Eat Well Wednesday: Fan Favorite

Eat Well Wednesday Uncategorized

0Good morning Framers!  This morning I reached for a granola bar for breakfast (I’m not the best breakfast eater).  Brunch,  however, is a different story.  I’m GREAT at brunch.


Anyway, it reminded me of this post from Jill about taking a look at the ingredient list of those easy snacks we all enjoy and rely on.  Here’s a little reminder, and a great recommendation.  Have you all tried the bar that she recommends at the bottom?


There are some scary ingredients in pre-packed foods and some most consumed convenience food is cereal and granola bars.  They make for quick breakfasts and easy snacks.

The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice convenience for wholesome nutrition!  By making better choices at the store, you can make better choices for the food you choose to fuel you and your families’ bodies with.

 Let’s do some comparisons, starting with granola bars. 


(Hey Special K may only have 90 calories, but they almost have 90 ingredients too!  Yikes.)

Red flags in the ingredient list are hydrogenated oils, Red # 40, and BHT (A scary preservative used to lengthen shelf life, but is also found in embalming fluid and jet fuel.)  Here is a much better option…..

 Cascade Farms Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bars


With half the ingredients of the Special K bars and very little preservatives, these would be a much better alternative to the sugar filled, artificial bars.


I would also HIGHLY RECOMMEND these delicious bars:

 Kind Bars are the bomb!!

Not only are they well-balanced with protein, carbohydrates and fats, the ingredient list is stellar!!
Look for these sweet little treats at all major grocery stores and Starbucks.



 Remember to look for foods that have simple ingredients lists.  

Eliminate the fake stuff, artificial ingredients and preservatives.  

Go for the simple, wholesome, well-balanced snacks and your

body will love you!

I hope this information helps you navigate the snack isle a bit better.  Be Well!
 0-1Jill Tarpey is leading us Wednesday by Wednesday into making better food choices and being more healthful. Tune in every Wednesday to get some great recipes and advice from someone who really knows health. In an effort to fuel her passion to serve as well has enhance the lives of others through their nutritional choices, she started Eat Well SA(San Antonio). Her vision is to educate you on how to incorporate a healthy array of foods into your life. Eat Well is not a diet, nor does it embrace any one specific dietary agenda. She also offers customized programs that are educational and teach you the tools you need to maintain healthy, well-balanced eating for your busy lives.


MFA Monday: Rebekah Chappell

MFA Mondays

Hi Framers!  A very happy summer Monday to you!  We are embarking on some exciting and fresh MFA Monday contributions this summer, and we are thrilled to begin with Rebekah Chappell.  She is about to leave Houston for an MFA program and tells us here about how she chose a program.  Reading this, I was impressed by how thoroughly she searched for the right program, and her very wise steps to get to her final choice.  What do you think?

photo by Simon Gentry
photo by Simon Gentry


MFA Monday Part I:

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to pursue my MFA in Dance. I love school. I love the community of learning, the diversity of disciplines and perspectives, the atmosphere of inquiry and exploration, the smell of new books, the hustle and bustle of the campus, and the fresh start every semester. Most of all I love the relationships that are built through discussion and inquiry. I have been researching Graduate Schools for years, taking notes, making lists, and asking every MFA graduate I know about the process.  This past winter I auditioned at Smith College, The University of Maryland, and The University of Iowa.  I accepted an offer at The University of Iowa, and will begin Fall 2014.  Here are a few things I learned in the process and questions I encourage you to ask if you are considering returning to school.


 Researching programs:

 What are you looking for in a program?  As I began my research, I had a short list of must haves including the opportunity to teach, as well as emphasis on improvisation, somatic practices, and choreography for alternative spaces. My deal breaker was financial aid. I only applied to programs that offered a full tuition waiver to ALL students accepted into the program.  While this greatly reduced my options and made the programs extremely competitive, I knew that if I was accepted into a school without financial assistance, I would be too tempted to take out loans. Tuition waivers are generally part of package labeled as a scholarship, fellowship, and/or assistantship. These appointments can include different responsibilities in the dance department such as teaching and administrative work.  At The University of Iowa, I will be responsible for teaching three classes a year.  In the fall, I am currently scheduled to teach Continuing Ballet to non-majors.

 Many MFA programs have an emphasis in either performance or choreography.  Some programs offer tracks in both areas, allowing you to select the track that meets your goals.  Regardless of your preference, take a very close look at the required and elective courses offered at each school, and gage your interest in each class. For example, I was not excited about taking mandatory ballet classes.  I wanted the freedom to decide what my movement practice entailed.  I ruled out schools that required mandatory technique classes in ballet.

