Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Archive for the ‘Helpful Hints’ Category

Bye Bye Bugs

Posted by terrepruitt on December 4, 2019

So it seems like not every time, but sometimes when it rains really hard or when it is really hot and dry we get ants. I am not a fan of ants and certainly not a fan of them in the house. Like I said we don’t get them all the time, but maybe every other year or so during a heavy rain. Sometimes they can be thwarted, if you see that first one you know they are scouting and the rest may be on their way. So sometimes, when you get that first one (or first few) you can stop the invasion. But sometimes you just walk into a room and it is like there is a surface moving. UGH! I am not a fan! With pets it is real pain to get rid of the ants because we want to be careful with what we use. A couple of years ago I came across Diatomaceous earth. I remember we were having a particularly difficult time with the ants so I was going to try something different. Well, I ordered it, but I didn’t get around to trying it. I was happy that I remembered I had purchased it so I could try it this time.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaWe had a recent ant invasion. They didn’t come for our food they came for the cats’ food. They came to one area and I moved the food to treat that area then they attacked at the second area. Well, I remembered the Diatomaceous earth. I wasn’t sure it really worked but . . .

I am not a bug killer (I have my husband do it 🙂 ), sometimes I will rescue a spider. So normally I don’t like to watch things die, but I wanted to see if the Diatomaceous earth would work and I wanted to see if it was true. Bugs with exoskeletons can be killed with it. Ants, bed bugs, fleas, roaches, and earwigs can be killed with Diatomaceous earth yet – FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth can be consumed by mammals.

I wanted to verify it killed ants before I sprinkled it in the two affected areas of our house. The next ant I saw was my victim. And, yeah, he just kind of jerked around then stopped moving. So did the second one. So, I sprinkled it in the two areas I thought the ants were coming in.

Diatomaceous earth is dirt rich in silica and is made up of fossilized remains of single-celled and siliceous organisms called diatoms.  So in order for it to be safe for your pets it must be FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth. The FOOD GRADE kind contains less than 1% crystalline silica. The industrial or non-food grade Diatomaceous earth has levels of crystalline silica that can be harmful to pet and humans.

Now, having white powder around the house where little paws can get it is not really that great, but at least it is not poison.

And . . . so far so good, no ants.

Do you get ants ever? What do you do to get rid of them?

Not to detract from my quick, short post, but . . . . I actually asked my husband what title to give this.  I was going between the one you see, wanting people to know it was about more than just ants and this one, which I think is catchy – The Ants Stop Marching One By One, Hurrah, Hurrah.

And he came up with a trendy one – The Mandiblorian – Bug Killer and, as a fan of Bob’s Burgers – Now You See Them, Now They’re Dead – catchy phrases on the vans.

Which one do you like?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ideas: Gift Tracking, Decorating, Wrapping, And More!

Posted by terrepruitt on December 17, 2018

There might be a few things you might want to be reminded of this year.

One thing I am already doing is starting a list for next year. That might sound odd since it is not even Christmas, but it is close enough that it is too late for some things. So, I have a folder on my computer that is “2019 Christmas” and I am starting to put ideas in it. I just saw something on Twitter that I want to make as gifts next year. There is no time to do it this year so it will have to be next year. So I have added it to my 2019 Christmas folder. And, this past year, I was even saavy enough to look at my 2018 Christmas folder in July because I thought if I had wanted to make something this year that I documented in my folder and I had waited until December it would be too late.  (There were no notes in there about making something that needed to be done so far in advance.)  Hopefully next year I will remember to look WAY before December because this craft will take a while!

My gift list that I keep all year long is proving to be a great thing. It is really important for me to note WHERE I have stashed the gift because I don’t have one location where I keep everything!

And for things you still have time for:Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes

The card Christmas Tree and/or the Book Christmas Tree.

The scraps of wrapping paper that can become packaging for bags instead of tissue paper.  You can shred it or just use it as you would tissue paper.  And some ways to be perhaps even more “Green“.

