Recommended by aRoundJoy

If it’s listed here, I am a fan. Could be a thing, a band, a person…an organization, a program or a company.

Either I use it or I’m into it. It’s in my life and chances are, my family is involved and invested, too.

** I am also an ambassador for some of the businesses below and they give me a small thank you (never at any cost to you) for sharing and supporting them. Even if I didn’t have an affiliate relationship with them, I would still refer business to them…they are that good!

I’m happy to answer any questions and give you honest feedback on anything listed below. I support the following and suggest them highly!

ASTRAL HOOPS **

Zig Zag Stripe Boutique **

NonPareil Institute

Innerspace Marketing

Levitt Pavillion

Mingo Fishtrap

Arlington Chamber of Commerce

Perfect Foods Bar

Sunshyne Silverwear ** use code “aroundjoy” to save 5% off your order

Twirl Planet

Mini Cannoli Cups Recipe – a ROUND Italian JOY!

This time of year I love me some baking. You know I am all about round things that bring me JOY, too…and since I am Italian, this recipe just FITS!

You also know I’m always looking for a little “switch” to make healthy options of decadence, so I think I will try to make this with Stevia instead of sugar, and I will report my results on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!

Please let me know if you make this one and how they came out! Did you share them this holiday?

Enjoy!  Merry Christmas!

 

Mini Cannoli Cups

 

Canolli

Ingredients

Filling -

1  15oz. container of whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

 

Crust -

2 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Flour for dusting surface

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 425. Prep

are filling by combining all ingredients except chocolate chips in a bowl with an electric mixer. Place in a one-gallon freezer bag and refrigerate. Roll out pie crusts and sprinkle each all over one side with sugar and cinnamon. Roll over dough with rolling pin gently to push cinnamon and sugar into the pie crust. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out circles in the dough. Lightly press the circles into ungreased cupcake pans to form a pastry cup. Gently prick the bottoms on the cups with a fork so that they don’t rise too much in the oven! Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and once cool, fill with cream. Cut off a small part of the corner of the plastic bag to fill cups. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and dust with powdered sugar! Filling can be kept in the fridge up to 3 days before filling. Fill about 1 hour before serving. To get cream extra thick, run ricotta through a cheese cloth over night to remove excess water.

How to do a LIGHT Hoop Workout

Read this if you want to know more about how a hoop workout that will really benefit your WHOLE body, including arms and not just your waistline! I’ll be sharing more tips like this mainly for those who are wanting some ideas for more hoop practice ideas…but more than that, I want to inspire everyone to simply be more creative in their exercise routine, WHATEVER that means for you! MOVEMENT is what it takes to be healthier!  Safe, simple, no-to-low impact activities are effective and don’t have to be BORING! See what I mean?

 

 

Is LED hooping unusual exercise? Sure!

Do I care? NOPE!

IS it FUN? ABSOLUTELY!!!

The key thing here is that I am repeating the same moves quite a bit, reversing the direction here and there, switching hands so I work my body out evenly, keeping things in balance. I’m also aware of the intensity I am using…going slower and faster, feeling how it effects the way I feel and the way my hoop feels as I execute the moves. The repetition is also great for letting the brain “get it” and you can then develop the muscle memory to make the move as easy and involuntary as breathing. This is just how you learn hoopdance…you do it over and over. This video captures my practice as I normally do it…pick a song, pick a few moves, repeat…maybe I’ll dance a little with my feet, it all depends how I am feeling and the music tempo…the fact that I did it with an LED hoop is just icing on the workout cake!

This sort of hoopdance is COMPLETELY achievable for ANYONE, even those who are not actually hooping on their waist yet. Off body moves improve your endurance, offering cardio and muscle development.  OFF BODY MOVES ARE OFTEN WHAT YOU LEARN FIRST and it is where many folks stay while becoming better at on-body moves. There are other moves than just what you see here, too, as well…very basic ones…I just highlighted this vertical weave and other vertical moves that show off the pretty lights of my hoop. I mean, why not enjoy myself even more and be a little entertaining?

