Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Nutcracker Ballet

Today marks just one week until Christmas Day and I can't express just how much I'm enjoying this festive season!  Although we're all busy counting down the days until the 'big day', the build up proves to be just as exciting with all of the treats and traditions that take place this month!  In my case, along with many longstanding traditions, an old one was revisited this year by viewing The Nutcracker Ballet with my parents.  We selected the Birmingham Hippodrome as our venue of choice  and it certainly didn't disappoint!  With an appealing contemporary glass exterior and modern lobby, walking into the contrasting auditorium made for an overwhelmingly pleasant surprise, because after all, if you've booked tickets to experience arguably the most festive ballet around, you're hoping to enjoy it in flamboyant elegance.





The ballet from beginning to end was utterly incredible and at times very moving.  Speaking as someone who knows very little about ballet, it would be difficult to discuss the technicalities, however I can appreciate how difficult the moves unravelling before the audience with constant finesse and grace actually were.  The interval saw a roaring sound of applause and whilst standing in the queue for drinks and snacks (or in my case, ice cream) constant words of praise for the ballet could be heard from each passing person.  Through running a blog focussing on the 'bright and beautiful', it shouldn't come as a surprise that most of my attention went to the costumes and set design, both of which will stay with me forever.  The opening party scene was magnificent to the point of inducing admiring 'aahs' from the audience, myself included.  However the stealing moment was delivered as the clock struck midnight and following previous events, Clara begins to shrink as the intricate Christmas tree grows higher above her - the set design at this point was truly astounding and could alone warrant booking tickets to see The Nutcracker Ballet!  Another magical moment came in the second half when an incredible scene of delicate dancing took place surrounded by a triumphant set design of Roman columns stretching back as far as the eye could see.  The intricate costumes worn by the dancers made you desperately wish you could either dance yourself, or possess the talent to have designed such enchanting outfits!  The time and effort put into the theatrical outcome must have been extraordinary, but in my opinion it will have been worth it, for the ballet was seamless.


An excellent way of determining whether a show/performance impressed you is to analyse how you feel when the curtains close for the final time.  On this occasion, I felt a mixture of sadness and happiness - sadness that the ballet had ended and happiness of having the pleasure of being a part of The Nutcracker, if only for a couple of hours.  After taking some quick, obligatory photos outside of the Birmingham Hippodrome, we made our way back to the city centre Crowne Plaza hotel for dinner.  I was unwell and very tired by this point, making returning to the predictably attractive aesthetic of the hotel and the guaranteed extensive menu both a joy and relief.  One fish platter later and it was well and truly time to return to our hotel rooms!  







As shown on my Instagram, my hotel room had the usual comfortable and luxurious layout seen throughout the international hotel group, however a surprise was delivered on this occasion in the form of a view.  There is just something about twinkling city lights and place a sheer curtain in front of those lights and you've got yourself one hell of a photo opportunity..    

Prija Toiletries - aka best smelling lotions ever
This is an example of a tradition that should never have ended and so I'm ecstatic that it's back in play.  Speaking of which, I've had an afternoon of yulelogging, which is - you guessed it - another festive tradition!  I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas so far, full of treats and traditions!

With love,

Gabrielle x



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106 comments

  1. Replies
    1. So glad you think so, have a lovely week!

      Gabrielle x

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  2. Hi Gabrielle,

    Glad to read you enjoyed the ballet (not so happy to read you felt unwell afterwards though!). The Nutcracker is such a great story and Thank You so much for sharing your experience. I'm glad we spoke via Twitter about The Nutcracker, because I found my book and watched The Nutcracker Prince. definitely feeling festive and ready for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Speak soon,

    Caz | Lunch Break Adventures

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    1. Hey Caz! Thank you for this wonderful message :) I agree that The Nutcracker is a fantastic display from beginning to end and I'm so pleased to hear you're feeling festive. Merry Christmas!

      Gabrielle x

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  3. Aww your photos are really lovely!!! everything looks so nice!

    I ALWAYS have bubble baths when I stay in a hotel, think it's the little soaps - I go mad and use them all hahahaha! :)

    Layla xx
    www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

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    1. Thanks a million Layla, that's so nice to hear! Haha hotel bubble baths are incredible, I don't blame you for going bubble-mad! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  4. Aww I've always wanted to The Nutcracker! You're so lucky. Yet again, beautiful writing! You would make an amazing fiction writer one day!