GiveBackBox. If you are like me you are getting a lot of boxes delivered over this season.  And I posted about the company that helps people give back.

How do you wear your scarf?  There are accessory ways and a WARM way!

A quick way to use up the persimmons, make Persimmon Salsa.

I hope some of these things will help you out this Holiday Season.  We are moving into the homestretch with Christmas around the corner.  I hope you are all able to find some joy in the season.

What do you during the Holidays?  Is there a tradition you have?  Is there a tip or two you want to share?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Clean, Fresh, De-Fungified, And Smelling Good

Posted by terrepruitt on September 10, 2015

So I bet you have seen multiple posts or articles about cleaning with vinegar.  It is a disinfectant, an anti-bacterial, and an anti-fungal.  Some articles say white vinegar is good enough some say you have to use unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar.  You may have also read about our recent situation in which we had an invader in the form of the fungus called ringworm.  Well, a quick summary, we got two one year old kitties who had ringworm.  Thankfully this was suspected the first week they were here so their contamination of the house was kept to a bare minimum.  But I still wanted to disinfect everything I could.  Since animals were involved I wanted to use non-toxic products.  I also employed the use of two other products.  I am going to keep all three of these products in my arsenal of cleaning supplies.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueSo as I said, I used vinegar on many, many, many things.  I really don’t care for the smell, but it is safe for all types of surfaces and can be ingested by cats.

The second product is simply diluted bleach.  One part bleach for ten parts water.  While bleach isn’t something ingestible, it does a great job of cleaning.  I used it on every surface that could tolerate it.  So not as many as the vinegar.  I used the bleach more for things that were on my shelves so they were taken out of the room and the cats didn’t even have access to them.  I also very much like the smell of bleach.  It makes me feel as if things are clean.

In my search for things non-toxic I came across EarthScents.  The product description said:

The product description said:
–Use Terra Firma anti-fungal, natural all purpose cleaner to clean all hard surfaces. No harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
–Aromatherapy scents
–100% natural, earth friendly, bio-degradable, septic safe, and safe for people, pets, and the planet.
–Ideal for those who are allergy prone, sensitive to chemical cleaners, or for those who are concerned about the variety and mixture of harsh chemicals used in their home and around their family.

Its ingredients are:  Purified water, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, glycerin, and rosemary therapeutic essential oil.

It smells great.  I bought the Rosemary scent.  I didn’t use it as much as the vinegar because it says it can’t be used on wood, so I used the vinegar.  But this cleaner is GREAT on mirrors.  I am considering purchasing it just to clean windows and mirrors.  It is great.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueOh and another mention that I discovered during our situation is Pure Citrus.  We had two cats locked in one room for almost 40 days.  During that period there were a couple of hot spells.  So lets just say that it got kind of smelly in there, so I wanted an air freshener that I wouldn’t be afraid of landing on things and being sprayed around the cats.  So I found this product on Amazon.  I really like it.  I purchased “Orange Air Freshener”.  It smells like oranges.  The ingredients listed say, “Pure Citrus contains 100% natural, delightfully fragrant oils found in fresh oranges.”  Since I liked the product so much I took a chance and bought a different scent, the Lavender Air Freshener.  WOW!  I really like it!  So, if you are ever in the market for an air freshener, I would recommend Pure Citrus, the Orange Air Freshener and the Lavender Air Freshener.  I don’t know about any of the other scents.

So, I believe that vinegar, the bleach dilute, and the Spray fresh helped me get our house fungus free.  At least I feel like these products cleaned it up!  And with the air freshener it smells really nice.

