Happy Watermelon Day!

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Well, HOW perfect! I had this post in “draft mode” all about a fun way to cut a watermelon! Little did I know that Watermelon Day was TODAY! SO, let me share some Watermelon JOY!

I documented my recent melon slicing success! You can see how I followed the *video below, with a slight change…once I cut off the rind, I then covered the watermelon half with a bowl and flipped it over, then I cut the watermelon criss-cross while it was inside the bowl! I place all the cut watermelon in 2-3 gallon sized Ziplock freezer bags (thicker, stronger) and it keeps nicely for almost a week!

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Now,  THAT’s some ROUND joy, wouldn’t you say?!

*If you have not already seen this helpful video, be sure to check it out below…it a super cool way to cut a watermelon…

Enjoy & have fun!

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Take Your Hoop on Vacation

SandalsHooperIf you have visited my Facebook or YouTube, you may have seen vacation video or pictures from Nassau Bahamas. This was not the first time I traveled with my hoop…quite the contrary. I have been traveling with hoops since 2009 and it’s always an amazing adventure. Hooping truly is a universal language! I mean, who knew they would have a talent show at our beach resort, for example? I sure was prepared! So, I realized after this latest trip that there are multiple benefits to hooping abroad…and you might be surprised by some of them! Today, I’d simply like to share just 5 reasons to take your hoop on vacation!

 

  1. Meet the locals EASILY…ANYWHERE…ANYTIME.

 

The hoop is a magnet. It attracts wide-eyed and curious looks, plus many wonderful comments from complete strangers, always accompanied by smiles and laughter. It’s the perfect ice-breaker and conversation starter in any situation. One thing you can be sure of is that the nature of your interactions while hooping will only and ALWAYS be positive and uplifting. Simply having a hoop with you can add a bright spot of positivity to the usually negative travel experience. As one client so perfectly put it in a text to me from the airport one morning…”My hoop is getting more attention than a newborn baby!”

 

 

  1. Keep up with your fitness and wellness goals while traveling.

 

As I have been mentioning, hooping provides excellent cardio and full body toning all at at the same time. In addition, it’s a perfect High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) method because you can speed it up and slow it down easily, while keeping the flow going throughout your session. In addition, being very low impact and gentle on the joints is one of its best benefits! With all that in mind, how wonderful it is to be able to take a collapsible hoop with you and never miss a beat of your exercise regimen? You can find multiple places to hoop while on trips…the pool, the beach, the mountains, the deck of a ship, the lake, the woods, city parks and the list can go on and on. Even at the airport, the hoop can be a wonderful way to loosen up or de-stress between flights and while stuck during a layover. Terminals are big and spacious enough to find a corner and get some hoop practice in. That’s right, think of your hoop as your yoga mat…hoops are no different. They are good for you, quickly available at your fingertips, bringing happiness in an otherwise miserable situation. It makes the day more blissful. Bliss is usually not a word we think of on “travel days”…getting to and from your destination is usually FAR from relaxing. Think of the hoop as your mental health muscle relaxer, mind and body wellness on the go!

 

  1. Help burn off those extra vacation calories BEFORE you get home.

 

Extra movement on vacation means extra calories burned. So go ahead and indulge a little. Keep in mind that hooping burns 100 calories every 10 minutes. You literally won’t even realize that you played with your hoop for 15-20 minutes and then POOF, you just hooped off that glass of wine or dessert!

 

  1. Prevent “Vacation Constipation” while on your trip.

 

Yes, I am going to go there. Traveling can really upset your “constitution.” Irregularity while vacationing is very common, with upset to our normal digestive patterns due to many factors including diet, sleep, daily routine changes and stress. Luckily, the hoop’s movement on your body and the motion you provide with your torso inside the hoop gently massages the organs and bowels, keeping everything “flowing” smoothly, just like your own hoop practice.

 

  1. Foster a much richer and enhanced hoop practice back home.

 

When you experience hooping somewhere special and relaxing; that blissful vacation feeling will return home with you in your hoop practice long after your trip ends. You come back with more inspiration to keep on moving and keep on improving. Maybe you “got’ a move or trick you have been working on. It’s hard to keep that to yourself, so you begin sharing more about it with your family and friends. Before you know it, you notice that you really are hooping “lighter” than before you went on vacation. Sometimes a change of venue in our hoop practice adds JUST what we need to get us out of a “rut” in our habits (or LACK of habits).

