Friday, October 4, 2013


As part of preparing for hours of airplane travel with his children, my Dad always bought us each a book to read during the flight. I was always so excited about getting on the plane and then cracking open my travel gift. And despite often having a new book in my hands days before departure, I never peeked inside it. I loved the anticipation.

Invariably, I would choose a collection of fairy tales or short stories, often written by my favorite author, Enid Blyton. Which is probably why the blue, leather bound collection of fairy tales I found at the bookstore yesterday came home with me. And accompanied me on my journey to the mountains. It was covered in plastic, but I refrained from unwrapping it until after our road trip was well underway. Anticipation is still fun.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Solar System Hoop Jam

There are many different hooping styles. Here are some interpreted in planetary terms.
A new hooping image! Note cards are available in the store right now. In a few days, the "Solar System Hoop Jam" will be available on other product types.

Meanwhile, get your note cards for 75% off! Use code CARDDEAL4YOU at checkout. The net sale price is the price of the product excluding shipping and taxes. Offer is valid until September 21, 2013 at 11:59pm PT.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm back!

I haven't discussed it at all publicly, but a shoulder injury required that I scale back my hula hooping activities. Really scale back. As in, just thinking about lifting a hoop was painful. Despite the pain, though, I continued offering my monthly Intro-to-Hooping classes through May of this year, and then took a break over the summer to focus on physical therapy.

I honestly didn't think my shoulder was going to get better, but now I'm beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel! So I've updated my blog with lesson information and I'm ready to schedule time to help local budding hoop enthusiasts get started on their new fitness activity.

Both private and group lessons are available, but I highly recommend setting up a private party at your home or local park! Gather up some friends and let's hoop and laugh together! There's nothing like hula hooping with friends to bring joy and laughter to a forever memorable get-together!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kids and online hooping tutorials

There are a lot of awesome hooping tutorials on YouTube, but I ALWAYS caution parents to screen what their children are watching. 

Did you know that you can LOCK the YouTube Safety Mode on your browsers? EASY instructions are here: 

(Curious about some of the hooping tutorials on YouTube? This page points to a few.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to pack a Pocket Pie for school lunch

My kids enjoy Hot Pockets. I'm not a big fan of processed foods, but I will happily admit that last school year, Hot Pockets were an occasional life saver...especially after I figured out how to pack them for lunches.

I was so excited about my new school lunch option that I, of course, told all my friends about it. Which is when I discovered that some people are intimidated by the lunch packing how-to's. So I'm sharing the process here. It's not complicated. Really. And your kids get a hot meal without having to spend precious lunchtime minutes waiting in a cafeteria line.

Hot Pocket packed in a Thermos for school

How To Pack a Hot Sandwich for Lunch

What you need:
1 Wide-mouth Thermos
Hot water, enough to fill Thermos
2 parchment paper or aluminium foil rectangles. Large enough to mostly cover half a sandwich.
1 hot sandwich (e.g., Hot Pocket or a grilled cheese sandwich)
  1. Fill Thermos with boiling water. Let sit for a few minutes.
    I do this before I make breakfast for the kids thereby giving the water plenty of time to heat up the Thermos.
  2. Cut two pieces of parchment paper or foil into rectangles. They should each be large enough to cover half a sandwich.
  3. Warm up Hot Pocket in microwave. (Or prepare your warm sandwich.)
  4. While sandwich is warming, quickly drain and dry Thermos. Resealing the lid when you're done.
  5. Working quickly, cut warmed sandwich in half and wrap each portion in paper or foil.
    (Wrapping the portions individually makes it easier to pull them out of the container.)
  6. Place in Thermos and seal.
I've asked my kids how warm their sandwiches are by lunchtime and one responded that they were still "hot." But that's my sensitive one. I doubt the sandwiches are "hot," but I'm confident that they are, at the very least, warm.
Okay. I wasn't being entirely honest about how often I fed my kids Hot Pockets last year. They were waaayyyyy more than an "occasional" life saver. Which is why I'm spending the summer looking for an alternative that will lessen my mom-guilt, if even just a little bit. And I've found some options! I'll share them later.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A beautiful landing

Magnolia Pearl 

Such a pretty landing page on this web site. Birds flying by! Trapeze artists swing in and out of sight! A ballerina twirls! Click through the pages; they're all pretty. And the music that plays at each one?! I'm speechless.