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    1. I really hope that you get around to viewing The Nutcracker ballet next Christmas, Katherine! Thank you ever so much for saying that, you've well and truly made my week! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  5. That's so fun! I've seen the nutcracker once, and loved it! Too bad I don't really have any holiday traditions, I guess there's always time to start!

    Kayla

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Nutcracker as well and yes, it's never too late to start up some new ones!

      Gabrielle x

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  6. Ok, I have a confession to make, I've never seen it myself but it's on my list hehehe! Seriously though I'd love to experience this for the first time in New York. Imagine stepping into an opulent theatre then stepping out into the snow and catching flakes with your tongue (all while taxi's spoil the moment by honking their horns lol). So I realise it snows where you live so this ain't really nothing special and more of an inconvenience, but for me, magical!

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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    1. Many people haven't got around to seeing it yet Sonia, don't worry you're not alone! You've painted a beautiful picture and although it does snow where I live, there's no snow outside at this point - so I'll live in the scene you've set! ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  7. I went to The Nutcracker this weekend too. It was amazing. I was never into it as a kiddo, so going as an adult was eyeopening & exciting.
    :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. I'm really glad you have seen it recently too and that you loved it! The ballet certainly is appealing for different reasons when an adult, as opposed to being a child!

      Gabrielle x

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  8. Hi there!

    Thank you for visiting my blog! =) Looks like you had an amazing night out! x

    http://eatandtraveltheworldwithfashion.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hey! You're very welcome and yes, it was fabulous!

      Gabrielle x

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  9. Following this kind of cute traditions on Christmas season is the best! I'm glad to hear you liked the Ballet and I loved the pictures showing your fabulous hotel, and as you said, it's not over yet, there's still one more week to go so we'll be here waiting to see more of your traditions!! ;)

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    1. This was a lovely message to receive, thank you Deb! I agree, there's still a few more days to crush in some more treats and traditions! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  10. I'm so glad you had such a great time! I love ballet too and I wish I could see it more often... :)

    Bella Pummarola

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    1. Thank you Anett, I hope you find yourself experiencing another ballet sometime very soon!!

      Gabrielle x

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  11. The ballet sounds amazing. I like the lights of the city coming through the window too. When I stay in Vegas I leave the curtains open so I can wake up in the middle of the night and see all the lights.

    Deedee

    http://madeupgirl-madeupgirl.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciates city lights through a sheer curtain! I have a lovely image in my head of the scene you've described!

      Gabrielle x

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  12. I would love to see a ballet show!
    Great post :)

    Renee
    www.losetheroad.blogspot.ca

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    1. Well then, I very much hope that you do soon!

      Gabrielle x

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  13. I have never seen a ballet before but I would imagine it to be very beautiful. Sorry that you're not feeling your best after that, hope you're better now. I wish/hope that I will get the chance to catch a ballet performance in the future, it would be such an amazing experience.

    Reflection of Sanity

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that, I hope the near future will see that change! I'm feeling much better now thank you! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  14. The Nutcracker is simply magical! I love it!

    - Deniz
    www.dressedupdeniz.com

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Deniz!

      Gabrielle x

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  15. It's always so fun to get dressed up and go watch The Nutcracker ballet. Glad you had a great time and I can't believe we're less than a week away from Christmas now!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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    1. I know what you mean, there's a definite sense of occasion there! Thank you Tina and I know, this festive season is flying by!

      Gabrielle x

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  16. Wow so lucky of you to have watched tje nutcracker! :) looks like you had a great time!

    New post on GIRL ABOUT TOWN BLOG
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    1. I certainly felt fortunate to be sitting there and watching the incredible ballet! Thank you, Nicole!

      Gabrielle x

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  17. So fun!! I'm slightly jealous- I had dreams of taking my daughter this year, but sadly it didn't work out:( I was a dancer growing up and was always in the nutcracker- it was such a special time for me!

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that you didn't get around to taking your daughter, but there's always next year! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  18. It sounds as if you're really getting into the holiday spirit wonderfully with all these fun activities. The last ballet I watched was The Nutcracker as well though it was many years ago and I recall feeling much the same way you did. Glad to hear you enjoyed the experience so much :)

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    1. I'm probably going overboard, but it happens every year so I know no different! ;) I'm really pleased that you enjoyed The Nutcracker ballet as well when viewing it years ago!