 

Just as we take vacations to clear our head and rejuvenate, our hooping needs the same self-care. Getting out with nature in a new environment, a new place will open up your mind to new possibilities with your hoop practice. You’ll be relaxed and not as pressured for time…you’ll be able to just spend some uninterrupted practice getting to know your hoop better, away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life. Doing this absolutely connects you better with your hoop practice and you are more willing to allow it to carry over into your normal routine once your get back to the real world.

 

Vacation is a time of enjoyment and relaxation. If you don’t enjoy exercise, then why make yourself do it when you are supposed to be having a good time? Luckily, with a hoop, your fun and joy is simply more enhanced WHEREVER you ARE, so taking it along is an added bonus rather than a chore!

 

I would be honored to provide you with a custom made Twist-n-gO™ hoop for your next trip. Never hesitate to contact me for help! Remember, with a hoop, it’s like a “mini-vacation” anytime you use it…any day…anywhere! Let me leave you with this thought…

 

“More than just yearly rituals in which we connect with friends and family, vacations are also exercises in self-definition. In affording time away from the demands of everyday life, vacations disclose what people choose to do rather than are required to do.”

CINDY SONDIK ARON, Working at Play

 

Be Aware of Autism

ProgtammingHopePosterAs I mentioned in my earlier post…it IS April, Autism Awareness month. I also promised a few special posts. This one includes a new video I am so happy to share with all of you.

You can go back and read any of the writings about my son, Kyle, in the archives of this blog. Just look over to the side or below for a menu of blog topics and click on AUTISM. Catch up a bit, if you haven’t already done so, that would be helpful. Even if you just read THIS ONE. You can also find that link near the autism ribbon under the archives list. It gives a good overview of our story.

Fast forward to today. Kyle, at age 26, is working at nonPareil Institute. The movie, Programming Hope, a documentary film about nP, finally premiered back in February. nonPareil is also getting closer to expanding and opening a second location in Houston! It’s an exciting time. They still need lots of support to make future growth possible, but they are working hard on all this. Please share this news and this story with everyone…we really need the word out there so everyone can be aware of autism in a future tense. It’s a business story as much as it’s an autism story. Anyone can benefit from hearing what is being done now and what’s on the horizon.

In February, I had the pleasure of hearing first hand, from several folks who were at a recent Houston open house meeting, about my son’s “speech” which he made during that event. You see, he was asked to attend with Dan Selec and Gary Moore, the founders of nP…and that alone, was pretty exciting! What many may not realize, was that Kyle actually was pretty nervous in the days leading up to traveling down there. He was going all by himself on a plane, since Dan and Gary were already down there attending an earlier event the night before. To Kyle, THIS trip was a big deal! He had flown before, but never alone. Having to navigate getting to and from places for the first time is always a topic of stress…add to that flying, and he just needed some reassurance. We discussed this by phone before he left. That’s typically how our relationship flows now that he’s an adult. He simply needs a little extra support and guidance, and we are his sounding board to help him make wise decisions…and of course, learn from his mistakes, which still can crop up.

After the Houston event was over I heard on Facebook about how well things went…he even posted wonderful pictures and updates during his short trip. Eventually, within a day or so, there were pictures posted on nonPareil – Houston’s Facebook page…and I was thrilled to learn that the documentary folks were down there, too, getting some final footage for the film…and luckily, Kyle’s speech was captured!

This makes us SO happy. He’s done something like this before, given a wonderful, moving testimony and we missed almost all of it. It was the evening of the final marching band competition his senior year of high school. Both my husband and I were busy doing band parent stuff, and I walked into the band hall at the tail end, heard his closing words, only to see kids and parents in tears and then applause. My husband missed it completely. Unfortunately, there was no good recording of it by anyone. We heard so much about it, though. We knew then that Kyle really had learned a sense of gratitude and that he valued his friends…and that he felt safe in band…and he really was worried about his future. It was scary to think he was going to leave his comfort behind after graduation, but we remained optimistic. As expected, college was not the right fit for him, nor was working in food service. Neither made him happy or feel successful. Kyle learned to speak his emotions very well thanks to all the counseling and speech therapy we did with him through the years . He was taught to use his words once he gained a sufficient amount of them in his repertoire . Outbursts were not appropriate, not tolerated and we taught him other ways to let go of what he was feeling. Years later, what you see here is the pay off. I never dreamed it would happen like this in a million years. Kids grow up. They learn what they are taught, over and over and over again. This is proof.

