At Home With The James: DIY Wooden Cubes

Posted on: April 25, 2015

ispydiy_boxholderI have been searching and searching for something to fill a large empty wall in our bathroom.  I think I found it! If you have not visited I Spy DIY yet you need to! It’s one of my favorite spots for DIY on the internet!


Clean, simple, and geometric! If you visit Jenni over at I Spy DIY you can get all the links to make this yourself! Happy DIY-ing!



Type Casted Cut

Posted on: April 22, 2015

Another peek behind the curtain into the dance world. I hope you aren’t sick of “dance world” posts yet or else you are in the wrong corner of the internet :) Someone asked me a funny question last night and it sparked my interest to write.  They said “so now that you have an agent, should you have booked a job by now?” I don’t think this person was asking to be pushy or rude just an honest question.  I explained what I am about to explain to all of you.


Thankfully there is a lot of opportunity in LA for dancers right now and a lot of different paths to take. I decided if I am going to be in LA I should explore as many avenues as I can.  Exploring the commercial side is a bit tricker than I am used to.  It comes with a lot more than just dancing. Professional headshots, bodyshots, and dance photos like the one above (terrified to post it so don’t judge) and stepping into auditions and stepping out 5 minutes later.  Type casting is the largest part of the commercial world. Height, weight, eye color, hair color, skin color, body type etc… I usually walk into an audition and walk out minutes later after not being the right type.  Kind of a bummer but it is what it is and no time wasted.

Its a lot. It’s a lot for me to handle most of the time and I’m learning how to deal with it. What I want the outside world to know is that it’s simple.  50 auditions and you may only book two. It takes time and lots of work to get what you want out here.  I guess you could say I am learning patience and self confidence.  Its not easy to walk in and walk right out but every time it gets a little easier.  Getting cut is no reflection on how good of a person I am or sometimes even my talent! There isn’t a ton I can change about myself but there is always room to grow and improve.  Especially in class! I feel so lucky to be here because this is the place to do just that.  This is the place to change and grow regardless of how many jobs I may or may not book.



Stand Up For Art

Posted on: April 18, 2015



I sat down to write this post and found myself browsing the internet instead.  I haven’t been inspired to write lately and I think it’s because I am so frustrated with the dance world right now. I’m being a little dramatic to categorize my feelings into the entire dance world but I think it boils down the the publics opinion on dance.  Thanks to youtube, instagram, and access to unlimited video, art is slowly fading away.  No one attends live performances anymore and reality TV stars have become more important than great thinkers and artists. I’m no internet bully hiding behind my computer. I respect and often times am impressed by the talent I see on shows like Dance Moms, SYTYCD, and Dancing With The Stars. Many close friends have participated on these shows and have had great success. I sit here to question the value of those shows. I’ve auditioned for SYTYCD and actually got through vegas week.  Its was hard but an amazing opportunity to be dancing along side americas best.  The only problem was that the producers and judges were only interested in my back story or if I could do cool tricks.  I stood there as a nervous 19 year old as the judges proceeded to tell me I lacked personality.  Am I not interesting enough as a dancer? What about as a human being? What about as an artist? Is art defined by the amount of turns I can do or how flexible I am? I certainly hope not because I won’t get very far if that’s the case.  Art is exploration, not perfection. Art is visual. Art is human expression.

You may be offended to hear this but little dancers on stage in chin stands and scorpions does nothing for my soul! Flips and tricks is old news guys.  Where is their room for real dancers in this industry? The world believes dance is about the wow factor and perfect dancer bodies.  It’s not.  It’s about pushing the boundaries of what’s been done and challenging our bodies past their limits. I wish the world could see what goes on in the studio and the magic that happens there. Why is it so hard for you to hire me without a famous name or TV show under my belt?  Is my talent enough? It’s sad that some of the most brilliant dancers I know are turned away SYTYCD or America’s Got Talent because they didn’t show off cool tricks on stage.  Boring! Or they didn’t have an inspiring enough back story.  That boggles my mind. Everyone has fought their own personal battles, large or small, let it be about dance! Because I’ve lived a “normal life” and have a normal girl body type I won’t make it in this business. I refuse to believe that. I stand up for art and my craft.  Its about time the rest of the world does too…