What do you use to clean your house?  What do you use to make it smell nice?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Quick Mouth Fix

Posted by terrepruitt on May 20, 2014

Oh sweet relief.  Do you ever have something that bothers you . . . say a paper cut . . . and every time you wash your hand, put on lotion, or just move your finger you are reminded of it?  For days it plagues you, then one day . . . MAYBE, not even every time you realize, “Hey!  My finger doesn’t hurt any longer.  Hmmm.  When did that happen?”  But you are just so happy to be done with it it really doesn’t matter.  Do you ever do anything to hasten the healing?  My latest “owwie” was a cut in my mouth.  OW!  I love French Bread, but sometimes it cuts up my mouth.  And you may have experienced a mouth cut before or a sore or something, it seems that things just keep migrating towards it and making it worse.  Plus, I can’t . . . I don’t know if YOU have this problem, I can’t seem to leave it alone.  I am always “examining it” with my tongue.  “Is the cut still ther—–owww!  Yup!  Still there.”  My goal is to make it go away as fast as I can.  Silly me, that doesn’t necessarily mean I stop eating what did it in the first place, but that does mean I will take other measures to heal it.  It needs to be sterilized.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaFirst of all you know that the mouth is host to a consortium of bacteria.  Some of the bacteria aid in digestion.  Some bacteria protect our teeth and gums.  Some cause bad breath and even tooth decay and gum disease.  But no matter what, the environment as a whole is not an easy place for sores and cuts to heal.  I know there are people who pull oil which is a more holistic way to oral health.  There are also some who might employ the use of essential oils.  I am not at that point with my essential oil use.  What I do works for me.  It might gross some people out.  I haven’t told my husband, but when I was doing it I kept thinking, “Oh, he would be so grossed out.”  But I know that it helped clean the cut and I believe it helped it heal faster and therefore bringing relief faster.

I use something most of us have in our medicine cabinet.  Plain and simple rubbing alcohol.  I don’t gargle with it.  I simply put it on a q-tip and then put the alcohol on the cut.  The reason I am posting about this is because just yesterday I realized that I didn’t need to do that as I was getting ready to leave.  So it was one of those times when I did it for a two days and then I didn’t need to do it any longer.  I also use mouthwash.  If you want to help a cut heal don’t use the sugary types of mouthwash it needs to be LISTERINE®.  I prefer the green kind, but the gold is even stronger.

I do remember my husband having a cut in his mouth from — French Bread — and I told him to gargle and he had some syrupy type of mouthwash and I told him that it needed to be the kind that makes your mouth tingle and I let him use mine.  But then when he talked to his oral hygienist and she confirmed my instruction he went out and bought the gold kind.  Yeowza.

So for me, when I cut my mouth or bite my cheek to help my body heal it fast I use rubbing alcohol and strong mouthwash.  The rubbing alcohol does not taste good, but I would rather suffer that taste for a minute and heal the cut faster than have that pain in my mouth.  And if you gargle right after it helps take the taste away.  I have also used Sea Breeze® in my mouth?  Do you know what that is?  It is an astringent I used to use to clean my face.  Now I use it for bites and cuts.

So there you have my little helpful tip.  What do you do when you cut your mouth?  Do you just let it go away on its own?  Does your tongue constantly bother it?  Share with us your household helpful tip.


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Yogurt Making Tips

Posted by terrepruitt on July 23, 2013

Making yogurt is so easy it is mind blowing.  I always thought you needed a special yogurt making machine or something.  But it is not that difficult at all.  All you need are a few things including a thermometer, a pot, two bowls or a sink, and canning jars.  There are more things but that is the basics.  Even though it is really easy I decided to split the post between yogurt making tips and the actual instructions. I am posting the tips first because if you are like me you jump right to the recipe, skipping the tips thinking they are just “extra”.  Then half way through the recipe I am wondering how to do this or that and realize that information is in the tips.  So tips first, then instructions.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo—Before you begin, wash ALL of your equipment with hot soapy water and rinse well with hot water.

Equipment means anything that will touch the milk:  the pot, the bowl, the ladle, the spoon, the measuring spoon, all jars, lids, funnel and bands (bands don’t generally TOUCH the milk, but close enough), the portion of the thermometer that will touch the milk.