      Gabrielle x

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  19. What a great show, I saw it once in Chicago and it was so festive and fun! Looks like you had a wonderful time :) xo~ Lena
    www.felinecreatures.com

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    1. I can imagine it must have been amazing to enjoy in Chicago! I certainly did, thanks! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  20. Looks like such a great and festive time! Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.lifeofbrookeandjane.blogspot.com/2014/12/friday-favorites.html

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    1. You're very welcome, have a lovely week!

      Gabrielle x

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  21. It looks like you had a great night at the ballet. I love The Nutcracker. It has became a yearly tradition for me and my sister to go see it.

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    1. I had a truly brilliant time and I can understand why you love seeing The Nutcracker with your sister!

      Gabrielle x

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  22. I so love the nutcracker. I can listen to Tchaikovsky and instantly imagine all the elegant ballerinas floating across the stage. Their such athletes, but so delicate and beautiful. What a wonderful way to spend time with your family.
    Texas Jak
    http://www.novermyhead.com

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    1. I continuously forget Tchaikovsky's name, so thank you for the reminder haha! You've described it perfectly, the ballerinas 'float' and with such elegance!

      Gabrielle x

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  23. I can imagine it was really wonderful to attend this performance!

    xx from Germany/Bavaria, Rena
    International Giveaway: Christmas Surprise with Self Interest
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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    1. It most definitely was! Have a great week!

      Gabrielle x

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  24. I absolutely love ballet and the fact that the dancers make the choreography look so simple and effortless, when it's probably one of the hardest dances ever and they do it with so much grace and poise. I'm no expert either, but there's something about ballet that makes me forget all about my surroundings while I'm in the audience watching the performance.

    TRENDGALORE
    BLOGLOVIN

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    1. Now that I have been recently, I can see why you love ballet so much! I know exactly what you mean, they move with such elegance when in reality, the moves must be incredibly difficult!

      Gabrielle x

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  25. Wow you are so lucky! It looks so good :)

    fashiionistah.blogspot.dk

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Emily!!

      Gabrielle x

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  26. I know seeing the Nutcracker is such a wonderful tradition. A few years ago some friends and I went to see an non traditional version at BAM in Brooklyn, it was great.

    Allie of ALLIENYC
    allienyc.com

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    1. I'm amazed we let the tradition slide and thankful it's returned! That sounds so unusual, I wish I could have seen that as well!!

      Gabrielle x

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  27. This is so cool! Looks like you had a awesome day! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Enjoy and have fun! :)
    http://wonderfullymadebypris.weebly.com/

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    1. I had a fantastic time and a huge Merry Christmas to you as well, Priscilla! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  28. Hello beautiful Gaby! How exciting it is that you got to enjoy such a beautiful play. I Enjoyed all the pictures but what I enjoyed the most was the beautiful narration of everything you did and see that day. I can imagine all the amazing costumes and the mesmerizing stage designs. Reading you post made feel like if I was there watching the play too. You write so beautiful Gaby and I always look forward to your posts. Blessings to you and your family and happy Holidays! XOXO, Jeannette

    www.msjeannieandhercloset.com

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    1. Hey Jeannette! I was very excited to hear that we would be seeing The Nutcracker again, that's for sure! That is the nicest thing you could have said about my writing, so thank you VERY much! :) Thank you and I hop you have a beautiful Christmas with your family!

      Gabrielle x

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  29. Oh, I wish I could have be there. The photos are amazing and your post too. Merry Christmas!

    Jasmine x
    For a Real Woman

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    1. There's always next year! Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos! Merry Christmas!!

      Gabrielle x

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  30. Ahh I love the Nutcracker! That must of been so incredible to watch!!! I can't get enough of the music.
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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    1. The music really is very beautiful, but it only feels at home when joined with the dancing! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  31. I adore the Nutcracker :) Glad to hear it was moving, I agree with you, that really is the sign of a fantastic ballet!
    Rachel xx

    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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    1. I'm really pleased to hear that and yes, it's a feeling I enter every theatre with the hope of experiencing!

      Gabrielle x

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  32. Adore ballet! :-) The Nutcracker is a must on holiday!Thanks for sharing!

    www.PurseFixation.com
    Toast your Purse with an Outfit!
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    1. I can see why and I totally agree! You're more than welcome :)

      Gabrielle x

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  33. You Inspire me!
    Kisses from Miami,
    Borka
    www.chicfashionworld.com

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    1. That's sweet of you to say, Merry Christmas!