But...who wears this type of clothing? And how do they incorporate it into mundane daily life? I need to know. Because I want how-to lessons.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sister laughter is the best

I know the point of this video is the two year old, but I love the sister-laughter the best. And the sister dancing. Good for a smile!

The video was posted at Maybe Matilda and is of the site owner's sister and son dancing to a Just Dance video.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

High hopes and a hair cut

Image via

Today, with Google-translated instructions in hand and very high hopes, I had my hair cut by someone who does not speak the same language as I. was a success! I'm SO pleased.

And, yes, my hair actually looks similar to that pictured above...bangs and all! Yay!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sherwood Forest

My favorite (mini-) stretch of Kennesaw Mountain
Walking Kennesaw Mountain on a daily basis, I'm slowly getting to know the community of people who regularly hike there, too. Today I had the vague sensation that, one-by-one, the residents of Sherwood Forest were making themselves known to me.

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Okay" versus "ok"

When texting, I enter all the characters in "okay." I'm pretty sure that means I'm old. Or an over-achiever. I'll go with the latter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Whale of a Good Time!

We have a new hula hooping image in our store

Original art by Shaw Draw, Inc.

A whale tail-hoops and his friend Monsieur le Crabe claw-hoops. They're having a whale of a good time hooping for their fishy audience!

This image is available on a variety of products including t-shirts, posters, and mugs...among other items. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Love Reminders" community outreach project

Last Sunday I had the great privilege of assisting with the StoneBridge Children's Ministry's Community Outreach project for February. Called "Love Reminders," the craft was designed by Michelle Chestnutt (one of my favorite people, y'all!). 

Take some basic office supplies, add some carefully chosen uplifting text (bible passages or favorite quotes), then give children free rein to decorate as their heart desires and you end up with day-brightening packets to distribute amongst friends and acquaintances.

"Love Reminders" community outreach project
Michelle and Jennifer Dew have been volunteering as the StoneBridge Church Children's Ministry's Community Outreach project coordinators for the past two years. They lead outreach projects 3 times a year for various groups---retirement home residents, StoneBridge missionaries, the U.S. troops abroad, and local emergency personnel. Together they come up with a project's focus, the accompanying lesson and a craft; Penny Harrison (StoneBridge's AWESOME and dedicated Children's Pastor) gives them her blessing and guidance, and lovingly allows them "free reign" to teach the lovely young hearts who visit the StoneBridge Children's Ministry.

For this particular project (centered around Valentine’s Day), Michelle and Jennifer wanted to remind retirement home/assisted living residents that they are loved and are not alone. They chose the verse 1 John 4:11 to teach the children "we are to love God and love others." And that when we help others, we not only show God’s love, we serve God. They  wanted to do a daily devotional of sorts, and chose verses and sayings to serve as the daily “love reminders.”   

When designing projects for the StoneBridge Children's Ministry, a challenge is not only the time limit, but the age difference and sheer quantity of children. So they generally choose small scale projects, but with the hope that the impact on both the recipients AND the children is big. This project definitely more than lived up to those objectives! (Honestly, I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this project!)


In preparation for the craft, we created stacks of the following supplies: 
  • Blank book marks
  • Open ended envelopes (Michelle found these and the book marks at a SchoolBox store; I couldn't find them online)
  • Ribbon cut into 9" lengths
  • Index cards (stacks of 10)
  • Uplifting text (stacks of 10 different passages)
  • Glue sticks
At craft time, the kids lined up and two parent volunteers handed out the required supplies to each child. Then stickers and buckets of markers were distributed amongst the children and everyone set to work. In an hour and a half, the StoneBridge team was able to welcome the children, explain how to create the project, teach a lesson, make the project, clean up, present a followup to reinforce the lesson, and still had some playtime at the end! It was a truly admirable and effective effort!

My heartfelt thanks to Michelle Chestnutt for supplying content for this write-up! Here is the lovely lady herself giving direction to the kids as they work on their Love Reminders project.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hooping and osteoporosis

Pam Theobold started hula hooping at age 57 to help heal her osteoporosis. In the attached (short) video, she describes how she discovered hooping and the health benefits she gained from her chosen form of exercise.

There are so many health benefits to hula hooping. My favorite part? It's exercise disguised as FUN. Regular exercise is a key component to leading a healthy and happy life. If you can find an activity that you truly enjoy, you will be more likely to keep doing it. Hula hooping fits the bill for me...and perhaps you, too?