You can use your dishwasher for dishwasher-safe things.

Sterilizing everything helps keep any bacteria or germs from being introduced to and contaminating your yogurt.

—After washing lay out all cleaned equipment on a clean towel.

—If you have used the dishwasher to wash your canning jars right before you make your yogurt, you might want to keep the jars in the dishwasher until you are ready to fill them.  This will keep the jars warm.  Laura, of Beadzilla, who gave me this recipe noted that she has forgotten to heat the jars and has not had any problems.

—Even after you have calculated how many jars you need, have a few more washed and ready to go just in case.  You might decide not to fill the jars all the way to the top so you might need more than you think.

I have made three batches of yogurt and I think it sets up thicker when the milk heats to 180° F and it ferments for TWELVE hours.

—Heating up the milk takes about 20 minutes.  I actually set my timer for 20 minutes so I have an idea of how long the milk has to go.

—The jars you want to use as warmer in the cooler can be pickle jars.  Or a few extra canning jars.  At present I have three jars.  When I place the canning jars in the cooler I like to make sure all the milk jars are touching at least one warm water jar.

—Make sure that your jars of warm water are not any hotter than you can touch or you might introduce too much heat to the process and kill the culture.

I put one towel on the bottom of the cooler, then put the warming jars in then arrange my jars of milk around them.

—When ladling the milk into the jars, I no longer worry about getting it on the rim/lip of the jar.  I would spend so much time trying to keep from spilling and then end up spilling anyway.  I don’t have a funnel.  So I just quickly put the milk in the jars then wipe them well before I seal.  I use a damp paper towel to wipe any spilled milk off the top of the jar rims and seal the jars tightly with a lid and band.  This ensures good contact between the jar and it’s lid.

—Don’t fill the jars all the way up.  Leave some room for your toppings/additions.  If you want to eat the yogurt right out of the jar and you plan on adding to it (honey, granola, fruit, vanilla, etc.) you’ll need room. 

Remember this is an unstrained yogurt so it is going to be much more “runny” than the average store bought yogurt.

—This entire process takes about an hour.  Remember to calculate the amount of time your yogurt needs to ferment and prepare it accordingly.  The first time I made it with my friend I had to take my jars from cooler to fridge at 1:00 am.  Usually not a problem for me but that morning it was.  The second time I had to refrigerate them at 5:00 am.  Now I make my yogurt by 10:00 am or 11:00 am so I am putting the jars in the fridge at 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm.  Whatever works for you, just remember to think of that before you start.

—DON’T EAT ALL OF YOUR YOGURT!  Remember you need at least 2 tablespoons for your next batch.

So these are just a few things I have learned.  A long list.  You will see the instructions are still long, but don’t let that deter you.  It is easy.

I hope you will share your what you have learned making yogurt.  What tips do you have?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Yogurt | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

RAFT For Smooth Sailing

Posted by terrepruitt on May 23, 2013

A friend of my communicated with me that the company she worked for was going to be volunteering at RAFT.  She asked me if I wanted to join them.  I didn’t know what RAFT was.  So I looked it up online and I saw what it stood for so I said yes.  RAFT is Resource Area For Teaching.  I showed up not knowing what they really did.  I didn’t look at the website beyond the meaning of the acronym.  After listening to the short orientation about what RAFT is I was very impressed.  I was excited to learn that there is this type resource available to teachers.  I know many teachers work way more than the school day hours and put a lot of their own money into supplies.  I thought that RAFT might be something to help them out.  RAFT is as a non-profit organization that supplies teachers with Idea Sheets, materials and other resources. RAFT also holds workshop for Educators.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaRAFT understands that the hands on approach is a very powerful way to learn.  Their mission is to “inspire the joy and discovery of learning” through hands on learning.  The website has hundreds of “Idea Sheets” that teachers can print at no charge.  These sheets are guides on lessons that correlate to the subjects and things that need to be taught in California.  But anyone teaching kids can use them because they are on a variety of subjects.  The sheets can be searched by subject or grade/level.  The sheets state the materials needed, how to assemble the learning tool, the grade it corresponds to as well as the California Standard, the science behind it and alternative lessons that can be taught.  Some of the idea sheets also have actual kits you can purchase through RAFT.  But you can always obtain the materials yourself.  Some things needed could be stuff you have around your house.