      Gabrielle x

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  34. I'd love to go to The Nutcraker ballet! Sounds like an absolutely amazing experience. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it! x x

    www.beyondthevelvet.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I really hope that you view it next year, as I know for certain you won't regret it! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  35. I would love to see that ballet! It seems like you had a lot of fun :)

    \ Indigo Lights

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    1. I had an incredible time, thank you!

      Gabrielle x

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  36. I remember seeing The Nutcracker quite a few years back now, and really enjoyed it!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style & Beauty Blog

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    1. I'm really glad that you've seen it relatively recently and I can understand why you enjoyed it!

      Gabrielle x

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  37. It's a wonderful ballet!
    Love this music a lot :)))

    xoxo
    www.bellezzefelici.blogspot.com

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    1. I completely agree with that and the music really is so ethereal and beautiful!

      Gabrielle x

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  38. Great post! Merry Christmas to you!

    xx
    Coco

    http://mllecoconath.com

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    1. Thanks very much and Merry Christmas to you too!

      Gabrielle x

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  39. Oh my gosh, so beautiful and the nutcracker is one of my favorites!

    Aesthetic Lounge

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    Replies
    1. The Nutcracker is now one of my favourite as well!!

      Gabrielle x

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  40. The theatre looks beautiful. I've never been to any ballet shows before, glad you found it moving, I bet it was amazing.

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. I'm sad to hear that you've never seen a ballet before, but there's plenty of time in the future! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  41. Those fries look sOOOOOO yummy! And the Nutcracker looks amazzzzing! Happy holidays babe!
    kisses
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

    www.BeckermanBlog.com

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    1. Haha yeah, they were delicious - although the cod in breadcrumbs was even better!! Merry Christmas girls!

      Gabrielle x

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  42. Ah I'm so jealous you got to see the nutcracker! I've always wanted to see it! The hotel room looks so cozy, and of course the twinkly view makes it all that much better :)

    Mili

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    1. In that case, I sincerely hope you find yourself watching it sometime very soon! The hotel room was quite nice, but the lights certainly made it!

      Gabrielle x

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  43. I've always wanted to see the ballet at the theatre. This looks amazing, glad you had a fab time! xx

    VIVA EPERNAY

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    1. Thank you, I had an amazing time! Merry Christmas, Sarah!

      Gabrielle x

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  44. So happy you shared this! Was waiting to see all of the photos! I am so jealous about the ballet. I love the nutcracker and ballet is one of my favorite things to see. I love all of these photos and it seems like you had such a great time. I love all the details you added in this post. Made it so fun to read!

    Denise
    www.fashionloveletters.com

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    1. That's really nice to know, I'm so glad you've enjoyed this post (and my details)! Merry Christmas, Denise! :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  45. aww that sounds fabulous, wish I could go too :) happy holidays dear xoxo

    dresses-and-travels //@susandollparts

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    1. There's always nice year! Thank you and you too!!

      Gabrielle x

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  46. I think it was really a nice experience....your pictures confirm this!!! Kisses (and thank you for your visit),
    Eni

    http://eniwherefashion.blogspot.it/
    https://www.facebook.com/eniwherefashion

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    1. It certainly lived up to my expectations! Have a wonderful week!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  47. I'd really like to see a ballet, It should be amazing.

    http://notesofglam95.blogspot.it/

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    1. It depends on which one you watch, but The Nutcracker is certainly worth booking tickets for!

      Gabrielle x

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  48. That sounds like amazing festive tradition - I have never been on ballet, but I guess that it had to be exciting and moving play! Have an amazing end of weekend, dear :)

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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    1. It has been quite some time before this that I hadn't seen a ballet, so you're not alone! Thank you, have a beautiful Christmas! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  49. I love the Nutcracker...my fav part is the dance of the sugar plum fairies. I am so glad that you got to experience the Nutcracker in such a beautiful location.

    Keisha xo
    www.chrysalisgals.blogspot.com

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    1. That makes two of us! That's also my favourite moment of the ballet! :)

      Gabrielle x

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  50. We used to go and see the Nutcracker every christmas, it is magical! Great post!

    Olivia Grace x

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    1. That's a wonderful tradition - I'm so pleased to have returned to it! Thank you!

      Gabrielle x

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