Honor Your Age: The Everyday Poler Over 40

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When Bad Kitty® asked me to write an article on poling at an older age I was slightly verklempt. I wondered – at 48 am I that old and how much of an effect on pole dancing, aerial or exercising in general does age have? I like to believe that everyone at any age can achieve their goals, that age is just a small factor and that we shouldn’t use age as an excuse. Then I remembered the time I fell…  READ FULL ARTICLE HERE AT BAD KITTY...

Anatomy Of A Student Showcase...

We love having student showcases so everyone can show off all of their hard work to their families and friends. We try to make them inclusive and a special event for the students. Even though they always appear to run smoothly there is a lot of hard work that goes into them. Here's a taste of just a bit of the madness and magic in the weeks before performance night...

It's time for our summer showcase! 

So are we going to do a play or stand alone, yet themed performances? A play works better for everyone in the winter - themed showcase performances it is. Pick a theme...hmmm maybe Sci Fi . Yes sci fi works well for us.

Announce to students - they love this theme - good!

Sign students up for showcase.

Students start claiming songs - I've already claimed Space Oddity for my partner & I - she will be Major Tom to my Mission Control - fun!

Pick a date.

Pick another date because that date doesn't work for everyone... 

then pick another frigging date! 

Enough - lock date.

Try to figure out how to fit the showcase into our beautiful new studio.

Realize - there's no way in hell the showcase will fit in said beautiful new studio.

Stress over finding a showcase space that is affordable but will also support all of our rigging needs - preset points would be a godsend. 

Come to the conclusion that most of the affordable spaces in Los Angeles don't actually have the rigging points or height that we need and we'll need to find a big, high, empty space plus bring in stage poles and a portable aerial rig.

In a moment of genius locate a space that actually has two different stage areas and allows us to have a separate aerial rig set up and a separate stage pole set up - do that little happy dance!

  • Negotiate and pay for space.
  • Lock dj
  • Lock videographer
  • Lock photographer

Decide on ticket prices.

Decide performance order. This is tricky as rigging point is not on a pulley and as much as I would like to break up apparatuses - it is way too much climbing for our rigging girl. 

I selfishly want my partner and I to go first so I can enjoy the rest of the show (and maybe even sneak a beer) but we will start with pole. Okay then after intermission can we go 1st - nope. The cube is crazy heavy and it makes more sense to be preset. Hopefully I'll stay warmed up enough and relaxed until my routine - the beer can wait. 

Start to promote showcase - I guess we are really doing this!

Set up free open practice time for students and have students start working with their instructors on their routines.

Start working on my hammock routine with my partner...oh and did I mention she's going to be away for a good deal of our practice time - stress over this.

Practice as much as I can with my partner - practice on evenings after work, practice on weekends, practice whenever we can, end up tweaking my back and bruising ribs but dammit - continue to practice! #aerialistproblems

Order really cute custom made costumes for me and my partner.

Struggle with our hammock set up - it has to be just high enough for me to be able to do a drop without slamming my knees into the ground but low enough that my partner can climb up on me and reach the secondary hammock. Finally come up with the perfect height combo. 

Watch student rehearsals - it's a nice start but come to the realization that some of the routines still need more "story".

Plan a run thru of setting up the aerial rig and have students practice on it so they are used to the height & feel of the portable rig (much less bounce than our studio pulley system).

My partner wants to wash our double hammock - I don't. Break down and wash hammocks - but still think this is a bad idea as we have finally got the length correct and now we will have to re-tie everything.

Re-tie hammocks and realize you. were. right. 

Where the fuck are our costumes?

Continue to rehearse...

Watch more rehearsals and beam with pride with all of the hard work everyone is putting in - routines, costumes and stories are really starting to come together!

Studio manager's boyfriend is going to do lighting - thanks!

Students ask to come in at ALL hours to rehearse their routines - I act just slightly semi-annoyed but secretly I'm actually very pleased with this. Oblige and schedule more rehearsal time for everyone!

Have a brilliant idea to change my costume, buy new costume - and am unilaterally told by everyone "NO that costume sucks" go back to cute custom made costume but refuse to wear "helmet" can't really hear music cues with it on anyhow.

Help instructors find Space Kitty costumes...this is not easy.

Find cool Space Kitty costumes on line and on sale score!

Sit down and make a list of everything that needs to happen the week before the showcase. I got this. Hell I do production for a living, we are in a good space. Make production schedule. I'm feeling super calm.

The week before the showcase...

Why hasn't everyone sent in their music yet? DJ is asking for music. Everybody send in your music!

Chairs - did you order chairs? Shit you did NOT order chairs? How could you forget chairs, that's like production 101. Student overhears your chair woes and has a great chair vendor! 

Make arrangements, order chairs and plan to have them dropped off and picked up day of.

Videographer falls out...

Secure fab new videographer... yes steadicam is cool but um no - I don't think we REALLY need drones...thanks Trevor!

Make sure photographer is still avail - she is! Thanks Jazmin!

Crap when we moved we changed our insurance - pretty sure the new studio insurance only covers in studio student showcases...

Call insurance company and realize, yes you are correct, order additional "out of studio" showcase insurance coverage for the day.

I really just want to start drinking now but already feel like I look too large in my costume - which has finally showed up, is super cute but somehow a bit large on top???

Have one of your students alter costume for you - thanks Noelle!

Call performance space and make sure they can black out skylights in space so it can be completely dark - they say yes they can - no problem it'll be done before we get there day of.

The day of showcase...

Meet at studio early with hubby/co-owner and hammock partner and load up truck with all supplies rigging and apparatuses.  

Drive over to space and secure parking...start unloading.

