Happy Watermelon Day!

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 have documented my melon slicing success before, too! You can see this in the *videos below…another tip is that once I’m done, I place all the cut watermelon in 2-3 gallon sized Ziplock freezer bags (thicker, stronger) and it keeps nicely for almost a week!




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

*If you have not already seen my helpful videos, be sure to check them out below…it’s a super cool way to cut a watermelon! Both of these videos were done last summer on my Facebook page…some other motivation and tips are in the second video down there, too…I always love to encourage y’all! Just watch…you’ll see what I mean!

Enjoy & have fun!


Father’s Day Is Truly A Joy










If you’ve known me or even followed me for awhile, you’ll remember that my daddy passed away when I was just 21 years old. You’d think today would be a little sad for me, but thankfully, that’s not the case. I remember so much love from father…and thanks to my husband, I get to witness daily a shining example of a loving provider and father right before my eyes. So, Father’s Day is truly a joy for me…and here’s a few reasons why…

My Memories

As far back as I can remember, I was loved by my daddy. He was proud of me and he told me so. He smiled when I entered a room…his eyes lit up…he greeted me with hugs and kisses. If I was asleep, he ALWAYS came into my room & gave me a goodnight kiss. I would wake up just a little, enough for me to be aware of his smell, even to this day. His leather jacket & cologne…even musty smells from his smoking habit…I relish every single, precious memory.

I think perhaps the memory I am most grateful for is being home from college the day he passed away. Actually, I consider it a gift. That day, I saw him before going out shopping with my momma. He kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me. Later that night, I would find him asleep in his chair. Yes, I did. No one else did. Just me.

Yes, that’s a special memory. I was not even suppose to be home that day…but I was. There was a reason for me to be there, God put me there. God gave me that special gift. He showed me that HE’S got my back and will always put me where I need to be. From that day, I have never questioned why something is happening or where I am led…I just go with what or who I am drawn to. There’s a purpose for every experience. I’ll be talking more about that in future posts, but let me just make it clear…I got all THAT on the day my daddy died.

That is a big lesson to learn early in life. I know it helped shape me. I would have missed so much had I not decided to go home on that one day. How can I not be grateful for that? I think about it almost daily and celebrate it every single chance I get…especially on holidays like this one!



My Man

When I was 22 years old, I went on a “first date” with the man I would marry two years later. We have been married for 33 years…he’s a loving, hard working husband and father. Without him, there would be far, far less joy in my life. Just as God put me where I needed to be the day my daddy died, He also put this man into my path and allowed us to meet, fall in love and get married. Celebrating him daily is not enough, so going on a little extra on holidays like today seems only fair!


My Mission

I am all about joy. I know God put me here to share joy, using my talents.

My father raised me around love and joy. He made sure I was involved in dance, and other activities that made me happy. That molded me into who I am today, doing what I do, loving movement and encouraging others to get up and move.

My husband helps me so much…believing in me…providing financial support…technology support…plus, all the physical labor that keeps aRoundJoy possible, from hauling hoops to events, to all the work he’s done to create my studio locations over the last 8 years. I am so blessed and need to tell you so much more. Again, in future posts I will be sharing lots more of our story.

So you see, without my daddy or my husband, there would not be aRoundJoy. It’s the truth. aRoundJoy has deep roots far beyond what you see…the vehicle I simply ended up with was a hoop, but my real joy and passion comes from my family. Thanks to them, I can keep providing an experience towards physical and emotional wellness through the joy of hooping…and I will continue to share more life experiences here with you, all with my hoop in hand!

Today, on Father’s Day, I simply thank God and celebrate these special men in my life!

Hooping Warm Up and Stretch PREVIEW

Preparing your body for hooping is very important and should not be overlooked. So, to give you a little insight on how I approach this, here’s a little hooping warm up & stretch preview…I call it “HoopRelax”…it’s a part of my online aRoundJoy BASICS Hoop Training Vault.

If you follow me regualrly on social media, you already know that I post numerous clips of my many hoop videos on Facebook and Instagram…but email subscribers will get even more access and very useful information EXCLUSIVELY from me!