RAFT receives surplus “stuff” from businesses and they create learning tools from these spare parts.  These are the Activity Kits that can be purchased.  It is really cool because RAFT takes stuff that businesses more than likely would just be throwing away and they create a learning project from it.  I thought that was so cool.  RAFT is recycling by using things in a different way than was originally intended.  When I was there we were using a CD/DVD Spindle, a CD/DVD, a CD/DVD case to create kits.  We kept saying as we were assembling the kits that we would have to see what it was that we were putting together, but then we never did.  And I was at the front of the assembly line so I don’t even know what else was in it except I saw sticks, straws, and string.  I looked online and I don’t see the kit available yet so I can’t try to figure it out from the website.

In addition to the Idea Sheets, Activity Kits, workshops, and mentoring RAFT also has common classroom supplies available to teachers as a discount.  So overall RAFT sounds like a great resource for teachers.  I love that RAFT uses stuff that would just end up in the garbage.  That the materials they are keeping out of the landfills actually go to making a project for children to learn from is just super delicious icing on the cake!  Then having all of this help teachers.  I was just so excited and impressed I had to share.  I didn’t know this place, this type of thing existed.  I am really glad I agreed to volunteer even though I had no idea what it was about.

If you teach kids I hope that you will take a moment to look at this GREAT resource that is available to you.

Did you know about RAFT?  Have you ever used one of their Idea Sheets?

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Tenderizing A Tender Sting

Posted by terrepruitt on August 16, 2012

Recently 30 seconds into the second song in my Nia Class, one of my students stopped dancing and started to limp away.  I asked her what  was up and she replied that she got a bee sting on her foot.  I asked if it just happened now (during the class) because she had appeared to be moving fine during the first song — but then again, the first song in the Nia routine we were doing is basically whole foot stances.  She had said it had happened over the weekend.  She said that she was hoping she could dance, but the sting got too aggravated.  After class one of my other students inquired as to why the student left.  She had not heard the exchange between me and bee-stung person.  I told her that her fellow student had been stung by a bee over the weekend but had hoped to be able to dance but could not.  The inquiring student said, “Oh I wish I would have heard because she might want to try meat tenderizer.”  Huh?  So that started a whole conversation about her having been told to use meat tenderizer on a bee sting.

My student related the story where she and her son had been walking down the street in Palo Alto (a city in near San Fransisco) and she had been stung by a bee.  She said since it happened right there on the street others had observed the incident.  She said one woman offered the suggestion of putting meat tenderizertenderizer on the sting.  She said the woman was a nurse.  I asked my student if the meat tenderizer worked.  She said it did, she said she didn’t know why, but it did.

Times like that is when I truly LOVE wireless devices that can instantly connect me to the answers to “Why?/How?”  I had to look it up.  WHY would MEAT TENDERIZER work on a bee sting?

The first site that came up stated that bee stings are acidic and the meat tenderizer is alkaline so it works to counteract the acidity of the sting.  At the time that is all that I read.  Good enough for me.  Just a quick answer as to why.  In researching it for this post it appears that this treatment of the symptoms of a sting is an old home remedy.

The information on the internet states to mix the meat tenderizer with water to form a paste, apply it to the stung area so that it covers the entire area, and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes.  Then wash it off and apply ice.

Some information stated that mixing the meat tenderizer with vinegar is another option.