Sweat to death unloading items why is it so hot? Right because it's July, why did we do this in July? It's like 100 trillion° next summers showcase will NOT be in July!

Where is everyone? Ugh people are late & oh my god where is Tamysen with the aerial rig??? LA traffic is killing me we need to get that rig up!

People start to show up, aerial rig and poles go up. Chairs are being placed, chair vendor helps us unload all of our vehicles - Thanks!!!

Rigging heights are set - seriously why can't all the Lyra people use the same Lyra at the same height... 

Lighting starts to go up - any color choices that weren't previously decided are locked. Lighting is beautiful! DJ is setting up. 

Skylights that were not blacked out when we arrived are being blacked out.

Lounge spaces start to be created, furniture and wall flats are being moved. 

Final run through and camera blocking happens. Things are smooth until MY routine - audio cable craps out and is only playing the melody??? For the record...Bowie sounds weird with just the melody. I guess it's better than during the show? I stop mid routine stressed because I can't really hear my music cues. DJ fixes problem and we continue - but now I'm "off" - just deal with it Lea...

Ticket area is finished - thanks for the offer but no - I don't think we have time to paint a flat with our logo...ticket girls work out kinks with mobile credit card swipper.

Dinner is ordered, space is prepped, we start to relax and snack on some protein and veggies...

Food and wine is put out for guests (& who knew they made star shaped cookies covered in chocolate with Pop Rocks on top - too fun!) Our secret stash of PBR for after our routines is hidden - um NO that is not for the general public s consumption please take it off the bar. One of the space rep stays and helps our pole cleaner/bartender with the bar/food area - so sweet (and yet i'm pretty sure it's because our pole cleaner is super cute) - thanks! 

The stretching/dressing room is buzzing, last minute costume adjustments (for the record LED costumes can be tricky with hard apparatuses) makeup, glitter and lashes are everywhere. 

People start filing in - lots of people. The turn out is great! The energy is amazing, the students are excited and ready! We've hit the calm AFTER the storm 

It's time. It took a village but we are here. Lights dim, show starts, performances are beautiful and students are shining! Everyone is truly Floating In The Most  (fabulous) And Peculiar Way!

 

At the end I am exhausted. I am ridiculously proud of our students and everyone who helped this night come together, we could not have done it without everyone's help - but I'm glad it's over. I sneak outside to the patio to have a few minutes alone, to reflect on the beautiful evening and of course can't help start planing themes for the next showcase - all while drinking my beer...

Bad Kitty® Everyday Poler Series: Meet Roz "The Diva" Mays

Did you ever want to try Pole Dancing or something else outside  of the box - but didn't think you "fit the mold" ? Take a lesson from Roz Mays: A true diva that speaks her soul, defies social norms and proves there is no excuse not to try pole dancing or any other dream you might have. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE AT BAD KITTY

 

 

DIY: Homemade Wheatgrass Powder

This year for me is all about getting healthy: I've quit smoking, I've decided I need to be kinder to myself with more "me time" and less work, I'm trying to figure out how to move to the beach, I'm working out all of my finances, I'm getting certified in Integrated Wellness and In an effort to eat less processed food I have broken down and finally bought a Vitamix (more on that adventure later). I really also wanted to try to grow my own wheat grass - I mean how hard could it be it's just a grass right? But would I be able to actually use it as fast as it grew? Probably not - so I thought "I'm going to need to figure out how to powder this".  Once I looked around I realized it was MUCH easier than I thought - so no excuse not to try!

Here's a great Wheatgrass Powder DIY from Rachel Lee - check it out...

Homemade (garden-made) Wheatgrass Powder //

Posted on May 24, 2016 by rachaellee

Lately I have been sharing some DIY ideas straight from my garden, and today, it’s all about the wheatgrass. My little wheatgrass plant has been growing like a weed, and I couldn’t juice or use the stuff as fast as I was harvesting it! So, I decided to make wheatgrass powder for my daily smoothies and homemade skincare creations. I’ll get to those fun recipes sometime soon, but first thing’s first: How to powder your wheatgrass...

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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WHERE THE HELL HAVE I BEEN? WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING?

What the hell it’s like you kind of just disappeared?

Yeah – but I’m back, lord knows it’s taken me a long time to get here. The past year has been super busy for me. I’ve been working on my new web site (it’s going to be beautiful – here’s a sneak peak).

My aerial studio, Aeriform Arts, moved into a higher, bigger & better space and I’m in the process of completing my Integrative Wellness & Life Coach Certification.  Which is not to say any of these items are an excuse to neglect my blog, but I needed a break.

I needed a moment to figure out what direction I wanted to take the blog and give myself the time to craft a plan. A MASTER PLAN…sounds kind of sinister but really I just needed the time. The blog is going to see a lot of changes in the next few weeks.

So I’m back and excited to see where the hell this is all going and happy to be able to get there with you!

SEIZE THE DAY: THE TOP 5 THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T WAIT TO DO

Have you ever wanted to do something new but talked yourself out of it? I’m sure we all have at some point and while there are sometimes legitimate reasons to hold off – sometimes you just have to frickin jump! Having a plan is good but when “planning” overshadows “doing”, when we become stagnant, we need to look at what is actually holding us back.

Fear of flight and more importantly fear of failure can be overwhelming. I get it, I’ve been there – you don’t want to look stupid, you don’t want to be let down, you don’t want to be disappointed. The truth of the matter is if we never take that leap of faith, the true disappointment will be the regret of never having tried. Honestly what do you have to lose, if it doesn’t work out – and it might not, you can start over again but at least you tried. Life is growth and change, this all takes motion, I say jump!