 Most programs also have a MFA handbook that contains specific details about expectations, timelines, and descriptions of required assignments and coursework.  Some schools post these handbooks on their websites, if the handbook is not readily available online, check to see if the school would be willing to email you a copy.  This detailed document will let you know what to expect of each program, and what each semester may look like.  Personally, I was able to rule out a program on my short list after I examined the required summer reading list.  I realized that the faculties’ interest did not match my own.

 Lastly, at most schools there is a professor assigned to graduate recruiting. I contacted these professors and had a Skype conversation to further discuss their programs the summer before auditions.  I found that during the summer, faculty had more time available to converse.  In my experience, how you are able to interact with your teachers is a key component in learning.  I wanted to see how we might get along and relate before applying. I was grateful that I had this opportunity as the audition experience is condensed into one or two days, and it is difficult to have in depth conversation.


The application and audition process:

 Why do you want to go to graduate school at this time? Why did you apply to our program? What do you hope to research / explore / learn while you are in school? Every program I looked into asked these three questions at one point or another.  These are the crucial questions that help determine whether you are accepted.  More and more artists are returning to Graduate School; the pool of candidates I encountered were driven, successful and had a diversity of talents and experiences. Schools are looking for applicants who are going to be a good fit for their specific program.  It is important to tailor your answers to each program and be specific and clear with your intentions.

 In retrospect I wish I had answered those last two questions differently.  I noticed while auditioning that most programs have their “claim to fame”, something they are proud of and that sets them apart from other schools. For me, that was the thing that had drawn me to their program.  I felt silly sharing details about their program in my application, as I felt it was redundant.  If I had to do it again, I would be more specific in mentioning those strengths and how they would help me accomplish my goals in a tangible way.  Make sure you address in your application how their program will help you achieve a specific goal as it shows that you did research and that your interest and goals align with the program.  Remember that a MFA program is two- three years long; be realistic about what you can do in that amount of time.

 Some schools offer the option of staying with a current graduate student during your audition visit.  I highly recommend this experience. While the accommodations may not be private or luxurious, it provides valuable insight into your potential quality of life.  All three of the places I auditioned would have resulted in relocating to a new region of the US.  I learned a lot about the lifestyles of each area. For example, at The University of Iowa most students walk or take public bus transportation to school due to parking difficulties.  This played a big part in the housing my husband and I end up selecting.  Staying with a graduate student also provides a deeper insight into the dance department, and allows you to get to know a potential cohort better.  I found that both parties were more honest in the privacy of the home.

 Finally, don’t forget that your entire visit is an interview. While this may seem obvious, be sure to bring professional dress clothing to change into after dancing or teaching.  I would recommend being able to walk outside comfortably in whatever shoes you select.  I spent quite a bit of time trekking through the snow! Be professional, everything you do and say may be passed on to the selection committee. It can be difficult to have grace and poise when you are in unfamiliar territory and full of nerves!  Do your best to stay positive, patient, calm, and open to the experience and whatever it may entail. Don’t forget to smile, breath, and have fun!


” I am looking forward to sharing my perspective again in the fall

after I have started school.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear

from you with questions or your viewpoint! ”

Rebekah Chappell is from Williamsburg, Virginia. She holds a BFA in Dance, Summa Cum Laude (2009) from Shenandoah University.  She has also studied at the summer intensives of American Dance Festival, Dance New Amsterdam, and North Carolina Dance Theater. After graduating from Shenandoah, Rebekah lived in Costa Rica where she taught and choreographed at Danceworks Costa Rica and Promethean Spark: Danza par la Vida. She then moved to Houston, Texas, where she has had the delight of dancing for choreographers Jennifer Wood, Karen Stokes, Sandra Organ Solis, Erin Reck, Jane Weiner, Steve Rooks, Stephen Koplowitz, Roxanne Claire, and Ashley Horn.  Currently she is Adjunct Faculty at San Jacinto College South and teaches at Claire School of Dance.  Her choreography has been presented in Costa Rica in Cartago, Escazu, and San Jose, and in Texas at The Dance Gathering, Big Range Dance Festival, San Jacinto College South, Fieldworks Showcases, Venturing Out, 12 Minutes Max!, and Houston Choreographers X6. Rebekah will be starting her MFA Dance coursework, fall 2014, at The University of Iowa. You can learn more about Rebekah here:




Links We Like

Links We Like

In Honor of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day


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Veterans and visitors flock to Normandy

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Here is Eisenhower’s secret report on D-Day invasion, sent to DC a few hours after it started, 70 years ago:

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70 years later, D-Day vet Jim ‘Pee Wee’ Martin jumps again



Free Events Thursday

Free Events Thursday

Sizzling Summer Dance

Jun 6, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Kick off your summer with MET Dance at the annual Sizzling Summer Dance Concert! Get a sneak peek of a World Premiere by New York based choreographer Joe Celej and 2014 Emerging choreographer Steven Vaughn. The evening will also include some of the Met’s most celebrated works. A diverse and versatile program bursting with dance, music and spirit, catch MET in their final performance of the season in a show perfect for all ages.