By signing up, you will get “aRound Waist” – the first 4 videos of aRoundJoy BASICS delivered to your inbox, absolutely FREE! The entire vault, which includes 40 videos and other tools, is found inside my Member’s Only “virtual studio”- HoopShack-to-gO, here on aRoundJoy.com

These videos are great for anyone who needs help with WAIST HOOPING, plus a way to sample my training…consider it a little gift to say “thank you” for receiving my emails.

By the way, I don’t send out many emails throughout the year, but to get you started, I do send a few at first. They contain valuable waist hooping instruction you’ll want to save…after that, the only other emails I send some seasonally, just a few each year. I haven’t sent out monthly emails in the last few years, just too time consuming and too much clutter…but if there’s ever a good offer coming up, I’ll be sure to let you know!

It’s easy to sign up…just fill out the box over to the RIGHT or down BELOW on this page, depending on your browser.

I look forward to helping you! Happy Hooping!

Weighing in on Weighted Fitness Hoops

One question I get quite frequently is, “Do you sell weighted fitness hoops?” My answer is both “Yes…and NO!” I feel like its time to explain more and “weigh in” on this topic.

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Some folks come to their first hooping lesson with a hoop already in their hands. I encourage them to bring what they have so I can see what they currently own. Maybe they got it off the Internet. Perhaps they purchased one from a department or sporting goods store. It’s called a “fitness hoop” that is “weighted” so you can “use” it to exercise.


Once they arrive, it takes a minute or less to show them the difference in the hoop that I recommend vs. the traditional “weighted fitness hoop.” The reaction to their heavier workout tool is always the same…”I wish I would have known before I bought THIS one!” or “THIS one seemed too heavy, but I just thought I just needed to work up to it!” and even, “Well, I saved my receipt…I’m returning it!”

If you are considering a hoop, do me a favor – please don’t just run and buy a hoop at the store. The toys ones are TOO LIGHT and the weighted fitness ones are too heavy…well, in most cases they are…let me explain a few key points:

  1. Depending on YOUR body size & weight, the average BEGINNER hoop weight for success is about 1.5 lbs. to under a little  less than 2 lbs. It’s just enough “weight” for YOU to push against, yet not too heavy to still HAVE FUN! Any lighter of an object is too hard to feel. This is why the toys are hard for adults…our bodies weigh more and the toy hoops are basically like pushing against AIR! A kid, well, one whose smaller and weighs less than an adult, might find it easier since his body weight is relative to the lighter weight tube. The same can be said in relationship to the SIZE of the hoop…children are smaller, so they can use a smaller hoop, but as we get bigger and heavier, our hoops need to be larger and heavier. I explain a lot more details in another blog HERE.
  2. The fitness industry has taken all this into account when it comes to providing a hoop for your “workout”…it’s somewhat bigger than a toy…and has ADDED WEIGHT. This should be all you need….right??? If all you want to do is spin a heavy object on your waist, then YES, go for it. IF, however, you want to do what you see ME doing, spinning the hoop on my body, all over my torso, not just my waist, swinging the hoop around and off my body, above my head, having fun, smiling and enjoying the gentle movements…then NO, you do not need a hoop that is ONLY designed for a workout routine. I personally don’t believe in using any hoop 2 lbs. and over if you are wanting to do fun hooping that involves dancing, moving around and smiling. So consider your goal and purpose before purchasing.
  3. The hoops I make and recommend are weighted only by the fact that they are constructed with light materials, and those materials weigh something…depending on the size and how much material you add to the hoop (either plastic or tape, for instance) then the hoop will be just the right weight for you. Things like metal, sand, water, rubber – elements that are HEAVY – those should be avoided, in my opinion. Stay away from any hoop that you find which is weighed down with any additional components, seen or unseen INSIDE the tube. You’ll even see safety disclaimers on hoops that weigh more, saying you should only use it for 10 minutes at a time, that it can cause bruising, that sort of thing. Again, this kind of “hooping” is not what I teach or recommend for adding joy and exercise to your life. Seriously, I’m NOT choosing to hoop for my fitness plan to be reminded about how it can bruise me and how I can only do it for so long because it might damage my internal organs. I don’t want you to have to worry about this either. A hoop needs to be GENTLE on your body. That’s the kind of hoops I want my clients to use.
  4. “HOOP” is and has been like a cool “buzz word” in the fitness industry for a few years now…it’s under the radar, but making gains in visibility…and because the whole culture of fitness is so deeply rooted in “weight” and “reps” and the mentality of “heavier” lifting or pushing means SUCCESS, then adding MORE “weight” to a hoop seems logical and can help “sell” hooping as a workout. They want the consumer to feel like they are “working out”…a 4 lb. ring does make it FEEL like a piece of workout equipment, indeed. The WORD “weighted” is really a marketing strategy to get the mind “in the game”…blending old school fun with weight & cardio training. People begin to see more hoops on the shelves and it’s suddenly a household term, “weighted fitness hoop.”
  5. Hooping (as I do it, teach it and what you see floating around in hoopdance videos online) is an incredible workout. THE HOOP does not need any added weight. The way that your body benefits from hooping with a typical 1.5 lb. custom hoop is through repetition of gentle movement and the motion of using your OWN BODY WIEGHT into the hoop…dynamic stretching with that hoop as you pass it around your body…constant power with the legs or arms, keeping the hoop spinning by pushing it, which in turn keeps the heart pumping. You get cardio, toning and stretching all at once. You just can’t get all that from a heavy hoop that feels like a large, round dumbbell. “Weighted hoops” are for standing and using in place, lifting it up and down or just waist hooping only. I teach many more options, safely, to do with a lighter hoop.

