance in time rather than miles.

8. A great pair of shades is required. Thank you Target.

9. Somehow I am always amazed that there is traffic at 6 am.  Why is everybody up?! A drive to the airport for an 8 am flight is impossible!

10. I’m getting used to this LA commute just like I got used to the Minnesota winter.  Its a love hate relationship.  A necessary evil if you will. If it means great class or new adventures i’ll take it!


This is my mark

Posted on: January 23, 2015


james'15-67Photography by Chantel Marie

I am so excited to share my new website with all of you! I’m mostly excited to have a space that I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts, ideas, and sometimes even my moves! My first blog, “A Spoonful of Freckles”, started out as health and fitness related blog and over the last few years it has evolved into so much more.  To be honest, I almost felt hypocritical always posting about health when I had my days of eating donuts and didn’t feel all that healthy.  It almost made me crazier to be so health focused 24/7.  I needed some balance. So that’s what you’ll see here. Balance. And hopefully a lot of honesty. This is a space that I can speak about my life as a professional dancer, wife, and all that comes with that.  Of course you will still find me ranting about health since it is something I am passionate about, but you’ll get puppy pictures, marriage adventures, and travel all mixed in! We moved to LA to chase our dreams and I am so excited to document the adventures ahead. 



Happy White Christmas from Us to You!

Posted on: December 31, 2014

IMG_1397IMG_1408We are soaking up our White Christmas and all that Utah has to offer this time of year.  Mine and Carson’s families are both in Utah and its been non stop family time so far.  Not that we mind of course! What a blessing to have so many fantastic people in our lives to spend the holidays with! Did you notice we are matching?! We didn’t even realize it till after we took the photo:) We must live together or something.  Wink Wink. I’m going to keep this short to get back to the family fun so Happy Holidays from the James Gang! We’ll see you in the New Year!


Jessie Ann


Pocos De Caldas, Campinas, & Sao Paulo (Brazil Part 3)

Posted on: December 27, 2014

IMG_1011 IMG_1019I told Carson I wanted a cute shot of us in the two windows. I strike a smile and then chloe, behind the camera, starts giggling.  I look over and Carson is all over the place striking yoga poses and who knows what else! I almost peed my pants giggling at him! So much for my cute photo!
IMG_1031IMG_1035IMG_1040Zoo in Campinas! One of the best zoo’s we have visited so far! The zoo was basically ours the whole day due to rain and the animal enclosures were almost dangerous! We were so close to the animals it was crazy!

IMG_1055Missionary Training Center in Sao Paulo

IMG_1054Cookie Cafe across the street from the MTC where they would email home!


Jessie AcaiDinner and Acai with Carson’s “son” from the mission! A “son” on the mission is a brand new missionary who a more Senior missionary trains! I was so sick of Brazilian food I requested anything but that and we ended up at Outback! It was somehow better in Brazil :)

IMG_3415IMG_3417Futbol Museum in Sao Paulo. Carson was like a kid in a candy shop! ( I secretly loved it too)

IMG_1077Sao Paulo Brazil LDS TempleIMG_1090President and Sister Vieira.  In Carson’s words, “So much of who I am today I owe to my mission President and his wife.  I am still learning from their incredible example.”
IMG_1097On the drive back to Rio from Sao Paulo, we made a pit stop at a local beach to enjoy our last afternoon in Brazil.  We reflected on the many people we connected with and the memories made.  This was a trip we’ll never forget and I am so thankful to have seen the places Carson served and meet the people who changed his life.


Jessie Ann

Visiting Carson’s Mission (Brazil Part 2)

Posted on: December 22, 2014

IMG_0962LDS Chapel where Carson and Seth Served

IMG_0975IMG_0976Visiting member families 
IMG_1046IMG_0979LDS ward in Ribeirao Preto (Carson served in this ward for 9 months)IMG_1045IMG_1103My most favorite person we visited! She was a major part of Carson’s mission and I wanted her to come live with us in the states! She is an amazing/hilarious woman! IMG_0983Carson and Seth’s old apartment in Ribeirao Preto where they both served in the mission office. IMG_1006IMG_1004IMG_0992