1) Getting The New Career: This could be a new job, leaving a stable yet un-fulfilling job to start your own business “So babe did I mention I’m thinking about quitting the bank to start a Pole Dancing School?” or changing careers entirely “Yes mom I know being a lawyer is great and all but honestly I really want to be an organic soap maker for a living”. However you look at it it’s scary. I mean it’s a little less scary if you don’t have kids, a mortgage and/or a spouse, but it’s still scary. On one hand it can affect your finances, on the other hand it can affect your ego, it may create repercussions in your relationships, but in the end if you’re reading this and seriously thinking about a change all the time, if it is taking more and more sleep and more and more coffee to drag yourself to work, it’s probably time.

This is not to say you should just up and quit tomorrow, sure you need a plan but you also need to really move towards your end goal. Take it from dream to realty. Discuss it with the significant other, start saving cash, downsize and reevaluate/adjust your budget. You would be amazed at how much less money we spend when we are already happy. Our happiness at work is a huge part of our life equation. There is absolutely no point in slaving away at a job that makes us miserable until we are 67, life really is too short, especially after 67.  You can have all the money in the world but if you are miserable, you are poor. So, go find that bridge job you can do in between gigs, set a “date” and then take the plunge.

2) The New City/Country/Travel: I live in LA and I love the beach, the sun, the weather. Sure I moved here for work but it was between NYC and LA and I chose the sun and the beach. I have so many friends that live in cites they hate with jobs they hate and complain that it’s making them miserable, but they stay. No guys in NYC to date – move. Too cold in the winter in Boston – move. Some don’t move because they are single and they won’t know anyone in a new place? I don’t get it, maybe it’s me but I see that as a cool plus. I mean if you were geeky in your past town/life, now you can be a rock star, you have a whole new dating pool, everything is new, you can start your life over, create a new destiny, to me new = infinite possibilities for adventure!  Are you upset that you haven’t visited Italy – go!  Where there’s a will there truly is a way. if you want it, find a way to do it and I don’t mean by “manifesting” it – that’s BS – well okay maybe bs is a bit harsh, it’s a lovely thought and all but I mean more like take. some. actionable. steps. Research the job market in the area you want to move to, stop eating takeout every night, buy groceries in the store, stop buying Starbucks, frickin get a credit card that gives miles or hotel dollars, pay ALL of your bills on said card and then go to Italy.

3) Being Single Again: Leave. You’re in a crappy relationship. You know it’s bad, you’re unhappy. He/she is a dick yet you stay. Is the bad that you know better than the unknown – NO. Leave. You’ve been dating a guy for 3 months and you are already in couples therapy – LEAVE. You’re getting this right? You know you need to, and yes it may be hard and it may screw you financially – in the beginning – but money comes and goes, your sanity and well-being – not so much. Staying for the children…a noble idea, BUT…and I may get yelled at here, lots of times we use this as a crutch. Leaving is hard but honestly most children in a household where the parents are constantly fighting, they feel it, they know what’s going on and that is less healthy than splitting up. Trust.

4) Waiting Until I Lose Weight To…: Take that circus/pole/surfing/karate class I’ve always wanted to try. Hmmm I’d love to get those sexy photos done but I’m too large. I need to lose a few more pounds before I go back to the gym (this one is my favorite and makes absolutely no sense). Conversely – you won’t throw out the ten thousand items you have in your closet left over from high school (you’re 40 by the way, you know that right?) because you might fit into them one day. The sad truth is if you don’t fit into them already it’s never going to happen, so sell or donate that clothing, buy yourself some booty shorts and a bra top, rent a wet suit & board and put yourself out there. Have fun now, do stuff now, enjoy and live your life now, cause for most of us (not me though, I plan on living for ever), it’s the only one you have.

5) Saving for your future: Regardless of how old you are start saving now. Teach your children the value of a job and savings at a young age. Get them excited about finance. Get them a DRIP (dividend re-investment program). Open a savings account and put something, ANYTHING in it monthly. Even if you are trying to pay down debt you have to “pay” yourself. Trust me on this one, you need to save as well as pay down debt in order to get ahead, otherwise when something comes up, you will be back on the credit card crack train. When you are older and getting ready to retire the last thing you want to deal with, other than loft bedrooms, is a lack of funds.

In the end it’s important to be able to face our fears head on. Change can be scary, it’s true and while fear can keep us safe it can also hold us back. It’s so easy to get caught into the “I’ll do later” loop or “it’s not perfect yet”. Really look at what’s holding you back, don’t let the goal of perfection stop you in your tracks and learn to take a chance and fly!

*I would love to hear some of the goals or dreams you are working towards and what you feel is holding you back.

Love & Glitter,

Review: Taking Flight With Pole Flight PRO!

I love both hammock and pole. So when I recently had the opportunity to test out one of the newest pole/fabric apparatus combinations on the market, Pole Flight Pro from PoleandAerial.com, I jumped at it.

THE DETAILS:

What exactly is Pole Flight Pro? The Pole Flight Pro apparatus attaches directly to your permanently mounted pole and allows the suspension of silks, hammocks, corde lisse, straps, chains and more.

There are a few pole/fabric combos on the market. But Pole Flight Pro has some features that I haven't found in the other ones.

KEY FEATURES:

 

  • Works on Spinning and Stationary poles.  NOT recommended for stage or unsecured pressure mounted poles.
  • Integrity of Movement System:  Exclusive two-point hinged design limits unwanted side to side motion. This is extremely noticeable when using the rescue 8 mounting, slightly less so when using the closed loop mounting but still much less side to side movement than other manufacturers.
  • Cost $235 *can vary with chosen options.
  • Additionally there is certification program and a video lesson access pass with over 50 lessons by Caterina Gennaro available through PoleandAerial.com.

