Monday, September 08, 2008

Our Blogs Have Moved!!

Hey Hoopers! 

We've moved our blogs over to the official Hoopnotica site! Please join us there to continue reading about our madcap adventures, challenges and triumphs - and to share yours!

Visit our main BLOG page, and subscribe to stay connected. We look forward to hearing more from you and your journeys inside and outside your hoops!

Happy Hooping,
Rayna & Keaton

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Mystery of the Blue Mai Tai

You may have noticed that Hoopnotica’s popular summer Blue & Glow hoop is named the Mai Tai.

Now we don’t come by these names willy nilly- we sit, we analyze, we google… we brainstorm like the people at OPI nail polish do when naming a new collection (minus the trip to Brazil or Marti Gras- which I’ve been trying really hard to implement). First we decide on a theme- this helps us create names to match~ so as Rayna and I were having a late spring cocktail to help us ‘get creative’- the lightblubs went on- and the Summer Cocktail Collection was born.

The Cosmo hoop was a given- raspberry & orange- the perfect combo.

The Midori Sour took some purple liberties- but the neon green borders were all we needed to lock down this beauties name!

So then we came to our hot hot hot Blue, Black & Glow—and we sat and we threw out suggestions—Blue Hawaii! Blue Lagoon! Mai Tai!! --- oooooh we all said- we like Mai Tai- that sounds tropical and a fantastic name for a hoop! “Are Mai Tai’s blue?” I ask. I get a resounding positive yes and I- for the one time in my life- don’t confirm by doing a google search. Well….

apparently Mai Tai’s aren’t blue…

Mai Tai’s are Orange...

So now we’re stuck in a quandary. Half of our Mai Tai collection is already sold out- and we’ve already produced all the hand-numbered tags that adorn each Limited Edition hoop. Do we shove all the Mai Tai tags under the rug in embarrassment and switch the name on the website to the “Blue Lagoon” in hopes that no one will wonder where that cool Blue Mai Tai hoop went? Do we justify the fact that Hoopnotica’s on the cutting edge and the only Mai Tai’s we drink are doused in Blue Curacao? or perhaps – we’re making a statement on the fact that if you drink one too many Mai Tai’s – you could end up looking black and blue…

I’ll leave it up to you. The Mai Tai will stay- a little piece of Hoopnotica lore that we can look back upon with fondness.

Here’s the recipe- try one this Labor Day weekend and think of us~~

2 ounces 17-year-old J. Wray Nephew Jamaican rum
1/2 ounce French Garnier Orgeat
1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao
1/4 ounce Rock Candy Syrup
juice from one fresh lime

Hand shake and garnish with half of the lime shell inside the drink and float a sprig of fresh mint at the edge of the glass.

All of the above
EXCEPT- substitute Blue Curacao for Orange Curacao

Bust out your Hoop at the party and be amazed at the number of people who have no idea that a Mai Tai isn’t blue after all…


Friday, August 22, 2008

My answer to the Wii Fit Hula Hoop Exercise game

I'm sure you've all at least heard of the Wii Fit series of fitness games available from Nintendo - they've even come out with a Wii Fit Hula Hoop Exercise game!

My first thought - "virtual hula hooping, really?"

Then came the hugely popular You Tube video of a guy videotaping his girlfriend swinging her hips to the virtual Wii Hula Hoop game in her underwear:

Classic! This one had me on the floor laughing. The NY Post even talked about it in their July 29th article on Hoopnotica.

Honestly, I haven't tried the Wii Fit version of hula hooping, but I just think it has to be way more fun and much more effective to exercise with a Hoopnotic Hoop instead. And let's not forget - you can't HOOPDANCE with the Wii Fit version, and heck, that's where the fun is - not to mention the way you can actually burn 400-600 calories per hour, tone your entire body and look incredibly SEXY. Don't get me wrong, the hula hooping girlfriend in the video has a cute booty, but let's face it, she looks more silly than sexy.

To prove my theory, I got into my underwear, popped the Hoopnotica Hooping in the City demo on the TV, sat my boyfriend Sammy Bliss on the couch with the video camera, and hooped it up...