We mainly planned our Brazil trip to visit the places that Carson and Seth served their LDS missions, so after 4 days in Rio we headed out cross country! We spent the next few days on the interior of Brazil and made stops in Passos, Mococa, and then Ribeirao Preto.  Ribeirao Preto is where Carson and Seth served a year of their missions together in the mission office.  The members in these cities were so happy to have us! Everyone wanted to feed us! It’s a miracle we had room in our stomachs at the end of the day for more! I couldn’t help but tear up as the members expressed their thanks and love for Carson’s service.  It was such a testimony of missionary work and that the gospel is universal! The faith of the members amazed me! Their circumstances are so different and they live with a lot less than we do, yet their love for god and the gospel does not waiver. We enjoyed church is Carson’s old ward which was all in Portuguese.  I quickly learned to just smile and nod since most members didn’t speak english and I looked to Carson for translations. I beamed with pride as he greeted those he baptized and members of the ward he worked closely with.  We visited the mission office and made sure to eat at all of Carson and Seth’s favorite spots too! Lots of Pao de queijo (cheese bread) and all things unhealthy. When in Brazil right?


Jessie Ann

Rio De Janeiro (Brazil Part 1)

Posted on: December 20, 2014

IMG_0865IMG_0874IMG_0876Maracana Soccer Stadium

IMG_0880IMG_0883Christ The Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)




Favela’s (considered the ghetto of Rio)

IMG_0917Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao De Acucar)

IMG_0903IMG_0913The first salad I saw in days.  Brazilians don’t eat to many of those :) Check out that humidity hair?! #nailedit

IMG_0933IMG_0935IMG_0921Botanical Gardens of Rio


IMG_0949Arpoador Beach

Rio was beautiful! Full of tourist sites mixed with the local culture of Brazil.  The stark contrast of the favela’s and the well kept tourist sites was so different than anything I’ve ever seen. Driving through those I almost felt unsafe and experienced a small piece of culture shock.  It reminded me to count my blessings for the environment I grew up in.  We experienced Rio like real americans complete with Chloe’s purse being stolen, major sunburns, and local (not so great) food.  Thankfully Carson and Seth speak fluent Portuguese or we really would’ve stuck out like sore thumbs.  We rented a car shortly after arriving and driving in Rio was an experience in itself.  Although it was crazy and slightly dangerous I am so glad we did.  We saw most of the city and had the freedom to explore as we pleased.  We spent our last day at Arpoador Beach before we headed cross country to visit where Carson and Seth served their LDS missions. Stay tuned for Part 2!


Jessie Ann


Posted on: November 21, 2014

We don’t have any access to Internet or wireless here in Brazil unless we are at the hotel in the evenings. I will say it has been the best thing to not have my phone on me for the larger part of the day. Real conversations are required at meals, laughing in the car as we navigate rio, and genuine connections and memories are being made between friends.

I wish I could live this way constantly and maybe this will inspire change in our lives at home. I am taking it all in and not missing a single thing by staring at my phone the whole day. The world moves on and it’s ok to miss out on what’s happening. Time to experience my life in the now.

Jessie Ann

Cross Training As A Dancer Part 2: Cardio

Posted on: November 18, 2014

So we covered Crossfit in my last post and today let’s discuss cardio. Dancers spend a lot of time in the studio and you may think we are burning calories like crazy. Yes we are but its more of an anaerobic workout than aerobic and it’s the same affect as running for an hour. As a dancer I hate running. It hurts my joints and I get super bored, but I know dancers who love it. If you are a runner I suggest keeping it to 30-45 min sessions a couple times a week with some intervals to boost your metabolism. I’m not a certified trainer so take my advice as you like it, but this has worked me! I also love intervals on the elliptical! Saves my joints and I find I can get a good aerobic workout with intervals, resistance, and incline. Some awesome workout ideas on a previous post of mine about cardio ideas!

I recently fell in love with SoulCycle. It’s a trendy spin studio that kicks your butt! The environment is empowering and the workout I get is amazing! The only downside is, I develop muscle quickly in my legs and again I was finding I was loosing flexibility and only strengthening the large muscle groups and neglecting the smaller ones dancers require. That’s when you listen to your body and maybe just spin twice a week supplemented with yoga or pilates. We’ll talk about how much I love those last two later!

It’s so important to find what works for you!! Everyone’s body types are different and what works for me may not work for you. I do suggest to my fellow dancers to take good care of your bodies (especially as we age) and train to support your dancing!

That’s my two cents! Happy cardio!


Jessie Ann

Leavin’ On A Jet Plane

Posted on: November 16, 2014

We are taking a vacation! It’s well overdue and Carson is taking me to Brazil to visit where he served his LDS Mission! It’s been 5 years since he’s been home and we are pumped this all worked out to go visit! Carson is glowing with excitement and I can’t wait for the beach!


Jessie Ann

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