Thursday, June 29, 2017

June in Snapshots

We are only days away from entering into one of Ballet Magnificat's busiest and most exciting times of year! This coming Saturday begins Ballet Magnificat's 4-week Annual Summer Dance Intensive (SDI). This summer I will be busy teaching ballet classes and leading Bible studies. I have also been put in charge of looking after and counseling 11 girls with which whom I will be living with on The Belhaven University Campus for this whole coming month. I can't wait to meet them! As excited as I am for our summer dance camp to begin I find myself sitting back in bewilderment asking, "Where in the world did the month of June go?" June is one of my favorite months. Aside from the fact that it is my birthday month, ^_^ I just love June because the companies do not go on tour this month. Instead, we stay home in Jackson, MS to focus our energies on planning and preparing for SDI. This means I am able to attend my own church consistently and invest in my local friends and community and I just love it, even as much as I love touring!

Follow along with me below as I share through pictures of what fun things I've been up to this month that were dispersed among the less fun and less interesting intense periods of daily toiling that I will spare you from hearing about. Here we go:

A  Special  Dinner  With  This  Couple

During our first weekend back in town from May Break, I got to get together with these two, Micky and Samuel, and prepare a special dinner of tasty salad, rice, and BBQ ribs for us to enjoy. The ribs were so good! I used my Dad's special recipe I will be sharing on here sometime soon. This dinner was very special as it was the last one we would share together before Micky retiring from Ballet Magnificat at the end of this month.  They will be moving away from Jackson onto newer exciting things. I don't think they know how much they've blessed me during their time here.

A  Summer  Picnic  With  This  Dear  Friend

Alissa is a longtime good friend of mine living in Jackson who is currently enrolled in
Ballet Magnificat's Trainee Program. I love catching up with her any chance I get when I am in town!  

A  Birthday  Celebration

Celebrated my birthday this month and got lots of sweet little gifts!

Sarah  Hill  became  Sarah  Krazit !

A post shared by Lillian Marie Ortiz (@oqpiedoptimist) on

Ballet Magnificat company member Sarah Hill got married on June 10th and changed her last name to Krazit. She made a most beautiful bride and her whole wedding was seamless and stunning.

The venue was a gorgeous little chapel in the Town of Livingston, MS

I loved the simplicity of her cake.

And there were chickens which were popular amongst the kiddos!

Micky and I

A beautiful happy ever after

Tara  Thibodeaux  Drew  Comes  To  Town

The choreographer of Ballet Magnificat's The Arrival is at it again setting new contemorary choreography on both the Alpha and Omega companies for our upcoming 2017-1018 tour season. It's gonna be good!

Work  Day  /  Cleaning  Day

After dance class on Monday in preparation for our summer dance camp coming up we had a cleaning party! The ministry bought us pizza and after enjoying it we got to work around the studio and tidying up in preparation for all our visitors that will be coming this weekend! Pictured here is one of my favorite people Ingrid who is working on re-taping the floors.

Saying  Goodbye  To  Our  Tour  Bus

Our beloved Prevost tour bus finally returned to us from the shop this month, so on Monday we also spent some time cleaning it out and making it suitable for sale since we will be without a driver for it next year not to mention it has become too high maintenance. Saying goodbye to our bus was a big deal. It's the only mode of transportation I've known in my five years of touring with Ballet Magnificat and I've become quite attached to it. It was like saying goodbye to a good friend. Pictured here is Abby with her pizza sad face. 

Catherine finds some sentimental card-playing score charts on the bus .

Emily cleaning the bus refrigerators

Filling up our bus crock pot with other sentimental finds to save and keep from our past touring adventures.

Tomorrow  Is  Counselor  Orientation

Today after rehearsal we set up our studio for Counselor Orientation tomorrow. We filled the room with tables and chairs that we will be occupying for about six hours then as we together review all the important facts and details counselors need to be equipped with in order for our SDI to run smooth, safely, and sucessfully.

SDI, ready or not, here we come! 
Thanks for stopping by!
Leave a comment or question below!
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

10 Free Online Easy-To-Use Tools for the Everyday Bloggers

-       Summer     Series     of      Seriously    Awesome     Resources        -

Hello, my dear friends! It has been brought to my attention that I apparently have a wealth of information on a number of different topics that you have been interested in me sharing more about. I've decided to start the summer off with a series of blog posts where I will be sharing with you on those various requested topics. Many of you have been asking me about what tools I have been using to construct my blog posts, maintain my blog, drive my blog traffic and such, so what better topic to start with than that! But if you are interested in ballet technique, biblical research, and/or shopping stay tuned because more seriously awesome resources are to be revealed on these topics and MORE in the blog posts to come!


The following links are to the online tools and websites that I love most and use almost every time I sit down to blog and are FREE! Of course, most of these websites also offer upgrades and premium programs that you can opt into for unlimited services, but I'm telling you the free services are just as satisfactory and what I am recommending for you to try out today. The first couple links pertain to text editing. The middle three links pertain to picture editing and the last several links pertain to networking, driving traffic and analytics.