If you've tried the Wii Fit Hula Hoop Exercise game and think it's fun, I challenge you to get into a Hoopnotic Hoop, try out some of the hoopdance moves from our instructional DVDs and see how much fun you can have with a REAL hoop! Then come back here and tell me all about it!

And by the way, hooping in your underwear rocks (as HoopMamma can attest to), and your guy on the couch will always appreciate it ;)

Until next time, HOOP ON!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hoopnotica LOVES the Olympics!

Wedding Book Woes...

One of my best friends gave me this wedding book at my bridal shower called, “What No One Tells the Bride” by Marg Stark. I was all excited to read it- thinking I would learn a bunch of juicy secrets about how to solve wedding cake disaster or a flower girl tantrum, but it’s not about the wedding at all. It’s about marriage- and not only that- it’s about all the things in marriage that are supposedly inevitable and how you, as a ‘wife’, deal with them.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in liberal California, maybe it’s because I’m a pretty independent yet social woman or maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up in the 50’s, but I don’t understand half of the problems in this book. I’ll give you an example—there’s an entire paragraph dedicated to being “Off the List”- as in, once you get married, your single friends cross you off the list of being able to go out with them for a drink or a skiing vacation or a celebration on New Years Eve. How once you get engaged or married- you don’t fit in with your single friends anymore and you have to adjust only hanging out with married couples. WTF?? If I become the woman who doesn’t go out anymore once she’s married, someone shoot me in the leg. (I don’t really want to die yet, so I figured the leg is a good wake-up call).

Now to the books credit- after laying out a bunch of these new issues- it tells you how to solve them- ie: make sure to take the time in your newly married life to still do things you liked to do when you were single and don’t let your husband tell you that you can’t do them. Make sure to write to your single friends and tell them how much you miss them.

Really? That’s the solution?

The book goes on to demystify the classic myths of marriage – like, “I will be the perfect wife.” Who says that?? What modern day woman gets married and seriously thinks to herself that she’s Martha Stewart (who went to jail by the way people- no amount of perfectly hand decorated cupcakes= the perfect wife).

In reading this book- I’ve realized that I’m a truly blessed individual- not only do I live in a state that supports a woman's rights, but I have an incredibly smart, savvy and sensitive fiancĂ© (and he can hoop!). We adore our friends- often host BBQ’s and during hockey season- there’s not a lot of days when our living room isn’t full of friends cheering for Canada’s Blue & White. He takes evenings and goes out to play pool with the boys and I take time to have margarita’s with the girls, and we always have Sunday night together to make dinner, drink wine and snuggle on the couch to watch a movie. I’m not saying we’re perfect- no one is, and deciding to spend the rest of your life together comes with unexpected challenges and compromise- but I feel like the less you think of getting married as changing your whole being to accommodate another – and think of it more as opening your life to allow more in- the more that the natural compromise that’s inevitable is easy. Ultimately we are all just Shawn Johnson on the 4" balance beam - working for balance each leap we take...
xoxo, Keaton

Friday, August 15, 2008

Relieving the Stress of Life through Hooping

It’s 45 days till the wedding… I have a list 3 pages long of things to do in the next 2 weeks, not to mention the 6 page list of questions to figure out from the ceremony/reception site. I don’t know what possessed me to plan an entire destination wedding (Canada), work a full time job (Go Hoopnotica Go!), and keep up with the Olympics at the same time (I *heart* Aaron Piersol). I’m at a point, where each day I cross something off my list and I’m reminded of 5 other things that I need to add to it. So what do I do when I’m about to lose my mind? I take out my hoop and jump on my bed…

My good friend Jen had stopped by to take me out to lunch- so she decided to pick up Louisa (my camera) and snap a few shots…

Like so many Hoopers out there, I am not blessed with a lot of ‘extra’ space in my 2 bedroom apartment in Santa Monica, but I do have a King size bed. So I pick a rockin’ song on my ipod (today was The Blues are Still Blue by Belle & Sebastian… it’s so yummy!), get up on my bed and hoop it out for 5 minutes. Here’s a breakdown of what happens…

Minute #1- starting off slow
Hooping on a bed is like hooping on sand- it tests your balance, so your core has to work twice as hard to keep yourself upright and stable. I start with the hoop rotating on my waist, close my eyes & turn my attention to my breath. This meditative start is already melting my anxiety away.

