Hooping in the Name of Love (not private!)

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Hoop Practice Videos from 11-7-2011

I’m excited about the double shoulders at 0:30! It’s probably the best execution of that trick I have on video so far.

Nothing too fancy in this video, but it’s hard not to love Toro y Moi, amirite?

Homemade Texas Style Kolaches in 10 Steps.

I usually like to keep things simple in the kitchen, but as a displaced Texan, let me tell you… Your efforts will be worth it for these babies. I made a huge batch last night and stuck ’em in the freezer. This morning I woke up and popped two in the microwave for about 45 seconds, YUM. The smell of fresh kolaches in my floridian kitchen was priceless.

Here’s how Operation Kolache went down…

Ingredients:
4 cups of flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 (1/4 ounce) packets of dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2/3 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup of unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 cup of shortening
1/4 cup of butter (melted for brushing)
1 16 oz package of smoked cocktail sausages

Optional:
shredded cheese
jalapenos

1. Combine water & yeast in small bowl, set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar until light & fluffy.

3. Mix in the egg yolks, milk, and salt. Combine well. (It won’t be smooth, just make sure everything gets mixed in!)

4. Add the water/yeast & flour to the mixture. Stir until a soft dough is formed.

5. Cover the dough with a towel and let it sit for about an hour and a half. Save yourself some heartache and spend this time cleaning up your mess from phase one of operation kolache.

6. pull off pieces of dough (think a little larger than a golf ball) roll them up, and flatten slightly. Place them on a greased baking sheet.

7. Arrange the dough balls at least an inch apart from each other, and brush them with melted butter. Leave em alone for another hour to double in size again.

8. Now it’s time to pull out your sausages, cheese, and jalapenos! Using your pinky finger, drill a hole into a piece of dough. If you have tiny fingers like me, you may need to wiggle it around to make room for your fillings. My technique got better as I went along. (A. Drill a hole B. Throw some cheese in it. C. Add a piece or two of jalapeno D. Toss a sausage in & pinch it closed!)  I made a few with jalapeno & a few plain. It’s easy to mark the top of your spicy ones with a tiny little piece of jalapeno on top. That’s the way I’ve always seen the donut shops do it!

This part is time consuming, but also fun in a ‘get your hands dirty’ ‘play-doh kitchen’ sort of way. Have fun & enjoy the process.

9. When you’re done constructing your kolache babies, throw them in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Immediately brush the tops with melted butter. Let cool & ENJOY, Y’ALL!!!

*Don’t forget they freeze & reheat really well. I’m looking forward to several no cook comfort food breakfasts in the upcoming weeks. Mmm mmm!

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Home Again

My trip to Texas was fantastic. I had such a great time enjoying the company of old friends and family.

The first weekend I was there was spent at my uncle’s house in Waco. It was the first time my family had gotten together in years. I absolutely adored that weekend. I spent Saturday afternoon hula hooping with my cousin’s little ones, and as the sun went down, drank a few beers with my uncle, aunt, and cousins and enjoyed watching Baylor beat Oklahoma State in football. Up till that game, I had never cared about football, but RG3 changed me!

I had so much fun on my road trip with my girlfriend, Cat! We drove from Houston to Austin (and somehow managed to get lost on a drive we’d taken a million times before! ha! I guess it’s easy to do when you’re caught up giggling with a long lost friend)

In Austin, we shopped and ate tacos at my all time favorite taco place, Torchy’s! Before we met up with the rest of my friends, we drank bloody marys and fell in love with Rugby (seriously) at the Jackalope. Later on, we met up with a few of my other favorite people at Liberty Bar. It was so amazing to see everyone. I love how so much time can pass between friends seeing each other, but the best ones never seem to miss a beat. We closed out the night hula hooping at Gypsy Bar until they closed. I loved it, everyone got in on the action, even the boys!

The next morning before heading back to Houston, we had brunch at Magnolia. I enjoyed a mimosa & the Texas Benedict. My mouth is watering just thinking about the chipotle hollandaise sauce! Texas is FULL of good food.