Price: FREE!!! As always, open seating on the hill. This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area.


25th Annual Accordion Kings & Queens

Jun 7, 2014 at 6 p.m.

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Come out for an evening of dancing and roots music and help Texas Folklife celebrate the Accordion Kings & Queens Festival 25th anniversary! It will be a star-studded affair, featuring Mark Halata & Texavia and C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band. Plus, there will be a tribute to Conjunto and Tejano music pioneers with Avizo and many more.

Price: FREE!!! This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. As always, open seating on the hill.


Favorites and Firsts – Hear and Now!

June 07, 2014

The Church of St. John the Divine

2450 River Oaks Boulevard, Houston, TX 77019

We all have our favorites, but we also enjoy the excitement of something new. Well, in this case there is no need to choose. Both favorites and firsts will be found in this Special Bonus Concert as Houston Chamber sings audience requests and the world premiere of a brilliant new work by McKnight award-winning composer Jocelyn Hagen that the Chamber Choir commissioned just for this occasion. Past commissions by David Ashley White, Christopher Theofanidis, and Dominick DiOrio add to the mix of this spectacular concert.

Price: $25; Student tickets available for $10 with valid student ID.


Following General Sam Houston, 1793-1863 by Bernhardt Wall

June 06, 2014 from  10 a.m.-4 p.m.

1100 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002

Artist and historian, Bernhardt Wall was a producer of fine press books who treated a vast array of subjects, including Texas and the Southwest. Today, Wall’s books are highly collectible and may be found in private collections, libraries and universities around the world. The etchings for this pictorial biography of Sam Houston were made while Wall was in La Porte, Texas in 1935, close to the battlefield of San Jacinto. At the time, Wall had the assistance of Houston’s one surviving son, Andrew Jackson Houston. One of the over seventy etchings in the book features Sam entering the 1850 Nichols-Rice-Cherry House, now located at The Heritage Society in Sam Houston Park. The exhibit will also feature some personal objects from the Houston family from the Permanent Collection of The Heritage Society. The etchings in this exhibition are on loan from The Printing Museum.

Price:  FREE!!!


First Saturday Arts Market

(Recurring monthly on the 1st Saturday)  from 6:00 am -10:00 pm June, July, August

548 W. 19th Street, Houston, TX 77008

First Saturday Arts Market is a monthly outdoor fine arts event featuring the works of dozens of visual artists. Located in the Historic Houston Heights by Gen’s Antiques at 548 W. 19th St. at Lawrence St., the market showcases paintings, sculpture, photography, jewelry and handcrafted items. Bring the entire family and come enjoy the great outdoors, live music and delicious fare from some of the area’s best gourmet food trucks.

 Price: FREE!!!


First Saturday Art Crawl

(Recurring monthly on the 1st Saturday)

Houston Socialites Club from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

On the first Saturday each month, join HSC for a fun, social art crawl around Houston, followed by dinner/drinks. Each month will feature a different art cluster/neighborhood, and includes these old favorites: Gallery Row, Montrose, Rice, Upper Kirby, Heights, to name a few.

This event is free. Houston Socialites Club (HSC) is a members-based social and events club for singles and couples over 30. Members enjoy a variety of social events each month, from art events to group dinners, recreational sports to game night potlucks, wine tasting to unique events, all designed to bring people together for friendship, fun while discovering Houston.

Price: FREE!!!


Garden Architecture Exhibition

Recurring daily

Architecture Center Houston (ArCH)

315 Capitol St., Houston, TX 77002

Garden Architecture will feature images and stories about many of Houston’s historic gardens, a juried presentation of recent significant garden design in both the public and private realm and a showcase of “vignette gardens” installed inside Architecture Center Houston. The exhibit is created for both architecture and landscape architecture design professionals, gardening enthusiasts, and will appeal to anyone interested in the history and growth of Houston as seen through the lens of our local gardens.

Price: FREE!!!


Posters of Gorbachev Era: The Sunset of Soviet Power

Recurring daily

Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Russian Cultural Center “Our Texas”

Every Soviet poster no matter the date of creation bears a stamp of expressiveness and graphical quality. The attention to details is awesome. The scope of techniques is endless. And what’s important, every Soviet poster has a historical reference essential for understanding the layers of meanings it carries through time. We present the collection of the posters that have been published in 1987-1990 years. It was very dramatic period in Russian history: Perestroika and the sunset of Soviet power took place then, leading to the new Russian Federation.