Several sites state it is the papain in the meat tenderizer.  Papain is a natural enzyme that works to break down the protein in the venom.  It is suggested that a meat tenderizer without this enzyme would not work.

Some sites indicated that this remedy used to relieve the symptoms of a bee sting will work for other stings (wasp, jelly fish) and bites as well.  Of course — as stated this remedy would just relieve minor symptoms of a sting.  If there is a chance of an allergic reaction medical attention should be obtained.

Also . . . more stuff I learned while researching the meat tenderizer for a bee sting is that the stinger should not be removed with tweezers.  I saw many instructions stating to SCRAP it out.  The suggestion is to use a credit card or a metal blade.  The idea is that pulling the stinger out might just cause MORE venom to be pushed into the victim and the scraping will get it all out.  I would have just  pulled it out with my finger nails or tweezers.

I found all of this very interesting.  I know many people who have been stung by bees and they might know this information.  I know many people who have not been stung by bees and they might want to know this information.  I don’t actually have meat tenderizer in my pantry.  I am not one that cooks meat without it having been marinated and I believe the marinades work to tenderize the meat.  But if you do happen to get stung by a bee and have meat tenderizer in your pantry maybe you would like to give it a try.

Have you ever been stung by a bee?  What did you do?  If you get stung might you try meat tenderizer on the sting?

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No Pain, No Gain – Whatever! Relief!

Posted by terrepruitt on July 17, 2012

Because I teach Nia I am not used to wearing shoes when I workout.  Nia is a workout done in bare feet, so I don’t wear socks and shoes.  Yoga, Pilates, even resistance training can be done without shoes.  Recently I was in a training that required me to wear shoes.  And it was an all day training, eight hours.  Since my feet do not really like shoes AND my tennis shoes are kind of old, I decided to wear some additional cushion in my shoes to help my feet.  My right foot is very sensitive because the middle toes no longer straighten fully so the middle of my foot does not lie flat on the ground.  The ball of my right foot and the pinky edge get sore.  They get more work than they should.  So I decided to employ a method that I used when I was young, in addition to the extra cushion I had added relief later.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaMaybe this method can help some females that wear those REALLY high-heeled shoes that are so popular now-a-days.  When I was younger the style was to wear pumps.  I have a wide foot and pumps were not always comfortable.  What I would do was, I would put a gym sock on my foot but I would roll the sock down to around the ball of my foot, then I would shove my foot – with the sock on – into my shoe.  Then I would get ready.  And back then I was one of those girls who took a ridiculous amount of time to get ready.  So I would end up wearing the gym sock-shoe combination for at least an hour and a half.  This accomplished two things: 1)  It somewhat stretched out my shoe and 2) (after walking around and standing while getting ready to go out with my foot squeezed into the shoe) ANYTHING felt better than that!

One time I was getting ready and I was walking around the house and after passing my dad three or four times he finally said, “You’re not going out like THAT right?”.  And I laughed and I had to explain it to him.  No rolled gym socks were not part of the outfit.

So while I did not wear rolled up gym socks in the training I wore these foot huggers that have a little gel in them.  So I had extra cushion and I had something that felt nice when half way through the day I slipped them off.  While they were not hurting me as my gym-sock-wrapped feet did they did feel more roomy and happy after I took them off.

I think this method could possibly be applied to many things.  When you have to wear shoes all day if you wear something to help cushion your foot, but might take up a bit of room in your shoe, it will feel nice when you take the cushion off in the middle of the day.  At least that is what happened to me, plus it helped when I was young and smooshing my feet into pumps.

You know everything is just easier to handle when your feet are comfortable.  That is why they make those “gellin'” insoles.  That is also why I don’t wear uncomfortable shoes any longer.  I don’t think it looks nice when a female has on a pretty shoe, but you can tell she is in pain with every step she takes.  I would rather walk with comfort.  So sometimes using the stretch-y method might help.  The “No Pain, No Gain” is just a play on that famous saying . . . although when I was young I did it just while I was getting ready, I did not do it recently.  My feet were comfortable all day.  It was just that halfway through when they were a little sweaty and tired, I took off the huggers, changed my socks and gave them more room.  Ahhhh.  I was very happy that I had thought to do that.  It worked out very well for me.