What You Don’t See On Social Media

Posted on: April 3, 2015


Meagan over at Because Of Jackie recently posted about things she isn’t great at and it inspired me to write a similar post! Social media (mostly instagram) makes the world look a little too perfect.  I mean who really posts that unflattering picture or messy kitchen? No one! So here it is folks.  All my dirty laundry for you to see :)

Documenting my life.  As you can see above I was scraping the barrel for a picture with this post.  I don’t love pictures of myself and therefore never take em! I’m also pretty terrible at bowling so I guess its a relative picture.

Closing the cupboards. Carson hates it. I can’t seem to close a cupboard after using it.  That goes with shutting doors too. oops…My mind moves a hundred miles an hour and I can’t keep up!

I am terrible at math. Anything that has the slightest to do with numbers shuts my brain off. It’s a good thing I picked a dance career because I would have struggled otherwise! Sorry future littles, daddy is going to have to help you with homework. #sorrynotsorry

Organizing my closet is a daily battle. When I’m at work and folding yoga pants, I am the master organizer, but for some reason when I get home I can’t bring myself to be that organized. Its a mystery.  Lack of efficiency at works kills me but I am not that stressed about it at home.

I hate to say this one since I pretend so well (wink wink) but I am not a good cook.  I have maybe 3 meals I am good at and they are already mostly prepared by trader joes. I’ve gotta work on that one…

Sometimes being a girl! The last thing on my mind is a mani/pedi or even blow drying my hair for that matter! I do love getting ready on the days I have to so maybe that one needs to be more of a habit :) I’ll keep ya posted on that one.

I get distracted very easily.  Completing the task at hand rarely happens because I have been distracted by another task in the other room. They eventually all get done, but wouldn’t it be easier if I just finished it and then moved on? The answer to that one is yes. Yes it would.

I can’t say no. I get stuck planning events or gatherings and I hate it! I cannot say no without a huge explanation. Am I alone on this one?! Disappointing people kills me!

There it is friends. Social media makes everyone look perfectly put together but in reality we’re all just human. Probably comparing ourselves to each other not realizing everyone is fighting their own battles, large or small. I consider cleaning my closet a battle.



At Home With The James: Bring Spring In

Posted on: April 1, 2015

I love spring! Sun of your skin, fresh flowers, farmers markets, and long walks outside. Something about spring that gets me excited to get up in the mornings! Why not bring it inside too?! I have the easiest decor tip for you today!


I’m a collector of glass bottles.  All shapes and sizes. We brought home some fresh flowers the other day and we don’t have a vase! Luckily I have a handful of glass bottles and used one of those! It’s my new favorite decor piece in the house.  Cheap & simple.


Your up next.  How do you bring spring in?!



Married In My Twenties + A Madewell Giveaway

Posted on: March 30, 2015

Its a deep post today so I am giving you fair warning! If you would like to skip it all over and head straight to the Madewell $75 gift card giveaway be my guest! If not you can listen to me rant on and on about marriage.


About a year ago, I wrote a post about being married in my twenties and why it isn’t popular with young people right now.  Since that post, and mostly moving to LA, everyone I encounter is shocked to find out the ring on my finger isn’t from my recent engagement.  Their eyes go even wider when I inform them its coming up on four years of marriage.  “4 years?! You must’ve been a child bride!” I wasn’t exactly a child bride but yes, I was young at age 20.  If you asked any of my high school friends you would know that it was not in the plans to get married till at least 27.  I had huge dreams and accomplishments I wanted to achieve before tying the knot.  I wasn’t boy crazy in high school and that didn’t bother me at all. I spent most of my time at the studio or working to pay for classes at the studio.  What I will say is that god obviously knows me better than I know myself and knew exactly what I needed at age 20.  I won’t go into our whole dating/engagement story but I fell in love and why wait when you’ve found the one?