Price: FREE!!!

Tuesday Tunes: The Awesome 1980’s

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes




The 1980’s saw great social, economic, and general change as wealth and production migrated to newly industrializing economies. The 1980’s saw the development of the modern Internet, cable television and music devices such as the cassette and the CD. Movies and wild music videos on MTV inspired popular dances like the Moonwalk, the Electric Slide, the Thriller dance, the Robot and many others. Check out these awesome dance moves that revolutionized modern dancing.


The Electric Slide


The Moonwalk


Footloose (Nuff Said)



MFA Monday: Little and Big Things

MFA Mondays

MFA right



Happy Monday Framers! Today we kick off a new MFA Monday arc written by the lovely and immensely talented Amanda Jackson!


MFA: Little and Big Things

Part 1 – Penguins, Collaborators, and Community… Oh My!

We’ve all seen him awkwardly permeating the web, penguining around in various social situations. He goes by Socially Awkward Penguin. While in grad school, my colleagues and I turned to the Internet abyss of memes and YouTube a little too often to escape stressful realities and enter other worlds of shock, awe, and wit. These moments of escaping together created bonds between us, albeit strange ones, that filtered into movement and theory classes, rehearsals and feedback sessions, and potlucks that doubled as times for mind-mapping. I would be withholding information if I didn’t tell you that some Internet gems even made appearances in our choreography.

Back to the penguin meme: The poor penguin offers an “Oh God No” reaction to a teacher that states, “Ok class, find a partner.” Although this is quite funny to me now as a teacher, the penguin’s offerings were slightly less relatable during grad school. Our cohort’s unique bonding experiences paired with TWU’s strong focus on Contact Improvisation made finding a partner more exciting than dancing solo.

We learned more about each other, through what I’ll call spontaneous movement puzzles, in extremely rigorous and generous class environments facilitated by our professors. We also learned through witnessing our partners’ thought processes and reactions as well as how they prefer to move and be moved, even beyond a physical sense. This is what drew many of us to the MFA program and to each other.

Back in 2010 a group of ten dancers from TWU, all in various stages of our MFA cycles, came together to form Big Rig Dance Collective – a Denton-based group that is now co-directed by myself, Whitney Boomer, Crysta Caulkins-Clouse, and Lily Sloan. The impetus for our collective was to create more outlets beyond the academic setting to develop a deeper collaborative process. Big Rig was also experimenting with new methods of inviting communities into our process through performances and workshops. We ultimately wanted more of everything and were eager to share with everyone! (As if our graduate work didn’t keep us busy enough.)

I share this with you because I think there is something intriguing about our grad school environment that encouraged our desire to connect communities through dance. Also sprouting from this environment were Muscle Memory, CholoRock, and Simple Sparrow. I am reminded of the energy that we all brought into this environment – It felt electric and contagious, an infinite cycle. In my mind, we fueled the environment just as much as it fueled us.

So in the spirit of community, I’ll leave you with some insights from my friend/colleague/co-director/fellow kitchen improviser:

“After I graduated and began working as an adjunct professor in the community, I was still as driven as ever to work in Big Rig, but I felt the harsh reality of being removed from the community from which Big Rig was born. All of my friends were still in grad school, and I was out. I missed out on the inside jokes, the basement banter, and simply the wonderful treat of moving and dancing with friends on a daily basis. It was very, very hard.

Throughout the continual journey of figuring out what we want Big Rig to be in our lives, I have realized that community is first. This sense of community might mean remembering to see each other as friends first. It means developing a rich and rigorous dance practice with each other, in the midst of our crazy schedules and busy lives. I feel best when I stop and remember the first reason that we ever started collaborating: we liked each other. We liked each other’s ideas, energy, spirit, and creativity. Out of that likeable attraction comes some of our best work.” – Lily Sloan

So as you are researching MFA programs, I think it is equally important to research the MFA students. Are they doing work that interests you? Are they welcoming and supportive of what you can bring to the cohort? Are they people with whom you can spend long nights in the basement watching ridiculous YouTube videos? These MFA students can become some of your strongest supporters and collaborators throughout your time in grad school and beyond.


A Jackson - Photo by Jesse ScrogginsAmanda Jackson holds an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. She is a performer, choreographer, educator, stylist, and avid cooking improviser. Her work has been presented across Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana with a notable experience at Harvard University with collaborator, Matthew Cumbie. Amanda is Co-Director of Big Rig Dance Collective in Denton, TX and Adjunct Professor of Dance at Tarrant County College Northwest.