Do you have shoes that you wear that you might benefit from if applying this method?  C’mon we all have at one time in our lives.

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Turn In Nia And Other Dance Exercise Classes (Video)

Posted by terrepruitt on July 10, 2012

I wrote a post about a four-point turn, that is what I call one of the turns we do while we are doing Nia.  In Nia it is sometimes called an Aikido turn.  But it is a turn that is done in many dance exercise classes, including Zumba.  I realize that even if you are reading the post while trying to do it, it could be a bit confusing so . . . . . voila!  A video.

The first clip is of me facing away and I start with a RIGHT turn, then alternate.  Then the second clip is of me facing the camera.

As with my Aikido turn post maybe right and left indications will work better for you.  In my other post I decribed the left turn, so here I will write out the right turn.  And as stated, the right turn is the first turn I demonstrate.  Turn your head/eyes to the right, allow your hand/arm to follow. Move your right foot to “toes out” turning your right thigh bone to the right. Then step on your RIGHT FOOT in a “toes out” position, put your weight on it 100%. As you are stepping all your weight on your RIGHT FOOT, allow your body to turn to the right, in the direction you want to go. Swing your LEFT LEG (free leg) around to what seems like in front of your RIGHT FOOT. Step onto your LEFT FOOT, toes pointing to the back of the room (or what started off as the back of the room), take the weight off the RIGHT FOOT (“toes out” foot). Swing your RIGHT FOOT (free leg) behind to land about in line with the heel of your LEFT FOOT (weighted foot).  You will land standing on the RIGHT FOOT, and turn the LEFT FOOT to be parallel with the right foot. . . making that the fourth point or step.

Even though in the first clip on the right turn you can’t see my right foot “toes out”, I do the turn enough times in the video for you to see how the first step is a “toes out” move.  Starting the turn with the “toes out” and already turning the direction you want to go will go a long way in enabling you to get all the way around.  Even if it takes a lot of practice to get all the way around, starting that first step with the leg in outward rotation will help a lot.  I also said in my last post that I think it is easier to do this move fast as opposed to slow. So it might be a good idea to not try it really slow at first because it is not easy slow.  Just go.  Right toes out, left, right, left.  Or left toes out, right left right.   Remember we do not spin on our feet. We need to pick the feet up off the ground to avoid blisters and strengthen the leg.  Also you might notice that this turn is done on the balls of the feet.  You put all your weight on the ball of the foot.

While my fourth “point” or step I am exaggerating and pointing my toe in that might not always be the case.  When we are moving to the music the fourth “point” could end up being any number of things depending upon many number of things.  The choreography sometimes calls for different things.  Plus there is the individual body that is doing it to consider.  Sometimes people can’t get all the way around, it could be that the music is really moving and there isn’t enough time to get around and settle into that fourth step or it could be that this is one of those moves that will take practice.

It’s a great move that allows us to use ALL five Nia Sensations.  Flexibility on the “toes out” and as we place our feet, mobility in our joints, strength to get us around and stop, agility to stop, and stability to stay stopped.  Cool, huh?

So how are you doing with your turn?

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Marketing Things I Have Learned

Posted by terrepruitt on June 28, 2012

I am not a marketing expert or guru or anything, I am just a Nia teacher trying to get the word out about Nia to as many people as possible.  As I go I realize that my past experiences have helped me learn a lot.  Plus I learn a lot as I go.  I have a lot of people who encourage me, and help me learn even more.  Here are a few things that I have learned that maybe you don’t know.  Or maybe you forgot, or maybe, like me, you need encouragement to do/use.