Fast forward four years and there is SO MUCH I have learned about myself.  None of it was in a handbook and I cannot image what kind of person I would be without this huge growing experience. I’ve said this before and I will say it again…marriage at a young age isn’t for everyone and in no way am I telling you you should be married at 20, but there aren’t enough voices out there telling you how it really is. So I will!

Your responsibilities change. Suddenly life is no longer about only about you.  Taking on responsibilities of adulthood is so much easier with somebody else by your side. Dishes, grocery shopping, bills, laundry, and housework is easily dived.  I’ve learned I hate finances.  Carson isn’t a fan of laundry so we even each other out. No fights about whose turn it is next, it’s just natural. Finances can be stressful but i’m so grateful (especially out here in LA) that we have each other’s paychecks to provide for ourselves.

Your fears get bigger and scarier. Your dreams are not the only ones you kneel and pray for at night.  Carson’s dreams are as important as my own and we equally support each other. We jump for joy at new opportunities and struggle together when we fail. Those fears will multiply when kids enter the picture too.

We’re growing up together. You all know I was married at 20 and of course I still had some growing up to do. From the outside looking in, I am sure many would say wait to be married till you fully know yourself.  Do we ever fully know ourselves? I’ve learned more about myself in the last 4 years than I did in the previous 10. Its like when teachers say they learn more from their students than the students from them. I feel the same way.  Carson has taught me more about myself by simply being my husband.  I’ve been show the deepest parts of me, laughed till I cried, and cried till I fell asleep, all with someone who loves me.

I’d rather have a friday night in. I’ve become a home body. I enjoy having my own career as well as friends, but all I want at the end of the day is to go home to my spouse.  The best of days and the worst of days, all I want to be is home.

I am not a perfect wife. While dating I tried to be the perfect version of my self. Confident, witty, and all put together.  That slowly slips away with marriage and I’m ok with that.  The real me (in all my yoga pant glory) has slowly made her way out.  I like her better.  She is real. She laughs and cries. She has her share of struggles, but she is happy. She is happy to be spending these exciting years of her life with her eternal companion.


Just because it’s monday, and I am all giddy about marriage, I have a giveaway for you! Get your entries in for a chance at a $75 Madewell giftcard!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Juice With Jessie Ann

Posted on: March 23, 2015

IMG_1934Happy monday friends! Spring is officially here and I’ve started a new weekly organic basket pickup! Every saturday we pick up our basket from Abundant Harvest  without a clue of what veggies/fruits we will be receiving.  Whatever is in season and the most fresh, we get! The basket was filled with a ton of delicious produce and a lot of lemons! I decided not to let anything go to waste and make some fresh juice! Here are a few of my favorite combinations:

Carrot + Apple + Lemon (Pictured above)

Spinach + Apple + Carrot + Lemon

Pineapple + Cucumber


Green Apple+Spinach+Kale+Lemon

Blood Orange+Tangerine +Grapefruit

Juice is something I love and is way overpriced here in LA! I can always tell when I need a fresh veggie juice.  Yesterday I was lethargic and guessed I was low on iron, I’m anemic, so I juiced some spinach I had in the fridge.  Just enough for a shot because it was nasty, but the health benefit was immediate.  I felt my body telling me that was just what I needed and I had more energy and clarity for the rest of the day! I would rather heal my body naturally than pop a pill any day! What’s your favorite juice recipe?



I’m Feelin’ Lucky Today

Posted on: March 17, 2015


It’s St Patty’s Day! As a kid I LOVED this holiday! Green pancakes for breakfast, little leprechaun feet in the house, and pinching anyone not in green! I was the kid decked out in green at school! My favorite! As I get older this holiday kinds of turns into Thanksgiving for me.  I look around and realize how lucky I am.

I feel lucky to live in a day an age where I can chase my dreams as a woman.  I am not held back by society to hold a career.  I feel lucky to be a woman in general.  I feel lucky when the time comes to carry a baby and create a new little life.

I feel lucky to be married.  I married young and while its not for everyone, it was for me.  I feel lucky to spend my ups and downs with my best friend.  I feel lucky we have each other to laugh, cry, and support. I feel lucky to be loved and in love.