My dad kept his fridge stocked with kolaches for me every morning. If you’ve never had a kolache before, you’re missing out! They are delicious little sweet buns with sausage, cheese, and jalapenos inside (or any number of variations). The original kolaches were made with sweet fruit, but the jalapeno variation is my favorite. I’ve been going through withdrawals since I came back to Florida, so tonight I’m making my first attempt at kolaches from scratch! Don’t worry I’ve been taking lots of pictures, so if it’s a success – I will share the recipe & how to love!

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Repeal of the 18th amendment. On Dec. 5, 1933 Prohibition ended & on Sunday night, we CELEBRATED. We went to the Left Coast Bartenders Guild‘s Repeal Day Party in Ybor City at the historic don vincente hotel! The entire hotel was booked for the event. It was thirties themed with live jazz music and a burlesque show. There were bars hidden all over the hotel serving up old timey cocktails. We even found one in the elevator! I was served champagne, going UP! My favorite drink of the night was called a ‘French 75’. It was champagne, gin, and lemon, and it tasted amazing. Here is a picture of the four of us. Not bad for throwing costumes together the day of, right?

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Good News, Hoop Injuries, and Bobcats? Oh My!

Tomorrow is my trip to Texas, and I’m incredibly excited!  I’ve been staying so busy all week getting everything in order.  I finished making a huge batch of eye pillows for the yoga studio (a task I had been procrastinating on, since I volunteered LAST Thursday), and dropped them off this morning.  I stayed for the hatha class, and it was just what I needed to help me slow down & be here now.  Things are coming together, and tomorrow morning, come 9:10, I’ll be in the air & on my way to hug my dad for the first time in a year!  There are a few things worth mentioning, but please forgive me for the lack of order in this post.  My thoughts are kind of everywhere!

First, I owe you all a Riley update.  Riley is ALIVE! I’m spinning in my mind and just so happy to type that Riley is doing fine. He had to have an emergency surgery on his leg to repair some torn tendons, but his bone wasn’t fractured.  He stayed over night at the emergency clinic, and then went to a specialist Wednesday morning and stayed there last night.  My step dad says he’s going home today, so I’m feeling a lot better.  I’m so thankful that it wasn’t more serious.  I still can’t believe that the person didn’t stop to help him or attempt to let us know.  I could never do that.  Once, on a first date with a boy I didn’t know, I hit a raccoon. We  had only been in the car with one another for 10 minutes, MAYBE. It’s the only time I’ve ever hit an animal, and it destroyed me.  I instantly burst into tears (we’re talking snot face tears), and turned around to see if I could help it, but it was gone.  The guy said “Seriously? It’s just an animal.” and that was the end of our date. Seriously. There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones with HEART, who realize no life is less important than another, and the heartless, who have a lot to learn.  I feel so lucky that Riley survived this horrible incident.  Like any car VS. dog situation, the chances weren’t in his favor, but somehow he made it.  Please consider what an awful experience being struck by a vehicle is for any creature & pay attention when you’re driving.  Accidents happen to everyone, but just please be aware and drive accordingly for their sakes.

My step dad took this picture on their way from the ER to the other vet, poor bald boy! We’re so lucky!

On a lighter(?) note, have you ever hurt yourself hooping? When I started, I never would have imagined that my practices would become so intense that injuries would become a possibility.  I mean, it’s so child like and fun loving, hardly a contact sport! Well, on Tuesday, I suffered my first ‘serious’ injury.  Of course, I have bruised myself up pretty badly, but I’ve never had an injury that followed me into the week.  I had been outside going nuts for a while, so my game was a little off, but I was feeling the flow & going hard during ”   ” by ______.  (i’ll fill in the blanks after i watch my practice video and figure out exactly what happened. it should be easy to find, because i stopped and screamed.) I was rocking out in my own world, with super speed, when I decided to go for a _______.  My timing was off, because I missed the trick & ended up smashing my ear flat against my head. The hoop made contact with the back of my ear with so much force it busted the cartilage in the “bowl” of my ear.  It is a little swollen and discolored, but no cauliflower ear yet. (whew!)  The worst is when I forget about it & try to lay down on that side – SO painful.  I’ve read online that cartilage takes a lot longer to heal than muscle, so I’m trying to be mindful of it & just let it get better.  I also try to remember, it could be worse! One of my hoopy heroes, Brecken Rivara, actually knocked her tooth out with a hoop.  She asked for donations on youtube & people actually came together for her and paid her medical bill.  I think it’s awesome that the hoop community is so down for one another.  Check it out:

In other critter related news, I saw a bobcat on my property this morning!  It was much darker than any I’ve previously seen and looked to be about 40 pounds.  This was the best look I’ve ever had at one in the wild, and it was pretty awesome.  I love living in the woods & having such wild neighbors!