OUR MISSION, THE TESTING & THE VIDEO:

I decided to grab 3 additional partners in crime as poling is always more fun with friends (or in case I looked really silly in the video).

Our mission was to see what we could achieve having never actually used a Pole Flight PRO before.

We tested a closed loop, Pole Flight PRO on a 50mm brass spinning pole with an aerial hammock (we didn't have a swivel attached to the apparatus).

Please enjoy the totally improved video of us goofing around and testing it out!

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ralgSgDHNUU&w=854&h=480]

 

It took us a minute to get in the swing of things. You've got a pole, you've got fabric, you've got crazy cirque ideas running through your head, you've got squealing women yelling "try this - try that" so its easy to get a little mixed up and while all of us had a background in pole or aerial, none of us had ever used a Pole Flight Pro.

Once we got our bearings we had a blast!  The thing that I really love about the unit is that while it's brilliant for marrying pole and aerial it can also be extremely useful for strength training and spotting as well. I noticed that I was more willing to try pole moves I didn't feel as secure in previously, due to it's "spotting" nature.

All in all, I really loved Pole Flight Pro and if you have access to permanently mounted poles, I would recommend it as a tool for your studio, personal use or both.

For more info on Pole Flight PRO please go to PoleandAerial.com

Have any additional questions? Feel free to post them here.

Love & Glitter,

5 WAYS TO PLAN YOUR DAY FOR MORE PRODUCTIVITY

I’ve always been a go-gadget-go kind of girl and while I thrive in an environment where I am busier than not, it has taken some work to find a happy balance between over extending myself and having a realistic set of goals. I am a full time, married, television executive, aerial studio owner and avid (wanna be) surfing babe. One of the things I’m always asked is – how do I manage to fit as much as I do within a 7 day week...READ FULL ARTICLE AT STYLEBIZARRE

10 Tips To Help Realign Your Emotional Well-being

Winter has always been a hard season for me, especially when I was living on the east coast. I would hibernate away in my apartment, filling it with stuff, cluttering my personal space and in turn creating mental chaos. But I think it’s finally here, or it’s close… you know, that moment after a long, cold winter where you can see the sun through the clouds. It may not be spring just yet, but it’s in the air and it’s the perfect time to declutter our lives: a cleanse for the soul. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE...

A Shopaholic's Guide To Health & Workout Items On A Budget!

I have SO many wish lists when it comes to workout and health items. Lists on Pinterest, lists on Amazon, the lists go on and on - literally. My addiction is bad. I'm convinced I really need that leg stretcher for my splits, I jones for a new mega powered blender, expensive body rubs and essential oils attack my senses and with one whiff -  I'm hooked. Just one more pair of booty shorts won't hurt right?  Wrong.

Who am I kidding I cannot afford this, hell most of us can't, I want my lavender, nylon cake but I need to be able to pay for it too. There has to be some way for me to acquire some of the dream items without leaving me penniless. What's a shopaholic to do? Here are a few of my favorite solutions! [bctt tweet="Check out my quest to find fun, health and workout DIY's, plus some low cost goodies too!"]

  • Vitamix: The cream of the crop of blenders! I know if I had one I would become the perfect smoothy drinking, almond milk & nut cheese creating, soup making on the fly, health conscious fashionista and I want one really badly but they are so damned expensive! How can I get one at a better price? Craig's list (maybe but ew), Christmas present from the parents...wait doesn't QVC sell them? Yes they do and while they are not that much cheaper on QVC I can pay for my $400 - $600 super blender in 5 payments over the course of 5 months and that makes it something I can actually swallow.
  • Leg Stretching Machine For The Splits: Yes people, I know I don't actually need this and that all of the stretching I need to do can be done by myself, with gravity, or yoga blocks, pillows, bands, towels, against a wall etc. That being said I am a machine junkie and I want one, I want an oompa loompa now, my name is Veruca after all. Problem is - they ain't cheap. There has to be some sort of DIY hack right...yup!

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAeuplQdyZM&w=640&h=480]

  • Yoga Mat Cleaner: I always want organic, yummy, calming, yoga mat cleaner but sometimes those tiny little bottles can be expensive. Why not make your own version. they In this video, they'll show you how to make your own organic Yoga mat cleaner using Witch Hazel and essential oils, the nice thing is you can mix up the oils and scents that you like (always use some tee tree though as it has antiseptic properties). We use a version of this at my studio plus you can find TONS of videos with different versions on YouTube.

[vimeo 8511844 w=640 h=360]

  • Class Pass: While it's not super cheap at roughly $79 - $99 depending on city, if you are a classes junky it can really work in your favor. So many studios and different types of classes are on the pass it allows you to try stuff out that you might not normally. At $15 - $35 a class normally just doing a few a month can add up. With class pass you could take a class everyday if you had the time, the one caveat being you can only take 3 classes maximum at any one studio during a month. The other thing I like is not contracts!
  • Arnica Muscle Balm: I'm always achy and bruised up. I would love to have some sexy, yummy smelling arnica lotion but the store bought versions never smell pretty. I looked into having some made custom with my own scent ideas but it was more than I wanted to spend and really couldn't I make my own? Why yes I could! Check out my DIY version for Bad Kitty here...Rub Me The Right Way: DIY Arnica Muscle Balm
  • Stall Bars: Are so cool, don't take up a lot of real estate in your home and have so many uses, they'regreat for stretching, working strength, you can add a little incline bench or bands, I mean hell you could even dry your clothing from them - really they have endless uses but they are not cheap. I've spent a lot of time looking at various DIY versions on the internet and while I might pick some stronger materials and do a little more finish work - this DIY version seems easy enough for even me to make (let's not get crazy people - Mr. Blue will be making them for me). Here's the link, Stall Bars DIY, and a video play list to give you some ideas.

