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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jammers

I made jam biscuits for breakfast today. They were yummy and super EASY to make. I highly recommend the recipe...and plan to serve them on a fairly regular basis...they're just biscuits, after all!

Visit here for the recipe and pictures: http://www.outlikebandits.com/miracle-jammers/Made these for breakfast today. They were yummy and super easy to make. http://www.outlikebandits.com/miracle-jammers/

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Announcing PRIVATE CLASSES!


UPDATE May 13, 2013: Miss Laura is returning to Boulder, Colorado and is no longer available for private classes in Marietta, Georgia. :-(

Are you new to hoop dancing? Are you struggling to get started and want some one-on-one instruction? Or perhaps, you've attended the Alphabet Hoops basic hoop dance classes and are ready to learn some intermediate and advanced skills. Marietta, Georgia locals are lucky to have two (2!) hoop dance instructional options --- Lorene Shaw and Laura Roinestad!

*** Lorene Shaw ***

Lorene Shaw is a hooping enthusiast who discovered the joys of hula hooping in 2009. She teaches introductory hula hooping to both adults and children at Fusion Fitness and MMA and to City of Marietta elementary students (and grown ups!) via Marietta Community School.

You can contact her via:

Email (best way!): 
Lorene@AlphabetHoops.com

Mobile Phone: 
(404) 271-7429

Facebook: 


*** Laura Roinestad ***


Laura is a Hoopnotica-certified dance instructor who works full-time as a massage therapist at Integrated Health Solutions. She is available for all levels of private adult hoop dance and fire hooping lessons. 

(She occasionally offers a hoop dance skills series via Alphabet Hoops, so definitely "like" Alphabet Hoops on Facebook to keep current on class announcements!)

In addition to her hoop dancing skills, Laura has a background in ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, pilates and yoga...all of which she leverages to the great benefit of her hoop dancing students!

You can contact Laura via Facebook under her company name, "Baila Hoops," or her personal Facebook page. 

Hoop dance to "Misguided Ghosts" by Paramore

Photo credit: Sara Janssen // The Happy Hoop

Thursday, November 15, 2012

December 9, 2012: Next Playing a Round classes

The next Playing a Round---introduction to basic hula hooping---is scheduled for Sunday, December 09, 2012. The series is split into two sessions:

Hooping Basics 1
Sunday, December 09, 2012
2-3:30 p.m.

Hooping Basics 2
Prerequisite: Hooping Basics 1
Sunday, December 09, 2012
4-5:30 p.m.

You can sign up for one or both sessions. If 3 hours of hooping seems a bit much for you, consider signing up for Hooping Basics 1 now, and then Hooping Basics 2 the next time it's offered!

Hooping Basics 2 revisits the skills you learn in Basics 1 and builds on them. If you've taken Basics 1, you know that many seemingly complicated hoop moves are often just a series of simple ones. 

Click here for cost, location, and registration information.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

November 11: Next Playing a Round classes

The next Playing a Round---introduction to basic hula hooping---is scheduled for Sunday, November 11. The series is split into two sessions:

Hooping Basics 1

Sunday, November 11
2-3:30 p.m.

Hooping Basics 2

Prerequisite: Hooping Basics 1.
Sunday, November 11
4-5:30 p.m.

You can sign up for one or both sessions. If 3 hours of hooping seems a bit much for you, consider signing up for Hooping Basics 1 now, and then Hooping Basics 2 the next time it's offered!


Hooping Basics 2 revisits the skills you learn in Basics 1 and builds on them. If you've taken  Basics 1, you know that many seemingly complicated hoop moves are often just a series of simple ones. 

Click here for cost, location, and registration information.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Introducing Playing a Round™!


UPDATE: For class planning purposes, the last day to sign up is Saturday, October 13!

A hooping basics class by Alphabet Hoops
For new hoopers, 12 years old+.

Learn basic hula hooping moves and tips on how to teach them to your kids (and your young-at-heart friends!)

In this two-part hooping basics class, you will learn:
  • Stretching exercises that use your hoop
  • Basic waist and hand hooping moves
  • Tips on how to teach hooping to the "kids" in your life
Hula hoops are big circles of happy. Sign up with your friends (for a discount!) and LAUGH as you learn to hoop.

Think you can't hula hoop?
It's because you haven't tried with an adult-sized hula hoop!
Grown-ups need larger, heavier hoops than those used by kids.

Want to smile more with your friends and family?
Learn to hula hoop! Hoops are automatic smile-generators!

Want to add more exercise options for your kids?
Hooping is exercise disguised as fun!

WHEN

Sunday, October 14 AND October 21, 2012
4-5:30 p.m.
(3 hours total instruction)

WHERE

Fusion Fitness and MMA
Whitlock Point Shopping Center
1075 Whitlock Avenue, Suite E
Marietta, Georgia 30064

COST

$35 for 3 hours total instruction. Or save $10 and sign up with a friend for $30 each!

Hoops will be provided for class use. A limited selection will also be available for purchase at class time. Or pre-order yours by calling Lorene at (404) 271-7429 or emailing her at Lorene@AlphabetHoops.com. (If you don't get a fairly quick response, your email may have gone to my Spam folder. Please send me a text telling me to look for your message!)

Register early. Space is limited!

About the Instructor

Lorene Shaw is a hooping enthusiast who discovered the joys of hula hooping in 2009. She has taught both adults and children, and currently teaches hula hooping to City of Marietta students via Marietta Community School.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Little kids don't see spinning hula hoops

When someone buys a hoop from me, one of the things I warn them about is that little kids don't seem to "see" a spinning hoop. They'll just walk right up, and into, a spinning hoop. (Cute & LUCKY!) case in point.


The light, plastic kid's hoops that are commercially available don't do much damage, but my heavier, adult-sized ones can cause a bruise or two. So, be carefully, everyone! A kid will look you in the eye as you're waist hooping and walk right into your hoop!

Monday, May 21, 2012

My favorite hoop dance app

Yes, "there's an app for it!"

Okay. Not quite. There are plenty of online resources for hoop dance, but there isn't an app for it yet...that I know of. Hoop dance simply requires you, a hoop, and good old-fashioned practice. I do, however, have an app that appeals to me specifically because of my hoop dancing hobby.

It's Shazam, a free app that helps me identify the songs that I hear, but don't know. (And it's so popular that perhaps this write-up is simply stating the obvious, but I thought I'd go ahead and post this in the off-chance that there are a few people left who are not familiar with it.)

Before I took up hoop dancing, I was slowly losing touch with new music. (I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that this losing-touch process started before Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears came on the scene. I know this for a fact, because I vividly remember watching a news program in which they were both introduced...and recognizing that, were I more with-it, I would have known who the newscaster was talking about.)

Ahem. Anyway...ever since I've taken up hoop dance, however, I've been more aware of new and current music. I am always keeping an ear out for hooping-suitable music. Without Shazam, though, additions to my music library would be considerably more frustrating because sometimes I just catch a melody...or I simply can't understand what the heck the singer is saying (which is often).

I was sitting in a beauty salon when this song came on. Trust me. I would never have found the downloadable version without Shazam's help. (And this song's discovery lead me to this album. I had NO idea there was such a thing as electro swing. Yeah. Old fogey, right here!)

Monday, May 7, 2012

A hoop dancer for hooping enthusiasts

I have a select group of hooping videos that I re-share because I love them so. My favorite hoop dancers don't incorporate a lot of highly complicated hoop "tricks." They are simply dancing and their moves are completely reachable to every day hooping enthusiasts (as opposed to hooping "performers") like me.

Of the many hoop dancers that I admire, Beth Lavinder's style is the one that inspires me the most. In the following video, watch how she moves around the floor. Notice how she incorporates her arms and legs into her hooping. She is a true "hoop dancer" and one that I strive to emulate.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hooping at Taste of Marietta 2012

Cooper hooping at Taste of Marietta
(Photo Credit: Lorene Shaw)
Did you make it to Taste of Marietta this year? Just as we did last year, we went early, hooped to the live music by Three Way Street, and left when the heat and crowds were no-longer hoopable. Well. That and the awesome band was going to wrap up soon so there wasn't much point to staying. Um. Except perhaps for the food. And the other awesome bands. And...on second thought, maybe we should have stayed longer, hoops and all!

Last year I didn't think to get advance permission from the Taste of Marietta hosts. This year I did, though. And perhaps we'll be lucky enough to be invited back again in 2013. I certainly hope so. I want to dance to Three Way Street again.

And here are several pictures of our hooping day. Thanks so much to Jason Bourne for taking them!

Taylor Oviedo
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)

Taylor Oviedo & Lorene Shaw/Alphabet Hoops
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)

Taste of Marietta hooper
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)

Lorene Shaw/Alphabet Hoops discusses hooping with new hooper Laura
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)

Dueling hula hoopers
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)

Taylor Oviedo
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)

Jason Bourne, Lorene Shaw/Alphabet Hoops & Cooper
(Photo Credit: Mason Shaw)

Taste of Marietta hooper
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)

Taylor Oviedo
(Photo Credit: Jason Bourne)


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My oldest at 4 weeks old

August 11, 2001 - Mason at 4 weeks old
While organizing my photo archives, I came across this image. My oldest son at 4 weeks old. I have no idea how much he weighed in this picture, but given that he was 11 pounds 2 ounces at birth, he wasn't a lightweight...

He's going to be 11 soon. I can't get enough time with my kids, y'all. This is a problem.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday Funday at East Cobb Park


What could possibly improve upon a sunshiny day at the park, complete with (free!) live music? Why, hula hoops, of course! Last Sunday, Alphabet Hoops brought a stack of hoops and joined the fun at "Sunday Funday presented by Wellstar." With such a family friendly atmosphere, there were already a lot of smiling faces, but the hula hoops prompted some happy laughter as well.


Musician, Jay Memory
Lorene Shaw of Alphabet Hoops
 I really had a wonderful time introducing hula hooping to kids and adults. And I really appreciated the  occasional references to hula hooping that musician Jay Memory inserted into his songs. He made me smile every time he did that! Remember, Sunday Funday is free. And there's plenty of room for hula hoops. So bring yours, grab the family, and join in the fun!

About Sunday Funday by Wellstar: Located at East Cobb Park, Sunday Funday is held weekly on Sundays from 4-7 p.m., April 15 through May 27 (weather permitting). The weekly event features live musical entertainment performed by Jay Memory. Huge thanks to the the various sponsors who make this family-friendly activity possible for our community---Wellstar, Zaxby's, Willy's Mexican Grill, and Rohan Law PC.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hooping with Mr. Marietta

Today, Jason Bourne, aka “Mr. Marietta,” honored me with the opportunity to teach him some hooping tricks. He is a natural. I am 100% sure that if hooping piques his interest, he will very soon have some isolation tricks to show me.

Jason Bourne and Lorene Shaw at Marietta Square
Are you interested in learning some hooping isolations? Here’s an online tutorial that includes instruction for several moves. Many hooping moves have more than one name. In the preceding tutorial, the instructor teaches what she calls a "full moon," "half moon," "shooting star," and "milky way." Watch the video to see what they are!

I often teach kids isolations because they're impressive to see and relatively easy to learn. (You should see their eyes light up when I show them the moves!) Personally, I enjoy them because they're a fun way to build some shoulder definition, as well as workout my triceps and biceps.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Glass half-full outlook on life. To the extreme.

Image by Darren Shaw of Shaw Draw Inc.
You may copy for personal use, but please, please reference his web site.
There is such a thing, you know. One's outlook can be so positive that it's annoying to others. Or mildly amusing. This didn't occur to me until recently when I responded to a friend's story with what even I recognized was an unexpected question.

Said friend had just moved into an old house one street over from mine. She was young, relatively newly-married and with two little ones hanging onto her apron strings. The gas stove was old. So old that one had to manually light both the stove and the oven. One day, my friend tried to light the oven...nothing happened. A few minutes later, she returned to try again.

Of course, you know what happened, right? A ball of flames shot out of the oven right onto her face. This sounds like all kinds of horrible, but her hair was pulled back and she was far enough away that the fire only singed her eyebrows, eyelashes, and the edges of her hair. Her face looked sunburned; nothing major, but it did start to peel later. Seconds later, after I  ascertained that she had escaped relatively unscathed, I asked her, "Did your skin look awesome afterwards?"*

Yeah. I have some serious Pollyannaism issues going on here.
-----
*I asked about my friend's skin because it seemed to me that if the top layer of skin was singed, then it was similar to a chemical peel. Right? No. I know. I'm nuts.

p.s. I'm a professional technical writer, not a creative one. My attempts to write not-dry-content is giving me a complex.

p.p.s. Coincidentally, Starbucks is giving away free iTunes downloads to the song "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" by Paul McCartney. I grabbed three extra codes and you can have one! Just leave a comment stating that you've used the code and which one (either 1, 2 or 3). Codes expire on June 12, 2012.

1. AMRRARFXEW6R
2. RX49W3WL6AX9
3. XFFEL4K76JTL

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the hunt for a (not so) fancy frock pattern

I’ve been sewing for decades now. My earliest outfit recollection is the one I made for my favorite doll when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. (I should really include a picture of that outfit now, but that would require digging the doll out of the attic. Perhaps another time.) I continued sewing through high school, college and afterwards. I made my wedding dress. (Again, another picture opportunity here!) Then I switched over to quilting…hmmmm, I’d say I took that up in 1995 or 1996. (Yep. Another picture-insertion opportunity here!)

After the birth of my oldest son, my sewing projects become few and far between until they finally stopped, replaced by smaller “projects.” These included new recipes, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch---anything portable or that I could share with family and friends (like homemade marshmallows!)

So it’s been years since I’ve sewed on a regular basis and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to get that back into my life. First, I needed guaranteed child-free time. This was accomplished by attending Quilt Till You Wilt (at Tiny Stitches in Marietta) on a monthly basis. I pay $5, pack up my sewing machine and current project, and skedaddle to their studio for several hours. It so much easier to be productive when I can’t hear my kids calling, “Mooooommmmmmm!” all the day long.

During my first Quilt Till You Wilt session, I did actually work on a quilt. The last three times, however, I’ve been working on dresses. I really want a closet full of easy-to-wear dresses and that’s something I haven’t been able to find in the ready-to-wear market.

My criteria for these initial getting-back-to-sewing projects? Easy, no zippers or buttons, and semi-fitted waistline or none at all. With these requirements in mind, here’s the first dress that I made:


The pattern is Simplicity 2203. The fabric is 100% cotton from Joann Fabrics (and I’ve actually seen it at Wal-Mart, too). There are no zippers or buttons. (A top requirement right now as I ease myself into regular sewing projects.) It is an easy dress to make. Really.

And it has pockets! Quite cute pockets, actually. There’s a wee bit of elastic which gives them a scrunched up shape at their tops. A very nice detail. Granted, they were the most time-consuming part of the dress and at the time I was attaching them I announced that my next version of the dress would not include pockets. But time and distance are making me re-think that plan. I do believe the extra effort is worth it. Plus, I always like having somewhere to rest my hands.

The pattern instructions say to use binding as the neck tie, but I created a tie out of the same fabric as the dress. I thought the binding option made the dress look more homemade than necessary. Here’s the side-view. Notice the super long bow…I still need to shorten and finish off the tie.