1–When posting a flyer or a poster make certain there is contact information on it.  Make certain the information stands out – whether it be a phone number, an e-mail address, or some other way to communicate.
Recently I received a call from someone wanting to take a different class (not Nia), but she claimed there was no phone number for the instructor she wanted to take a class from.  I took her name and number, looked up the instructor on the internet, called the instructor and gave her the prospective student’s name and number.  When I was able to look at the poster myself I saw the phone number on it, but it was somewhat camouflaged.  It blended in with the other text on the flyer.  Make your contact information stand out.  Make it bold, make it a different color, make it a different font, make it larger than the rest, or circle it.  Something that makes it the first thing people see.  Flash a sample at a friend and see if the contact info is the first thing they see.

2–Send e-mail.
I am hesitant to send out e-mails because I don’t like to “bother” people.  I don’t like to clog their in box with a lot of stuff.  I know we all get a lot of e-mails and I don’t want mine to be the one you don’t read because there is an e-mail from me all the time.  I try to keep my e-mail down to “need-to-know” stuff.  I work to only e-mail once a month.  With this past e-mail I sent out a handful of my students thanked me for the updates.  That made me feel better.  People appreciate being updated.

3–Use the subject line (when e-mailing) to get the info across.
When a fellow Nia teacher told me she sends e-mails reminding people to come to class, I shared I didn’t like sending out too many e-mails.  She gave me a great tip.  She said to put the information in the subject line.  If it is just a quick reminder of one thing then the subject line can hold all the info and the recipient doesn’t even have to open the e-mail.  “See you at class tomorrow.”  I thought that was brilliant.  I have employed that method and I love it.  Otherwise, I use my subject line to announce all the items contained in the e-mail.  As an example my last e-mail subject line was:  “Monday Evenings are cancelled / Subbing classes for City of San Jose / Fourth of July”  I bet you can guess without even having received the e-mail what it was about.  Big important news – class is cancelled.  Then exciting news – I’m subbing classes.  Then a note about Fourth of July.  This gives the recipient a chance to decide if they need to open it right away.  I know that sometimes I don’t have time to read all my e-mail in one sitting so I prioritize.  I usually have a few I have to come back and read.

4–Remind people.
In the e-mail I mentioned above, I did take the time to remind people of my regular class schedule, since I was sending out an e-mail anyway.  People get busy, people forget, people need to be reminded of what is happening.  I can keep track of MY schedule, I can have that in my head, but I can’t have other people’s too.  So when they remind me of what classes they have and when I appreciate it.  The same goes with blogs.  I have a few blogs I read consistently, but sometimes the ones I want to read don’t have consistent postings so I need to be reminded that they are there.  This is another thing I need to work on because, again, I don’t want to “bother” people, but when I DO post a link to my blog on FB people read it and they thank me for reminding them.  It’s ok to remind people.  If it truly bother’s them they will let you know.

5–Send Thank you Notes.
One Nia teacher I know would send out a thank you e-mail every once in a while after class.  Made me happy.  I was thankful to be able to attend her class, but she would send an e-mail thanking us all for attending.  Since it made me so happy, I figured it made others happy too.  Of course, you can also send an actual note via the US Post Office.  So many of us seldom get actual mail a thank you note would be a nice surprise.  I appreciate that my students take the time to come dance with me every week, sometimes twice a week.  So sending a note letting them know is important to me.  I didn’t even think of this as a marketing tool until I was writing this.  People liked to be thanked.  Clients deserved to be thanked.

So this is just a short list.  It is not trail blazing information, you probably already know these things.  It is just a reminder or maybe a little encouragement.  I have learned that I write and post things as much for me as for you.  I will probably stumble across this in the future and say, “Yeah, that’s right, sending an e-mail is not as bothersome as you think.”

So what do you think?  Even if you are not a business owner you are probably a customer on the receiving end of some of these things.  What do you think?  Do you have ideas you can share?

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