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ychdzz6UEA&w=854&h=480]

That's it for now BUT If you have any DIY's, tricks, hacks or know of any great deals please share them with us here!

Strong, Bendy, Green-drinking Love & Glitter!

Coconut Thai Chili Miso Soup Recipe (Trader Joe's hack)

Whoever said you couldn't get anything Fast, Easy, Cheap & Good had clearly never shopped at Trader Joe's. Seriously the easiest, yummiest "one pot" soup, it's got the perfect amount of creamy, chili, coconut love going on, you can make it with any veggies you like & all of the ingredients are easily found at your local Trader Joe's.

I'm always looking for super fast, yummy, cheap, quick meals. This soup fits the bill. It's the perfect soup to make when you have a lot of leftover veggies or some left over chicken claiming space in your fridge, add it on in. The whole soup can be completed in 15-30 minutes depending on the amount of veggies you need to "prep'. Plus you look like a frickin rock star - it's just that good!

You will need: 1 medium size bowl, a big, deep pot, 2 table spoons of coconut oil, any veggies (fresh or frozen) or meat you want to add, any noodles you want to add &...

  • 1 can of Coconut Cream

  • 3/4 of a jar of Thai Dry Chili Paste
  • 1 Box of miso broth
  • saute your fresh veggies/meat in large pot with coconut oil. I used bok choy, bean sprouts, red bell peppers and pre cooked chicken.
  • scoop out 3/4 jar of dry chili paste into a bowl and add in enough of the miso broth that you can dissolve the paste in it by stirring (this will make it dissolve/settle better in the soup)
  • once veggies/meat are tender add in dry chili paste mixture, the remaining miso broth and 1 full can of coconut cream.  Also add in any frozen veggies at this point (we used frozen corn)
  • cook on medium/low heat for 5 minutes until hot & then switch to low heat & add in your preferred noodles and cook until al dente (I used linguini but you could use udon, soba or any noodle you prefer)
  • garnish with green onion

Makes roughly 6 decent sized bowls

*couldn't tell you the calorie count so why the hell are you asking

Enjoy!

Road Maps, Resolutions & Intentions for 2015

Seeing as it's the top 2015 I thought it might be time kiss goodbye 2014 and think about what I really wanted to achieve during this new year. It's a blank slate and anything is possible if you put your mind to it, right? What started out as my "Aerial Goals" quickly morphed into "Life Goals" because as much as aerial is a huge part of my life, it's just one part of my crazy world. Plus I'm a Gemini so I'm always battling with my other half who - clearly needs less sleep than me. Here are my thoughts, ideas, dreams and (even though I hate the word - so much pressure) resolutions for the new year.

Go gadget go!

INTENTION: I'm feeling like I need to switch things up a bit - why the fuck not right? While I plan on getting back into Pole and go deeper into Surfing, Stretching & Hammock, I am really looking forward to some new stuff. I'm planning on trying Cube, Trapeze, Net & Bungee/Wire Work. I am seriously obsessed with bungee, wall walking and wire assisted dance - too fun!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUFbXikUNzM]

INTENTION: Continue to reduce the amount of unnecessary stuff in my house and life. There is no reason for me to have as much physical crap as I do or deal with life sucking people - I'm dubbing this as the year of "Less is More".

RESOLUTION: Quit smoking. - enough said this needs to happen!

RESOLUTION: I'm going to remodel our office/guest room. This should be easy and fun! I'm already scouring Pinterest for ideas (here's my board if you want to check it out)  but I do know there will be some sort of gold foil or glitter involved.

INTENTION: I would love a new studio space but it needs to be the right space. I'll continue to look but won't rush to move until I find the perfect new home for Aeriform. My Dream Studio Space looks like this: * you can rent this space in NYC from http://www.locationdepartment.net

INTENTION:I am aiming to complete 1 blog post a week & 2 paid &/or guest posts a month. It's only week 3 since I decided this but so far so good.

RESOLUTION: If it kills me I'm going to take a trip to Costa Rica with the hubby and anyone else who wants to come. I am so going to try to book a workshop here! It's the best of all worlds - aerial - yoga - surfing - paradise!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tiGSZ4KAJU]

RESOLUTION: Get home twice a year. I miss my mom, she misses me and I have a niece and 2 nephews who barely know me & Mr. Blue. Plus my grandmother is turning 99 in March. I need to make this a priority and be better about it.

INTENTION: Complete my organization & money management packages and have them in beta mode by my birthday in May. I'm already working on this but creating a program is no small feat, it needs to come correct!

INTENTION: Get a new smushy faced doggy! I miss my doggies Ali and Zoey a ridiculous amount - it's insane. I needed time to heal but the fact that I spend at least an hour a day on the internet stalking rescue sites leads me to believe I'm ready - it's time!

While I don't actually think I'll achieve all of this in a year it's a starting point, ideas to kick around, a road map, end goals to eventually reach. As long as I continue to move forward I've got plenty of time. I've honestly always believed it's more about the journey than the finish line, I'll take the road less traveled and find my way there.

What are your plans for the new year. Do you have new things you want to try, old things you want to revisit? Any work, family or workout goals? Share your road map - I'd love to hear your plans!

-Resolvedly,

Sexy Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe

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I think Acorn Squash is sexy! There I said it. Not quite sure why I feel this way. Maybe it's all the butter, it's warm, sinfully melts in your mouth and the fact that I always picture myself eating it while laying on a bear skin rug, in a chalet in the French Alps with Jude Law by my side, doesn't hurt. Whatever...that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.  I'm obsessed - acorn squash is too good!