I feel lucky to live in sunny California.  I don’t feel lucky to sit in traffic, but I do feel lucky to lay in the sun, dance all week long, and meet new people.

I feel lucky to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I feel lucky to find members wherever we are.  I feel lucky to know god and his love.

I feel lucky to have a body.  A body I push to the limits with exercise and one that allows me to move freely.

I feel lucky to be a dancer.  I wouldn’t wish this lack of job security on anyone, but I do feel lucky to use my body as a tool of communication and performance.  I feel lucky to be able to touch people with movement and tell my stories.

I feel lucky to be alive.

Are you feeling lucky today?


At Home With The James: 6 Killer DIY Projects For Your Home

Posted on: March 6, 2015

I shared my favorite snap shot of our home with our gallery wall and now I am itching to DIY the rest of the apartment! Our style has changed so much since we’ve been married and I’m thankful for it.  Looking back at our first place makes me giggle at what I had on the walls :)


I’ve gathered some of my favorite and easy DIY’s that will hopefully end up in the James household soon! My favorite ladies over at A Beautiful Mess are the queens of DIY and I am dreaming of this Acrylic Message Board. The possibilities are endless with this board! I can see it in our future nursery too! (no we are not prego…someday)


All thanks to my husband being a 3m employee, I am loaded with washi tape and came across this DIY Washi Tape Wall from everythingemily. I have the perfect wall in store for this!


Another DIY from A Beautiful Mess.  Can you tell I am a little obssesed with them?! This Honeycomb Shelving would be perfect in our bathroom.


This may be my favorite.  I am a sucker for simple and the contrast of black and white.  What a great idea for cable organization.

all sides 2

Geometric shapes are my jam. I stumbled upon this photo display over at The Caldwell Project and it’s perfect.  Gold wires, Polaroid style photos, and shapes! If you wanna come over this weekend we can make this. Bring a treat…


 Last but not least the Hanging Book Shelf. Guys….. this is it. This is all I need in my bedroom and I could die happy. Such a whimsical little accent for our bedroom!



When I’m Not Blogging

Posted on: March 2, 2015


How about that new headshot?! Do I look like I could book a disney audition? Let’s sure hope so! This LA dance world is so silly sometimes. Let’s move on…

Hello to all my new readers! Welcome welcome! Although I am not an everyday blogger, I don’t have a lot of important things to say daily, many of you newbies may wonder what I do behind the scenes.


When I’m not blogging you can find me catching up on my favorite shows while I clean or cook.  I’m not sure why but I can’t handle the silence of an empty house.  I like to have background noise while I clean and get things done.  Silence is a little off putting to me!

When I’m not blogging you can find me digging through itunes and spotify for new music.  As a choreographer and teacher I am always on the search for new material to inspire me!

When I’m not blogging I’m working part time at lululemon athletica.  Yes, it is VERY dangerous for my paycheck considering that’s all I wear.

When I’m not blogging I am bumping around my kitchen working on choreography. Its the only space large enough in our apartment and it conveniently has wood flooring. The puppies seem to think they need to be involved as well.

When I’m not blogging I am on a plane.  I seriously need an apartment at the airport because I seem to be there way to often.  Its bittersweet because when I travel I am usually headed to a studio and I LOVE those trips, but I don’t love the airport.

When I’m not blogging I’m running the puppies out to piddle.  Their bladders are way to small.

When I’m not blogging you can find me in class. Dance, yoga, pilates, you name it!  I love LA for this reason! It’s always humbling, but if I could be paid to take class that would be a dream.

When I’m not blogging you can catch my husband and I eating homestyle flavored popcorn, in front of netflix, and surfing amazon. We are proud amazon prime members.  If you aren’t prime you should look into that:)

When I’m not blogging you can catch me surfing my favorite blog for DIY home decor and wishing I was that creative. They’re pretty creative over there:)

Life behind the scenes may not be terribly exciting but it’s the life I love.


p.s. did you enter the J Crew giveaway?!


All rights reserved © Jessie Ann James · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie