Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Current favorite hooping videos

I've decided to maintain two hooping videos in the sidebar: My current favorite instructional and inspirational videos.

There are a LOT of pluses about face-to-face lessons with a hooping instructor, but my schedule often doesn't allow the amount of personal instruction that I need. That's where online hooping videos come into play.

Following are two videos that I've watched and re-watched numerous times over the past few days. I'm in the midst of finetuning the hoop isolation moves taught in the first video. As a beginning hooper, I didn't understand the appeal of hoop isolations. Now that my skills have progressed a bit, I can see why many hoopers enjoy them; they add a little extra pizzaz to hoop dance routines. Males and kids also find hoop isolations appealing. Since I'm always on the lookout for (simple but impressive) moves that I can teach kids, I'm honing my isolation skills so that I can better explain them. I especially enjoy the following tutorial because Deanne presents several moves and then shows them in sequence. This sequence will help me improve my hooping flow*, so I'm grateful that Deanne went to the trouble of recording this tutorial.

Instructional: Isolation sequence
Deanne of

I've been watching this second video in the hopes that some of the moves will come to me through osmosis during one of my (almost daily) hoop practice moments. I find Ria's flow akin to that of Beth Lavinder's (the hoop dancer whose moves I most want to emulate).

Inspirational video: Hoopdance to Bond
RiaHoopAleenaDeeLite (YouTube user name)

*What is "flow"? It's the almost seamless transitions between hoop moves. When you have "flow," the viewer doesn't catch you prepping for the next move. They just happen.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hula hoop rug

The lovely (and talented! and hard working!) Rebecca DeShon of HoopEssence* shared a link to this craft and I squealed when I saw it! I'm still fine tuning my blog's identity, but "crafting" and "hula hooping" are included in my profile and this project merges them both!

Image is from Instructions are here.
Coincidentally, I have been eyeing this Etsy item and considering making my own version.
To purchase this Etsy item, go here.
Then the planets aligned and Rebecca shared her link. (My imaginary chorus is singing "Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh" and raising their hands to the heavens.)

Spring Break is coming up. I now have a project planned for it.
*Rebecca teaches hoop dancing classes in the Atlanta area. I've never attended one, but I've heard that they're very popular. If Marietta and my local favorite teacher Laura Roinestad are too far away, then I point people to Hoop Essence. (You didn't know that, did you Rebecca? :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pleased (and amazed)

At a McDonald's drive through for coffee this morning I commented that I'd never seen a Big Mac that looked like the one pictured. From the back seat Mason said, "What's a Big Mac?"

He will be 10 years old in July. I am both pleased (and amazed) that we have maintained his fast food innocence for this long.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AJ’s Famous Seafood and PoBoys: Marietta, GA

Last weekend, my family expressed a craving for oysters. Almost instantly finding myself with an identical craving, I immediately disappeared to search the Web for local oyster options. That's when I stumbled upon glowing reviews of AJ's Famous Seafood and PoBoys. It didn’t take long for me to pack the family up and corral them out the door to grab lunch!

As one of the first customers that sunny Saturday, we snagged the best seat in the house --- the elevated table at the front window. And the experience only got better from there. Our attentive server brought over menus and utensils almost immediately and our beverages soon after. I didn’t pay attention to how long it took them to bring the food out, but I do know the boys didn’t get antsy so it mustn’t have been too long.

Crawfish Salad
Everything we ordered was tasty including my Crawfish Salad and my five year old’s Fried Shrimp, but my friend's Softshell Crab po-boy and my 9 year old’s Hot Sausage po-boy were EXCELLENT. The crab was fried to perfection and the hot sausage was flavorful and not too spicy. But what really made those sandwiches was the bread.  It was the perfect combination of soft interior and lightly crusted exterior…just the way French bread should be. (Note to self: Find out where AJ’s gets their bread!)

Hot Sausage PoBoy
Of course, nothing we ordered had oysters in it which was the reason I found AJ’s in the first place... Ah, well, I guess we’ll have to return another day. Soon.
AJ’s Famous Seafood and PoBoys
Pavilions at East Lake
2100 Roswell Road, Marietta, GA
(Next to Kroger. They’re working on their web site.)
Telephone: (678) 999-0767
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. every day, including Sundays
Healthy Food Notes: I didn't ask about trans fats and food sources.
AJ's Famous Seafood & Po Boy's on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 14, 2011

How to make a hula hoop

I make and sell hula hoops primarily as a way to promote hula hooping (although I'll admit that I REALLY enjoy working with glitter tape!). When I can, I'll also use them to promote my friend (the excellent hooping instructor, Laura Roinestad) and as a fund raising tool by donating them to schools and organizations (I've actually given away more hula hoops than I've sold!). (Yes. I talk this way, conversations can be a whole bunch of tangential comments. Be happy that you're just reading this and not having to listen to it!)

Adult-sized hula hoops can be difficult to find and then, when one does find them, it can be confusing deciding what size and weight to purchase. So I enjoy making hula hoops for people who are eager to start hooping but don't know how to get started.

As I excitedly promote the many benefits of hula hooping, though, I am becoming increasingly aware that the demand for my hoops is very soon going to be waaaayyyy more than I am able to meet (this is my hobby, after all, not my full-time job). So, to address this imminent possibility, I'm going to add information on how to make your very own hula hoop to this blog's sidebar. To be the most helpful, though, that writeup will take a bit of time. In the meantime, here's a quick and fun how-to that was posted by the singer Elizabeth Mitchell.

elizabeth mitchell - how to make a hoola hoop from You Are My Flower on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This is why I love hula hooping

Last Sunday, I assisted Laura Roinestad with an "Introduction to Hooping" session at Unity North Atlanta Church. Look at the smiles and grins on the faces of these teenagers!

It makes me so happy to introduce people to hula hooping --- it's an activity that combines exercise with FUN. And it's challenging enough to hold one's interest because there are always new moves to learn. (How many different "moves" can one do on a treadmill?!)