Without a belt, the dress is an unflattering a-line on me. With a belt, the dress is semi-flattering. (I carry most of my weight in my middle. That combined with my relatively slim arms and legs result in unfitted dresses making me look pregnant.) It hung in my closet for days before I got around to trying it with a belt. I came very close to giving it away because I could tell the shape was not a good idea for moi. Now I’m glad I didn’t. And, yes, I shall make another one. Perhaps after I finish the next two dresses that I’ve got lined up.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A whole Lotta clogs

I like clogs. As much for the images of Swiss* chalets, gnomes and toadstools that they bring to mind, as for their easy (and comfortable) versatility. But they can be so very expensive (hello, Swedish Hasbeens!) Imagine how pleased I was when I discovered a Web site that includes a "Sale, Seconds and Sell of Section." Soon after that discovery, these cuties were Georgia bound:


Lotta From Stockholm products are also available at Amazon, but my clogs were cheaper when purchased directly from Lotta, even with shipping factored in.

*Yeah. I know. Although clogs are found worldwide, they are not generally associated with Switzerland. And to add another reference from that neutral country, clogs also make me think of Swiss-style cuckoo clocks. Go figure.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Summer is Smoothie Time!

Cappuccino Banana Smoothie
I first learned about smoothies as a student at Florida State University (Nature’s Way Restaurant…ah, how I miss you and your menu!) They’re quick, easy, as nutritious as you want to make them and (most importantly for kids) yummy!

There are a gazillion smoothie recipes on the Web (here’s a good place to start: ), but my basic recipe is:

Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve. Done!

-----

You can substitute any liquid you want for the milk (almond milk, soy milk, apple juice, pineapple juice, etc.) and replace the banana with any combination of frozen fruit. In the Cappuccino Banana Smoothie pictured above, I used 1/2 cup coffee, 1/2 cup milk and 1 frozen banana. Oh! And 1/4 cup ground oats. Really, a smoothie’s ingredient list is only limited by your imagination.

For a more ice cream like consistency, decrease the amount of milk. Other ingredients to try are cocoa powder, cinnamon, honey, plain yogurt. And, of course, the current craze is to add spinach or kale to smoothies. (Personally, I prefer those greens sauteed with a bit of garlic, so I don't need to drink them...)

A note about the frozen banana---I peel my over-ripe bananas and put them in the freezer for smoothies. Some people leave them in their skins, but I think that's a pain...perhaps that works best for banana bread when it has to be defrosted anyway, but I prefer to freeze my bananas peeled. I also slice the frozen bananas before putting them in the blender. I recognize that there are inherent dangers to this approach, but I've got a method that's fairly safe. You, being wiser than I, may choose to slice the bananas and then freeze them. Totally up to you!

Hmmm...I wonder what smoothie combination I shall try tomorrow...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hooping tutorial: Butterfly

Here's a pretty (and easy!) move to add to your hoop dance routine. Betty Lucas calls it the "Butterfly." It looks best when done slowly, but I'm sure more advanced hoop dancers could make a frenetic pace look good, as well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Glitter shoes for glitter hoops

Clearly, making and selling hoops is just an excuse for me to surround myself with more glitter. I do love sparkles! And red. And hoop dance. Which is why these glittery, red, ballet flats are perfect.

2 Lips Too "Too Kansas" ballet flats
Being flat, these shoes are great for daily use and...hooping. I found them here. They've since raised the price (although they're still on sale), so if you keep an eye on them, you may be able to snag them for less. Also, I typically only buy shoes from stores that offer both free shipping and free returns; despite being a Zappos store, 6pm.com does NOT offer free returns. So unless you're 100% sure of your size, you might want to try and find the shoes elsewhere.

I also found several pairs of glittery, ballet flats at Target (like these gold ones, and these black ones---both for $12.99). I considered them, but ultimately decided on the red ones. Although this does not rule out their addition to my shoe wardrobe in the (near?) future. Because I'm weak like that.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It was like herding cats...

