Dance Competitions

Getting Ready for Dance CompetitionsThis post may contain affiliate links

Now that it’s the new year, it’s the start of dance competition season. Several weekends in the next couple months will be spent watching my oldest dance. While I do love seeing her on stage, because she loves being there, it can be exhausting and a lot of work for dance parents.

I use Cozi, which is an awesome app for keeping me organized (there is a free version, or click on the link for a free trial of the paid version). I use it for a calendar as well as having shopping lists and to do lists. I have one list on mine that is a checklist for packing. It has all the usual dance related items like hair stuff, costumes, makeup, and snacks. Some competitions have master classes or a convention, so you may also need class dancewear and different shoes. So much stuff! Cozi keeps me organized and ready for any competition.

I am excellent at packing bags, and here are 2 that we use for everything dance related

Dance Bag (we got it in teal, her favorite color):

Toiletry Bag (with removable sections!):


Because my daughter is in several competition groups as well as doing solos, she has a lot of costumes and sometimes needs to change very quickly. We bring a rack like this to hang them from because I haven’t spent the money to get one of those dream duffles. It folds down and comes in 2 pieces for easy transport. It fits into my rolling carry-on bag.

This is my competition checklist (click to view larger or save it)

I keep each costume in separate garment bags and label them with these hanging tags I made


What do you bring to competitions?

Cross Country Road Trip – Rocky Mountain National Park

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We started our road trip by picking up my mom. With my husband overseas I needed another driver and another adult to keep the other kids in line 🙂 My mom was a true hero on the journey, she bought individual DVD players for the kids (in different colors so they didn’t fight over who’s was who’s) and we brought a huge bunch of movies, mostly from the cheap bin at Wal-mart and a few copies of what we had from home. I liked doing it this way because then I didn’t worry about them getting lost or scratched, but it still entertained the kids on the long stretches of highway each day.

The first day we took a straight shot down to Ogden, Utah. This day was one of our longest in terms of driving without stopping. We have been through this area plenty of times, so we just wanted to get in the miles and not really stop much. We did stay at a nice hotel, with a swimming pool, so my kids were happy.

After resting for the night we left bright an early the next day to head into Colorado. We left Ogden and went through Echo Canyon, along I-80 into Wyoming. There was some construction which slowed us down, but what do you expect in the middle of summer. About halfway through the state, we turned down into Colorado. We were going to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, and wanted to drive along the Trail Ridge Road.

Red rock in the canyons in Utah

Talk about a Scenic Byway! The road was breathtaking. It starts low in the mountains with lush forests and lakes, then takes you up into the top of the Rockies with gorgeous vistas (and lots of switchbacks). We stopped along the way for a quick 1-mile hike on the Coyote Valley Trail. It was super easy, totally accessible and, of course, beautiful. The kids liked the break from the car, and it wasn’t so long of a hike that they got overly tired or cranky.

We then continued on the road to the tops of the mountain and stopped at the Alpine Visitors center. We got there just before it closed, and I got another stamp in my National Park Passport Book. After that quick break (and bathroom usage), we headed back down the mountains and into Estes Park for the night. And that was the end of our first leg of the journey.

Click on this panoramic to view it bigger, trust me it’s worth it!


Lights of Christmas


We are lucky to live close enough to visit The Lights of Christmas every year. They have millions of lights, a train ride, petting zoo, light maze, crafts, performances, and don’t forget Santa! My oldest has performed here several times, as did I when I was in high school. Visiting the Lights of Christmas is a great family Christmas tradition we look forward to every year.




Butterfly Birthday Party

My 5 year old had her first ‘friend’ birthday party last month. She decided she wanted a butterfly theme. So, I made a chocolate cake with frosting flowers and white chocolate butterflies. We colored butterfly (and dragonfly) pictures while waiting for everyone to arrive. Then we made butterflies out of coffee filters, played pin the butterfly on the flower, danced around to pretty classical music, and played duck duck goose. The party was in the middle of the day, so there was butterfly themed lunch food. We had butterfly shaped sandwiches, butterfly shaped crackers and pretzels (pepperidge farm), and lots of yummy fruit. Then we opened presents and played until parents arrived to pick up their kids. It was lots of fun. But, I’m glad birthdays are done in our house until spring.