So I know it is kind of lame that I rely on this website for double checking my titles and that I am using the proper format of capitalizing instead of just memorizing the rules, but this tool is just so convenient and easy to use! Check it out!

#2 Grammarly

Grammarly is an online automated proofreader that is fairly new to the world wide web and is understandably gaining much popularity fast! It's thorough spell checking and grammar checking services are provided via a number of different products, but my all time favorite is the free browser extension they offer that once downloaded will proofread practically anything you type online. From cleaning up your Facebook comments to perfecting your blog entries, you will find it hard to publish mistakes with Grammarly by your side. Who never a little green arrow could give one such peace of mind when writing!


This is a great easy-to-use website if you need help creating a contact form for your blog or any form for that matter!


Pixlr is by far the greatest graphic editing tool that I've found online that is for free! You've got to check this one out! Honorable mention goes to which I've found specifically helpful for color editing and making image backgrounds transparent.


Canva is a great website for embellishing your photos, adding text to them, and for making stunning eye-catching graphics for social media. Honorable mention goes to

#6 Pixabay

So maybe unlike me, you are a really good photographer and take all your blog photos yourself. Even if that is the case though, In my opinion, I think every blogger (awesome photographer or not) should have a place to go to for instantly accessible royalty-free photos. Sometimes you just don't have time to snap all the photos you need for your blog or you just don't have the objects you desire to take a picture of. That is when stock photos become handy. You can find photos of anything on the world wide web, but royalty-free is key if you want to play legal and fair. is the best stock photo website I've found offering all free images.

#7 MailChimp

Create newsletters, track data, and expand your email list using MailChimp. MailChimp is one of the most helpful free websites out there! If you have a blog and are looking to increase your audience and build your brand then having a MailChimp account and utilizing all the tools it has to offer is a great place to start!

#8 Hellobar

Offering stylish professional looking pop-ups and/or email submission bars for your blog page, Hello Bar is another great tool for capturing your visitors' emails for your newsletter list turning them into devoted followers.


Step up your blog's social media game by adding the AddThis social media sidebar to your website and explore the rest of what has to offer that will grow, convert, engage, and educate your visitors for free.

#10 Bloglovin

Last but not least, I recommend to you which is a great website for networking. Find like-minded bloggers. Read their blogs and get them to follow you! They also have a great domain on their website called Activate for connecting with brands and monetizing your influence. You have to check it out!

Check out: 12 Lessons I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

That's all folks! I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful!
Let me know in the comments below what other topics you would like me to cover this summer.
And stick around for the next seriously awesome post coming up in this summer series.
Thanks for reading! 

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

You Say It's Your Birthday, It's My Birthday Too!

I guess it's that time of year again; the time to celebrate me and my birth with lighting food on fire, with listening to the same song get sung to me multiple times in one day in questionable pitch, and responding back with two words to all those Facebook comments left on my wall from people who rarely exchange conversation with me on a normal basis. 

Yay! It is great to be reminded that I am loved. 

  Thanks to all of you for the love you've shown and for all and sweet birthday wishes, and inexpressible thanks to GOD for His faithfulness in my life. 

I feel like June is a popular month for birthdays! Check out this fun, easy-to-make-and-in-no-time, recipe. If not for yourself, I'm sure you could think of some birthday girl or boy to whip this adorable recipe up for!


  • 1/3 cup of boxed cake mix
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsp.  of vegetable oil 
  • 1 tbsp. of water
  • 1 teaspoon or so of candy sprinkles plus some for garnishing
  • frosting


  1. Spray a microwavable mug with cooking spray.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix, egg, oil, and water and mix well .
  3. Add sprinkles folding them well into the mix.
  4.  Pour mix into mug and microwave it for about a minute. Cake mix with rise and about double in size. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Let it cool down for several minutes before adding frosting and garnishing with sprinkles.

...Why yes, I found that frosting on sale for an incredibly awesome price! ^_^

Note: I actually slightly altered the ingredient measurements in order to fill my mug of such large size.
Have fun experimenting with measurements and ingredient proportions. It's hard to mess this one up!

    Buen Porvecho!

    comment, follow, and subscribe and don't be shy!
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Check out these 7 ways to get free stuff on your birthday!

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    Monday, June 5, 2017

    June's 30-Day Hand lettering and Illustration Challenge

    Cultivate creativity on a daily basis. Join me in the fun and in the challenge of committing to sketch or hand letter something at least once every day. Your creations don't all have to be elaborate masterpieces if you don't want, but just enough to get the creative juices flowing. The fun is in sharing each other's creations with one another and seeing what we each come up with! Comment and share your experiences with this challenge below and any thoughts you may have. Also, hashtag/link your creations on Instagram or Facebook to #oqpied or @oqpiedoptimist. I will periodically share mine on my Instagram as well. Follow me on my creative journey at my Instagram HERE! and Happy Creating!

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