A little secret, I admit, is that I was wanting to document the different settings within one of the “modes” of my Astral Hoops Atomic Evoke LED hoop…so, I got even more bang for my hoop, so to speak…a workout and a study guide! This hoop has A LOT of options and I am trying to remember where they are within the menu and what they look like! I will do more of these with different modes and new moves…so, we all have that to look forward to!  I’ll be helping myself AND you, too. If your really curious about LED hoops, visit my LINKS page for more special info about Astral Hoops. I recommend them highly and offer a little coupon code discount because I do think they are so fab. As for LED hoops…I have my own thoughts on the subject…what to look for, watch out for, plus my personal preferences, pet peeves and various “whys” of it all. I should share all that, huh?

Are you working out with your hoop regularly? Do you do something new with it to keep it fresh and interesting? If so, share your thoughts and ideas below! That would be SWELL!

I’m always happy to speak to anyone who’s interested in hoop training and hoopdance. It’s my passion. Never hesitate to contact me!

The NEW HoopShack: What’s Up?

It’s been a busy month moving out of the warehouse and into the new studio. My husband has been working extremely hard and I am so very grateful. We should be entirely moved out of the old location by the end of July. For the rest of this month, I’m teaching at the new location as I book appointments and packing/moving when I am not teaching!

Here’s what it looks like so far at the new studio…a quick virtual 360 tour!

 

 

As you can see, the space has enough room comfortably for a few of us, so my sessions will be geared toward smaller groups and private clients. We also have plenty of room outside to hoop in the adjacent parking lot, since there are some drills I will want to review with students that involve walking, etc. We will step outside, only as needed, to review these type things for a few minutes. During pleasant weather in the fall and spring, I can see us spending some of our session time outside to take advantage of the open area right outside our door, especially on the weekend when the surrounding business vehicles are not there!

Whenever I have the need for a larger space, I am partnering with the Salvation Army Youth Education Town  to use the gym when needed for bigger group sessions and special events in the future.

Right now I am available for private instruction as needed and my schedule is pretty flexible, so don’t hesitate to call. Initially, I will still be offering 3 weekly, small group classes for experienced students, which I expect to start by mid-August. These will be aRoundJoy® HoopTensity™ and aRoundJoy® Drills & Skills. Once we see how the space is working for us, I can adjust accordingly to the demand at the studio and the need of my clients. NEW aRoundJoy® students will make an appointment for private instruction and there are several options available to do this training, either alone or with others. I explain all the details on my FAQ’s page and new pricing is also available on my SHOP page.

Hope everyone is staying cool this summer! One thing is for sure…The NEW HoopShack is VERY cool, in MORE ways than ONE!

You can see more pictures HERE.

Let me know what you think? I’d love to hear from you!

5 Ways to Lighten Your Hoop Practice

These ideas are ways to make your hoop practice even more FUN and take the pressure off of learning too many tricks and moves! I feel that WAY too often, we get SO hung up on learning things that we forget about the SHEER JOY in just playing with the basics! With just a few simple moves, you can be more free and just let yourself go. So spend time practicing the basic, beginning moves in the aRoundJoy curriculum. There is no need to learn a ton of fancy stuff…just enjoy the journey…stay with those moves awhile…just experiment with HOW you do them!! Reward yourself…try a different hoop…it will help elevate your practice without learning new moves. As a plus, you’ll notice that it will help you grow towards the new moves you want to eventually learn, too!

1. THINK SMALLER, THINK ARMS Now, I recommend a smaller hoop  for waist hooping only AFTER you have learned with a larger, slightly heavier hoop. My clients know this. I also believe in a smaller, lighter hoop for off body work, even from day one. So, if you are considering getting started hooping, having a set, one for on body and one for arm work, is pretty ideal. Depending on your age, size or ability, or perhaps due to physical limitations, I might recommend only a lighter, smaller hoop for your very first one. I like to speak with potential clients and really understand their needs, then make recommendations. Smaller hoops are just plain fun, but really not needed for waist hooping in the beginning. I think 34-36″ if ideal and you can play with moves using your arms and walking at the same time. This is a great way to build your cardio endurance so you CAN eventually build up to waist hooping, and I call this program hOOpWalk™. If you already can waist hoop, doing more off-body arm work, just simple moves, will really develop and tone the arms and upper back! THAT’S one of my FAVORITE perks of hooping – TONE ARMS! Maybe you want to begin spinning 2 hoops – TWINS –  in your hands, as you see some of us do. Well, it ALL starts with learning basic moves with ONE smaller hoop, and learning to do those moves with each hand independently. SO, a smaller hoop makes sense if you want to grow your hoop practice. My standard Woo-Hoop™ or Sassy Hoop™ can be made any size or weight for beginners and up, and I can discount for multiple hoop purchases. I’ll be coming out with hOOp packages soon, so stay tuned!