...but with more smiles.

Last Monday was my final hooping session with the A.L. Burruss kids. I always plan to take pictures at my hooping events, but I generally get so caught up in the activity that picture-taking tasks fall by the wayside. This time, though, I was determined to get a photo. Thanks to the (equally determined) efforts of a few adults (THANK YOU, Mrs. Hutchinson, Leigh Borkowski and Jayne Nix!), we did make it happen.

After some tears, confusion, and rearranging, a photo was taken of the A.L. Burruss Alphabet Hoops Class of Spring, 2012.

A.L. Burruss Alphabet Hoops Class of Spring, 2012

And then all mayhem broke lose.

I will most certainly miss hooping with these kids.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

12 Schools, 24 Hoops - West Side Elementary Donation

(l to r) Ashley Bagwell, Assistant Principal--Lorene Shaw, Alphabet Hoops--Ken Wakefield, Physical Education.

About the "12 Schools, 24 Hoops" Program

Alphabet Hoops is focused on introducing kids to the joys and benefits of hula hooping. I do as much as I can with the time I have, but I have a family, a full-time job AND a penchant for crafting---all of which occupy a portion of the limited hours in my day.

So, to increase the number of kids that I reach, I also need to introduce hula hooping to adults who work with kids. To that end, my goal for 2012 is to donate two adult-sized hula hoops to the P.E. department of each of the 12 Marietta City Schools. (And, if the teachers are interested, each hoop handover will include a mini-introductory lesson to hooping!)

Check my donation tracking page for a  list of  the 2012 hoop donations to the Marietta City School system that I have completed so far! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hula hooping at Holiday Camp!

Next week, I'll be teaching hula hooping to the kids at the Marietta Community School Holiday Camp. I LOVE the way their faces light up when I show them a trick that they, too, can do. Seriously. Their faces glow with joyful anticipation.
Image via Marietta City Schools
Marietta Community School is the continuing education division of Marietta City Schools and has been serving the Marietta community for almost 30 years. They offer child care at West Side Elementary during school holidays. A $10.00 registration fee holds your child's place for all available camp dates, but you must reserve the specific dates your child will be attending. The cost is $35.00 per day, with multiple sibling and employee discounts available upon request. Camp is open from 7:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m.

If you have questions about the camp offerings visit their Web site or contact their Coordinator:

Annette Kouba
770.429.3170 (ext. 3305)
akouba@marietta-city.k12.ga.us

Friday, February 17, 2012

Yes, I bought a tutu

And a Hello Kitty one at that. It's pink, it's tulle, and it's totally ridiculous. And I love it. I am SO grateful that my hula hooping After School Program allows me to justify this addition to my wardrobe.
Disclaimer: Don't be alarmed. I will be wearing this over leggings. I am over the moon with glee about this skirt, but I haven't completely lost my mind!

Friday, February 10, 2012

14 Days of February Doodles - Days 9 and 10

Day 9:  No. It's not your eyes. The cat is out of focus...


Day 10:  My husband is so clever. Notice what the bee did to the heart.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

14 Days of February Doodles

On February 1, Darren surprised me with what was to be the first of 14 Valentine's doodles. I wasn't going to share them but, really, they're too awesome not to share. They are fun and super cute, and the boys enjoy them just much as I do.

Last night Darren gave me the 7th doodle in the series. This initial blog post contains 14 images...the front and back of each of the 7 we have received so far...so it will require some scrolling. Totally worth it to see Darren's clever pieces of art.


February 1, 2012 - Front
February 1, 2012 - Back

February 2, 2012 - Front

February 2, 2012 - Back
February 3, 2012 - Front
February 3, 2012 - Back
February 4, 2012 - Front
February 4, 2012 - Back
February 5, 2012 - Front
February 5, 2012 - Back
February 6, 2012 - Front
February 6, 2012 - Back
February 7, 2012 - Front
February 7, 2012 - Back
Check back tomorrow for today's February doodle!