It can be quite difficult, and even dangerous, to try and do some fun “hoopdance” style hooping (and ESPECIALLY our OFF BODY moves) with a heavier hoop. You really can hurt your back and shoulders for sure. My advice is to resist the urge to spend money on one of the hoops you can buy that has labels and disclaimers. If it’s wrapped in PADDING, run away! Look to a local hoop instructor, like myself, either online or in your local community. Your hoop should fit you, be made custom, just for you, so YOU can have success and enjoy what you are doing, rather than second guessing if the size or weight. Leave all that to your hoop instructor, at first. In the beginning, seek professional advice if you are new to hooping, just as I offer here on my website, so you can avoid costly mistakes and injuries.

More fun. More options. More results. The point is to NOT feel like you are exercising, so you will want to do it more often, make it a new, healthy habit in your life! You can only get all THAT with variety and by using something that doesn’t remind you it’s a piece of fitness equipment every time you pick it up, right?! You want to focus on learning moves that help make your “workout” playful and fun, with hoops that make all that possible, keeping your outlook, well, SUNNY…



Forget about “weight” and “fitness” once you touch that new hoop, too. Just have fun and let the joy of the moment LIGHTEN your mood…let what feels fun guide your journey…and over time, YOU will become lighter in MANY more ways…mind, body, spirit…trust me!


Be Aware of Autism

ProgtammingHopePosterI know April is Autism Awareness month, but I truly believe we should be aware of autism all year, in a positive and uplifting way. So this post I give you today will help everyone do just that. It includes a very personal video that I’m 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 almost 29, is working at nonPareil Institute. The movie, Programming Hope, a documentary film about nP, premiered back in February 2015, and FINALLY it will be available for everyone to watch at home starting April 2nd via Vimeo On Demand.

nP has even expanded from Plano and opened a second location in Houston! It’s an exciting time. They still need lots of support to make even more future growth possible, but they are working hard on all this. Please share our story and their story with everyone…visit nonPareil Institute’s Facebook page and share from there! We really need to get 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 to help adults on the spectrum and what’s on the horizon. It gets ideas and conversations started. It gets ideas and actions started, too.

Kyle’s Story

A little before the nP Houston location opened, I had the pleasure of hearing first hand, from several folks who were at their “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’d like to share a more recent 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.

Eight years ago, during a hot Texas summer, 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. See? You just never know!

My Message To You

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.