There are a bunch of yummy foods that say "fall/winter" to me. Roasted Acorn Squash is one of them.This acorn squash recipe is like the best combination of nutty, syrupy, winter goodness. I could eat it non stop.

AND

It's the easiest thing to make! You just need...

  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Cut Squash in half & while you preheat oven to 400°F, scoop seeds out of squash. Butter each inside of squash with 1 table-spoon of butter (use your fingers) lightly sprinkle each inside half with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each inside half with one teaspoon of brown sugar and then drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup as well. Place the halves cut-side up in a deep baking sheet or tin and fill sheet with the tiniest amount of water, just enough so the bottom of the pan is coated. Bake until the squash is tender in the middle, about 30 -45 minutes depending on your oven.

Serve it on your bear skin rug, invite Jude over & enjoy!

Love & Glitter,

The Hot List: My Top 25 Online Resources For Bloggers, Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

So are you like me and at that point, you know the one where it's time to kick your biz into high gear - but you're looking for a little help? Is your blog looking a little dull, your pole studio marketing or website needing a little polish, your coaching business needing some operational systems mojo?

If so here are 25 web sites and apps to get your creative juices flowing, your organizational skills buffed and your business ready for the new year! In no specific order here are a few of my favorites...

  1. Canva - An amazing simple, free, online, graphics design tool. Create hip, cool, beautiful designs and graphics for web, print, blogs etc. Make sure to check out Canva's Design School for tips and tutorials.
  2. Awesome Screenshot - "Capture, annotate & Share. Capture the whole pager or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines & text, one-click, upload to share"
  3. Evernote from Wikipedia "Evernote is a suite of software and services, designed for note taking and archiving. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments"
  4. Hootsuite from Wikipedia "Hootsuite is a social media management system for brand management created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. The system's user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi."
  5. Placeit "Placeit creates instant product mockups. Let’s say you want to create an iPhone mockup for your new app or an iPad mockup in a work setting. You just provide us with the screenshot or URL of the site and we’ll generate as many device mockups as you’d like."
  6. Piktochart - A great way to create your own infographics.
  7. Als Custom Pasties Logo

  8. Fiverr - Wikipedia "Fiverr is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed, from which it gets its name. The site is primarily used by freelancers who use Fiverr to offer a variety of different services, and by customers to buy those services" You can find great graphics and web stuff here but it does take some sifting through - also some of the bigger/longer jobs will cost more than $5 dollars like this cute logo I had made - but totally worth it!
  9. Directr A GREAT app for your iPhone to easily make creative videos!
  10. Wevideo - An online video creation platform. Videomaker Magazine says "WeVideo sets the standard for advanced online video editing systems." and they are right!
  11. Wpcurve Amazing Wordpress support for you site and with great prices. I pay $69 a month and any changes, updates, small jobs, coding etc I need is done for me with great turnaround - seriously people look into them!
  12. TechSmith I love everything about them! "Capture still shots or video of your computer screen, quickly import photos and video from your mobile device with TechSmith Fuse, and customize them to add impact with Snagit and Camtasia".
  13. Splasheo - A video template service that offers a very cost-effective 3 step process for creating video boosters to your online videos. Brand custom intros, outros & lower thirds to your video.
  14. by Regina A great website for bloggers about how to build, run and monetize your blog. Regina gives so much useful free content its unbelievable - check it out like yesterday!
  15. Creativelive - Amazing classes on everything from blogging to graphics to photography. Lots of free classes as well as paid versions where you have anytime access. One of my favorite courses is "Build a Successful Creative Blog" with April Bowles-Owlin.
  16. Coschedule  & the free Coschedule headline-analyzer [Tweet "25 websites to help you be more creative, productive & kick some entrepreneurial ass in 2015"]
  17. Clipping Magic - If you are not a Photoshop wiz and I'm not, use Clipping Magic online to remove backgrounds from objects. It's super easy and inexpensive!
  18. PowToon - Create free animated videos and presentations.
  19. Click To Tweet - Easily add a "Click To Tweet" link in your blog post!
  20. Creative Market - Find great graphic elements, stock photos, handcrafted fonts, themes etc. Sign up for their newsletter and get LOTS O free elements each week. It's like Christmas when I get their newsletter!
  21. ifttt - From Wikipedia "a web-based service in which users can create chains of simple conditional statements, called "recipes," that are triggered based upon changes to other web services such as Gmail, Google Reader, Instagram, Craigslist etc. IFTTT is an abbreviation of "If This Then That" and is pronounced like "gift" without the "g."An example recipe might consist of sending an e-mail message if the IFTTT user tweets a certain hashtag. Or, if the user's photo is tagged by someone on Facebook then that photo will be added to the user's cloud-based photo archive."
  22. Assistant.to - A great online scheduling program for meetings with clients - reminders sent to both sides. It's your perfect virtual assistant!
  23. Coffitivity So yeah - I like to pretend I'm at a coffee shop while I am at work. Now with Coffitivity you can stream ambient sounds of a coffee shop/cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better without all the added caffeine - or at least drink (cheaper than Starbucks) coffee at home!
  24. Wordify - for Mac or iPhone "Wordify turns images into beautiful typographic artwork. Using your words. And a bit of magic."
  25. Dragon Speak - Talk to text software. I use their mobile version while driving in my car, stuck in traffic is a great place to hash out blog ideas!
  26. Etsy - "Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and off-line, to make, sell and buy unique goods." You can find great blog graphics, design work, templates and more at great prices. Plus you are supporting the small business market!

There you have it - my top 25! I would love to hear about any of your favorites sites or resources that aren't on this list. Share them with us here!

Love & Glitter,

My Rockin 2nd Date w/Cleo! A Review Of Cleo’s Rock N Pole Part Deux

Warm up, choreo, cool down, warm up, choreo, cool down...work on these Veruca! So yes it's been about 3 months now - high time for a check in regarding my progress with Cleo's Rock N Pole dvd. I would love to say that I have managed to look like this...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1OILXkbJO0]

But I haven't.

What I have seen is a huge improvement in my cardio during pole workouts, improvements on my never ending split work and more hair flips & head rolls in my dancing - and kids I'LL TAKE IT!!

Click here to check out more about the dvd from: - CleotheHurricane.com

Click here to check out my previous review of Cleo's Rock n Pole! 

The 3 areas I decided on really diving into this time around are the warm up, choreo & cool down.

Warm Up: I really liked this warm up. While it's much faster of a warm up than I'm used to that's not a bad thing.

Choreo: While I like this section the choreo was really hard for me. It moves pretty quickly and while I definitely feel like I have improved I can't say I feel comfortable doing it. But if I did, I guess I wouldn't need to work on the routine. I also feel that this style of choreo moves much faster than I do when I normally dance, that being said I have picked up a bunch of hot moves and added them into rotation!

Cool Down: Loved the cool down - great stretches and a much needed break from all of my hard work. It actually could have been longer for me but other than that I loved it!

All in all I really like this dvd. The floor routines were my favorite. While there are routines for beginner to advanced I feel a true beginner might have a slightly harder time with a some of the routines - she/he might want to start with the floor work first.

So...Will I be using the dvd again - yup! And while I do feel most of it is better suited for non beginners, there is a goddamned lot of content in this dvd usable by everyone. I think it's a great buy and something people, myself included, will be able to refer back to on a regular basis.

Love, Glitter & Rock N Roll,

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of thePole Dancing Bloggers Association. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Rub Me The Right Way: DIY Arnica Muscle Balm

Looking for a customizable, super easy, DIY arnica rub to ease your aches and pains? Check out this article I wrote for Bad Kitty! As pole dancers we like to think we are invincible. We proudly wear our “pole kisses” as a badges of honor, but really they’re just bruises. And they hurt. And I’m over them. It’s summer and they don’t look cute in my little sun dress.  Admit it. Aren’t you tired of the nurse asking if “everything is okay at home” each time you go to the doctor’s office? I’m thinking there has to be a better way.

I’ve heard great things about arnica rubs/salves/balms. They are supposed to be amazing for aches and helping bruises to heal faster. But the all organic, yummy smelling ones can be expensive and really – how hard could they be to make? READ THE REST HERE...

 

Studio Diaries: Top 10 Things I learned By Opening My Own Business

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Dammit I'm just going to have to open my own pole/aerial studio then I can run it my own way, I remember smugly thinking one day. I started thinking about it often, every other day, many days, many more days, mentioning it to friends, mentioning it to my accountant, mentioning it to a realtor, mentioning it to my hubby and somewhere along the line, somehow - BAM -  I owned a studio? [Tweet "It's super important to know what you know and know what you don't - then own it!"]

A lot of shit has happened in the past 3 years of owning and running Aeriform Arts, good stuff, annoying stuff, happy stuff, growth. Enough to fill a book and way too much for a blog post so for now let's just chat about my 10 best tips, revelations and findings that I learned from running my own business.

  1. Know your budget. So you say you have a realistic budget set up? Right - take that number and add at least another 40%, trust me on this at least 40%. Things will come up. Things you didn't expect or could have never foreseen. It's not your fault, it just is - better to be ready for it.
  2. Do as much yourself as you can for your company. If you can do it yourself do it. At least in the beginning. Do you really need the cleaning woman? For a long time at my studio we had a manager that worked for us and we covered the weekends. What a colossal waste of money. Now my husband runs the studio m-f and we have someone cover the weekends. Had we done this from the get go we would have more savings.
  3. It's super important to know what you know and know what you don't - then own it!I know enough web stuff to design a website BUT I do not know enough about photography to take photos for said site (although I'm working on it). I am, however, smart enough to know I suck at them and need to hire someone who doesn't.
  4. Have a realistic business plan & LIFE plan in place. Things will change, morph and grow over time but have one in place from the jump. Now here's the thing - most people have (or should have) a business plan in place, yet most everyone forgets to have a life plan in place. Hell I know I did. I had the financials, paperwork, support systems and vendors all worked out. I have a full time career, now I'm opening up a studio? When the hell am I going to be able to go out and get drunk, have a date night with my husband or watch Tivo for 3 hours? The thing I forgot to focus on was my life outside my business, how the fuck to eat sleep & be merry. Plan this shit out - you'll miss it!
  5. Listen to your clients. Clients are going to offer up LOTS - O suggestions. Listen to them all. A good deal of the suggestions will make no sense for your brand, or they don't actually understand the inner workings of your company, but some of them - some will be GEMS! For example "Hey Veruca I love this class - there should be more people in this class?!?! Maybe if you add the word cirque to the class it would help. People like that shit" so we did and boy was she right.
  6. Know that the customer is not always right. At least know when they are really wrong. There will be times when there is no pleasing anyone and you have to just say "no". Whoever came up with "the customer is always right" clearly didn't actually run a business on a day to day basis. I mean I get it, customer service is key and we do pride ourselves on going the extra mile for our clients but at some point enough is enough and you have to learn how to delicately handle some of the crazy customer service situations you will find yourself in. [Tweet "Don't forget to focus on life outside of business, how the fuck to eat sleep & be merry"]
  7. Some days you will be over the moon happy and other days you will want to quit. Running your own business is hard. It can be extremely rewarding but it is hard. Enjoy the good days, revel in them. If you ever feel like giving up, sit down, take a deep breath and step away from the situation for a moment. Try to remember why you created this in the first place. I'm sure generating an income is one of the reasons, but I'm also pretty sure there are more. Maybe you wanted to create something for you and your family or you wanted to be able to stay home with your children, have a better schedule, you felt passionate about your product - what ever drove you to starting your biz - try to remember it fondly. Talk with a neutral friend and ask for advice. Look at what the issue is and see if it can be fixed or improved or salvaged and then...
  8. Don't be afraid to walk away if you need to. Don't be afraid to say "okay this didn't work out as I planned" This is not a failure. This doesn't represent who you are as a person. The only time we fail is if we don't try. The moment you embrace this the amount of stress that is relieved will be mind blowing.
  9. Celebrate the small things!We always celebrate the big accomplishments but somehow never the small. I think it's extremely important to celebrate the everyday "wins" it keeps us going. It shows a progression in our business and personal lives and reminds us why we do what we do.
  10. Gratitude is key. Be grateful that after year 1 you are still in operation. Be grateful that your product or services helps people. Be grateful you live in a country where you can start your own business swinging around a pole. Just be grateful!