2. GO POLYPRO (or two).  I have talked about this in a previous VIDEO about smaller, lighter hoops, so be sure to watch that if you have not already seen it. These hoops are light, responsive and just a ton of fun. Oh sure, you could get one of those disposable hoops from a dollar-type store or a big-box store, but if you really want to have a great feel of balance and control, having a durable, high-quality plastic hoop in a fun color is the way to go. I keep a supply of Polypro pipe in various colors on hand to make these hoops for local clients. We train with single and twin Polypro hoops at The HoopShack to keep sessions fresh and challenging, not to mention, shape our arms, OF COURSE! You simply need to contact me directly and place your order. They are also available online from several companies, but if you live local, I’ll be happy to help save you shipping!

3. GIVE YOUR HOOP A VACATION The word travel and hoop go together, for sure. Any hoop is portable in nature, That’s one of the really fantastic traits about hooping for exercise – it can GO with you…ANYWHERE! For traveling by plane, however, you do need a hoop that can be made more compact. Depending on your suitcase, it may not fit, so you might need to stick in the overhead compartment, completely placing it in your carry-on bag or even give it to the stewardess to place with the strollers. My preference for travel  is an “infinity” style, twist-down hoop. The other kind, the ones that have push buttons, that break apart into sections just get too creaky & loose at the connection points for my liking. Connecting and taking them apart is often hard and pieces can crack or completely break. Now, some hand made ones I have seen are made well and I like them. Others are not. You really have to shop around and do your homework. I decided to offer the “Twist-n-gO™ as my travel option a few years ago, and I hand make each one based on my clients needs. We talk about what they want to accomplish in their hoop practice in addition to their travel plans. A bonus is to just get a smaller, lighter one that twists down for travel…lots more fun, as I mentioned before. Besides, since you’re on vacation, keep your hoop practice light and joyful on the road…and arm work on the beach makes for some GREAT pictures!

4. LIGHT UP YOUR WORLD This is a biggie. I am just going to go ahead and say it. GET AN LED HOOP…but NOT until you have mastered some basic moves, both on and off body. Make sure you can keep the hoop spinning in your hands or on your body, without constantly dropping it. There is nothing worse than seeing someone spend good money on an expensive LED hoop that they keep hitting on the ground! Another tip is that LED hoops have extra weight already, due to the materials inside the tube, so having lighter tubing on this hoop is key. Smaller & lighter means easier to coil down while traveling, too. Thus, your LED hoop should be lighter, and therefore, you need to have a little hoop skill and experience under your belt to handle one properly. LED hoops, well, GOOD ones, are not toys and should be handled with care. They should be made with quality materials and durable enough to withstand a LOT, but you still need to show care for this special hoop. You can find LED hoops all over the internet. Do your homework and buyer beware. Personally, I am not a fan of hoops with loose, rechargeable batteries that need to be removed and replaced repeatedly. I like the LED hoops that you plug into an outlet and recharge. It’s just more streamlined for me…no little batteries to keep up with. I’m a fan of AstralHoops because this is the only kind of LED hoop they offer. You can also select your options, to design your own color scheme, weight, size and make your LED hoop very personally customized. They offer pre-made hoops, as well. If you head to my LINKS page, just look for my coupon code to save on any AstralHoops purchase.

5. DIVE IN! OK, this tip is a SUMMER specific, but it is a double whammy! Staying cool AND practicing your hoop skills! At best, you need a Polypro hoop, so refer to number 1 above on this list! You can try it with any hoop, but I think the polypro is perfect since it’s lighter, has no tape to worry about, etc! This idea came to me while experimenting one day with my hoop in the pool last year, on Labor Day…I put my phone one the side of the pool and took some video to recall what moves I actually did since I was just playing and trying out things. What I realized was that MY ARMS AND BACK got an amazing workout! While working on certain moves I noticed how the buoyancy of the hoop made it more intense in some areas as I pushed it into the water,but the hoop was lighter and effortless in other ways. I was staying cool, I was creating splash art…it was just so fun!

 

 

I decided to finally share and to be truthful, POOLA HOOPIN and VACATION LED HOOPING  were the inspiration for this entire post.

 

 

So, what do you think? Are you already incorporating some of these tips? What do you enjoy about it? I’d love to hear from you!