I decided to share this new video, which includes my son’s speech at that open house in Houston, in the hope that it helps those parents that are struggling right now. Our journey was long…and I cried a lot…and we were very scared…but we just kept doing the best we knew how to do. I simply can’t thank both Dan and Gary enough for helping to create this moment, now…and for believing in my son…and a big thank you to Jack Creamer, the director of Programming Hope, for sharing that meaningful film clip and the other pictures with me.

I want all of you reading this to take a moment and please watch…and share it with anyone who might need to hope and inspiration…

 

 

Autism Awareness is more than statistics. Be aware of what is possible. Know that a great future can and will happen. Children grow up and there are people out there right now working very hard to make sure training programs and jobs will be available to individuals on the autism spectrum. Stay aware and keep learning about it…because time will pass in the blink of an eye!

Years ago, we had to forget our fear and just take it one day at a time. It ends up that it’s been a wild ride, but a great lesson to share…life will take you places that you can’t even realize. You’ll meet people through the years that will help connect the dots. So don’t sweat it so much right now while the kids are little…just enjoy them…smile more often…lighten up! Teach them to be kind..teach them love. Teach them right from wrong as best as you can.

Almost 6 years ago, our son was the first student in a program we knew nothing about…but we took a leap of faith. Meeting someone randomly led this to happen…it wasn’t planned and we were not looking for it.

So, my message about autism is this:

You just never know! Keep your focus on the love…the consistency…and laugh…don’t forget to laugh. I think I mentioned that twice. It’s worth repeating. Build your village of support…the right people are all out there, walking around each day…you’ll know when you meet them…and the village grows as your child grows up, with each new experience. SO, make sure your children have a have a TON of experiences…both good and bad, because there’s something to be taken away and learned from each of them along the way.

Things have a way of falling into place…worry and fear just make the journey more difficult, so surrender to faith.

aRound the Kitchen – Omelette Tips

aRoundKitchen 1I love to cook, but over the years, I don’t do it as much as in years past. My kids are grown and it’s just my hubby and I. Learning to cook for two has been hard for me and when I find something I love, I tend to make it about once a week. This is one of those things. It’s an Omelette-Frittata thing that is pretty yummy and super easy with the omelette tips below!

Just watch the video. No need for a list of ingredients. You can add anything you like including other veggies and cheese. For this one, I simply used spinach and Canadian bacon. I also spray PAM on my skillet before starting.

 

 

I learned the tip about tilting the skillet while watching a cook in the Bahamas at the omelette station during our daily buffet breakfasts. When I got home, I tried it and was very pleased. The tip works even if you are making a traditional “quick” omelette, and the part about cooking your ingredients in the skillet before adding the eggs is important, too.

I also don’t cook this TOO quick…and I stand there, tending to it with my silicon spatula the entire time. You can do this over a higher heat, but be ready to move quickly, as it will cook fast since you are tilting and getting all the egg exposed to the skillet. If you start with a high heat, then lower it and move quick, it won’t get too golden brown…so adjust that to your preference. Cooking it longer, as here, makes it almost like a quiche without the crust!  No need to bake in the oven, either. Serve up with fruit and it’s a great brunch meal on Sunday!

These tips may be no news to some of you, but I had never done them when cooking eggs before. Learning something new brings me JOY…what can I say?! As a side note…notice the skillet is ROUND, after all…just pointing that out…but I digress.

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try this and how it turned out. Do you have other fave ingredients you like to add to your omelette or frittata? I’m always up for new ideas!

 

 

Autism Rally in the Fort

AutismFortRallyAs a parent of an adult son on the spectrum, nothing brings me MORE joy than hooping and helping raise autism awareness!

So, I’m supporting local efforts this coming Monday, April 27th, at the Autism Rally in the Fort. The event will be at Panther Island Pavilion from 4-7pm. This gathering will celebrate and benefit the wonderful work being done at Hope Center 4 Autism for local children affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Special thanks to Hondo, host of Impact Texas, a public affairs show for Cumulus Media Dallas, for this informative Facebook video interview with Mayor Betsy Price! Watch it to learn more. Links and event details are also on my CALENDAR.

Just looks for my hoop and my Jeep! Oh, and there will be more Jeeps there from Chisholm Trail Jeep Club, including The Au-Some Crawler!

My hoop, some Jeeps and lots of people there supporting autism awareness…combined with music and fun! What a great time it will be. I hope to see you there!