Again, sorry that this post is scattered.  I could take the time to make it ‘flow’, but I think it’s more important to work on de-scattering myself first!  My plane leaves in less than 24 hours! Woo hoo!

Sad News

I had just finished taking a much needed shower, after having an awesome hoop practice in the dirt, when I got a terrible text message.  My plan was to share a video or two with you, and showcase my newest moves, but I just found out that my step-dad, Chris’ (& my family’s) dog, Riley, was hit by a car.  It happened right in front of my parent’s house.  The person stopped for a moment a few houses down, then saw my mom and drove away.  A red pickup truck. How can people be so heartless?  My mom is with Chris & Riley at the emergency vet. She told me they have just started trying to stabilize him.  He has visible injuries to his head & back right leg. The vet says from what she’s seen, she doesn’t think he’ll walk with it ever again (whatever that means).

I hate living in another city right now.  With all my heart, I just want to be there to comfort my dog & tell him what a good boy he is.

I’m sorry for the total bummer post, but I’m home alone & feeling helpless.

Please, please, please let Riley be okay. Please, universe, please.

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I’ve been staying super busy as the count down until my trip to Texas continues.  My flight is in less than a week, and my to do list  keeps growing!

Friday was World Hoop Day!  I spent it hooping at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa and making some awesome new friends.  I was inches away from staying at home because I had nobody to go with, but thankfully I decided to check my ego and just go for it.  I’m so happy that I decided to be brave, because I had a ton of fun and even did some networking.  The event was put together by Hoola for Happiness, an awesome non profit that travels all over the world spreading a message of love through hoops.  I was so happy to meet the founder, Carissa, who is way friendly and has an awesome energy.  She tried to teach me the anti-spin, but I still don’t have it like she has got it – flawless! We discussed teaming up in the future to do some great things together.  The whole day was extremely inspiring and it felt good to show my face in the community.

There were lots of people taking pictures and videos.  A few radio stations and a magazine too! I’ll post more pictures as they start to turn up, but here is one of my favorites so far.  I stuck out like a sore thumb because I was rocking red, white, and blue in honor of veterans day.

I had a blast over the weekend, but starting tomorrow it’s time to buckle down.  I just have to get everything in order over the next four days and come Friday, I can relax (for 2 weeks!). I love going home for the holidays.  I’m looking forward to making myself an awesome new playlist and snuggling in on the plane with my brand new copy of Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I’ve been saving it especially for the trip, haven’t even cracked it open once!

Not yet, though.  I’m not there yet!  Must keep going. Must be productive.  The rest of this post is going to be me babbling about the things I’m worrying about finishing before the trip.  (Typing it out here helps me get it out of my brain, so I can relax.)

Luckily for me, the majority of the tasks I need to handle are creative.  I have a pile of hoops to finish for myself and a bunch of eye pillows to make for Sun & Moon.  I’ve also been working on a few ideas for a new blog design, so I’d love to make some progress there before I leave too.

I’m practically finished packing already, but I’m still working on a solution for traveling with my hoop.  I’m taking a 39′ quattro troo hoop, but it doesn’t fit into my bag.  I’ve read that people have had success carrying them on, but on rare occasions they have been confiscated.  One forum suggests having the hoop in a bag to be “taken more seriously”.  I don’t want to lose my hoop, but I never want to be taken more seriously.

Probably the most important things I need to finish are getting everything in order for Odie’s boarding reservation and figuring out a plan for whoever will be taking care of my squirrels.  Oh, and getting my eating habits back in line and making a travel fitness plan.

Anybody out there going places for turkey day? Travel tips? Packing tips? Throw ’em my way.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and are feeling refreshed and ready for a brand new week.  At times I’m feeling a little chaotic getting this close to my trip, but I’m still taking a cue from my girl, Gabrielle Bernstein, and trying to just ‘let the universe do her thing’.

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