It's been a huge learning curve and even though there have been a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I wouldn't give up the past 3 years for anything! Learning about my business has helped me learn about myself. Hopefully some of these insights will help you on your journey.

I would love to hear from anyone regarding what you've learned from starting your own business, things you would do differently, things you never expected, that amazing moment where you knew you had made it, share it with us here!

Love & Glitter,

My Rockin Date w/Cleo! A Review of Cleo’s Rock N Pole

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Totally excited and slightly scared I jumped at the opportunity to review Cleo's Rock N Pole DVD. I mean it's Cleo for damned sake, it's going to be bendy, it's going to be hot, there's going to be heels and I assume some neon. "Am I going to be able to keep up?" I hoped so, "will there be modifications?" cause I'm going to need them. Oh Veruca get over it - download the damned DVD already and get at it. [Tweet "I'm an 80's child so Cleo's dvd spoke to me. Any excuse to wear neon colors and fringe tee shirts will immediately draw me in."]

Here's a little bit about the dvd from - CleotheHurricane.com

"Cleo’s Rock N Pole is a fun and high energy workout combining strength, flexibility and cardio training by a two-time Australian Pole Dance Champion. Choose from 4 heart racing routines from Pole to Floor-work danced to a HOT Rock N Roll soundtrack. Not only do you exercise your body, but your brain is getting quite a workout! A challenge conquered can be so rewarding, learning new skills that test your memory ability AND improve your dance skills. Plus, once you know the routines it raises your heart rate so you reap the maximum benefits in cardio fitness!"

The first thing that hit me about this dvd is there is a goddamned LOT of content, 113 minutes of content , that's almost 2 hours so at $34.95 you're getting your moneys worth.

You get:

  • 1 warm up
  • 3 choreographed pole routines
  • 1 sexy floor routine
  • 3 strength routines
  • a cool down

Plus breakdowns and modifications for each. While there are routines for beginner to advanced I feel a true beginner might have a slightly harder time with a some of the routines - she/he might want to start with the floor work first. Also I opted for the digital download not realizing there aren't chapter breaks. Knowing that now I think I would pay the slight extra for the dvd version. Since I was feeling less then bendy I thought I would watch the dvd and concentrate on the floor work and strength training - clearly areas I need to work on! Next week I'll review the warm up, choreo pole section and cool down (with modifications thank you!) and then end the week with a review of where I'm at! I'm hoping to see some flexibility & strength improvement but I know I need to actually put in the time.

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The 3 Strength Routines: The 1st routine consists of pull ups on the pole (with modifications for beginners), tricep dips on a chair, more pull ups, push ups, shoulder/bicep stretches and then seated pole climbs from the floor only using your arms to climb. I was good until that end part and then FAIL - I think I did two baby climbs lol. The 2nd routine consists of oblique crunches with one leg on the pole and side stretches using the pole. The 3rd routine consists of laying down on the floor on your back with your head near the pole, cup griping the pole and with straight legs using your abs to lift your legs up and butt up off the floor - not quite a full plow as your legs are going straight up in the air. Then you do the same type of lift but with your legs in a center split (or your version of a center split) while these are not the easiest moves they are great building your strength for achieving a correct basic invert and chopper while safely on the floor.

The Floor Routine: I loved the floor routine (I even videoed myself doing it - and NO not gonna post that shit but...) it has a lot of leg moves in it that look great if you have sexy splits and while I don't, I can see how doing this routine and the others will help me get closer to that goal. The nice thing about this routine is you can take pieces of it and incorporate it into your own routines OR just use it for a warm up after your normal pole warm up, plus its sexy and great for people who may not have a pole in their home.

So far I'm loving the dvd, while it is harder for someone who isn't as far along in her flexibility as she would like to be, I'm hoping by using it on a regular basis I will see some improvement on that front. After completing the warm up, 3 strength routines and floor routine I was EXHAUSTED - which is a good thing. One note I will add, don't make my mistake, have some knee pads or leg warmers around to protect your knees for some of this stuff (notice how in the 1st two photos I don't but the last one I do - trust).

I'm going to go take a nice hot shower now but check back in with me next week to see my review on the warm up, choreography and cool down sections!

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Love, Glitter & Rock N Roll,

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of thePole Dancing Bloggers Association. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.