Minute #2- getting into it
I slowly start to incorporate my arms and start to pick up the pace of the hoop to match the rhythm of the song. I turn around slowly, keeping balance on the bed and moving the hoop to my hips, where I can really start to feel the beat- a smile creeps its way onto my face.

Minute #3-4- rock it out
I bring the hoop to my chest and start to meld with the song- arm weaving, duck-outs, angles and then drop down to my knees on the bed with a corkscrew and continue upper body work on my knees- rising up and back- feeling my thigh muscles come alive- My breathing has quickened and I’m starting to sweat as I come back up with the hoop back on my waist for quick undulations- they empower me and I feel silly and sexy at the same time.

Minute #5- give it an ending
As a trained performer – I have learned that any performance, whether it be in your pajamas or on a stage in front of thousands- has a beginning, middle and end. The beginning and middle comes to most people naturally, but I encourage you to find fun ways to end your practice. Whether it’s posing at the end of the song, spinning your hoop slowly above your head and down as you walk off or giving a bow with your hoop- give yourself completion. It’s so rewarding to your spirit. I ended this 5 minute bed romp by practicing slow control on my waist, taking it down to my thighs, bringing it all the way back up to above my head and striking a Madonna worthy pose at the top.

I take a moment to glance at myself in the mirror and relish in my ridiculousness. I fix the covers on the bed, take a moment to catch my breath and return to my desk with a renewed vigor. I can accomplish all that I have on my plate and more. I am an extraordinary human being. All it took was little inner child playtime on a king-sized bed.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


The 2nd Annual World Hoop Day was celebrated all over the world by hoopdance communities, and Hoopnotica hosted our event in sunny Venice Beach, CA!

Hoopnotica donated 100 TravelHoops to the World Hoop Day organization - a non-profit organization committed to providing hoops to children in need. You can find out more about them and donate to their cause at!

Keaton and I started the WHD celebrating a little early when we hooped it up at her fiancĂ©’s company launch party the night before. We had so much fun hooping to djs Sammy Bliss (my main squeeze) and Shylock, and we spent much of the night teaching newbies how to get their hoops started.

After a good night's sleep, we headed to our favorite hooping spot in Venice and set up for World Hoop Day!

Soon, the Hoopers started arriving...

and much hooping fun insued!

Kids and adults alike enjoyed the hoopla. HoopMamma and her kids joined in on the fun too!

The lovely Hoopalicious (Anah of Hoop Revolution), her man Franc and even her dog Quinn joined us as well!

We worked on some new moves....

...and then it was time for the HOOP RAFFLE! Hoopnotica and Hoop Revolution each raffled off gorgeous hand made hoops! Congrats to the winners!

After hours of fun in the sun, it was finally time to call it a day. We packed up, said our goodbyes and planned to hoop together again soon!

Thanks everyone who made this World Hoop Day unforgettable! Get out there and share the joy of hoopdance with someone new! We'll have some video of our WHD experience up in a bit, so visit us here again soon ~Rayna

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pursed Lips and Girl Scout Cookies

One day I woke up and realized that I was becoming cliche. I have totally pretended as though I would never become exactly what I am becoming.

I am not clear about when this began. It is one of those things that seems like it could have happened years ago or yesterday. To make me feel better, I could say something like "Your mind just starts to go once you've had kids". It would sound good, and reaffirm my point that I am becoming, cliche.

I am fearful of blogging because I didn't catch on to the whole thing until I was too ashamed to admit that it had passed me by. I feel so old fashioned all of a sudden. I don't use a cellphone headset, because they freak me out (its the human-robot thing; I can't hang). I don't have a MySpace. Or a Face Book. I have never bought anything on EBay. 

In fact, I am scared of most advancements that all the cool people know about.

The reason why I bring this up is because the older I get, the more I am becoming exactly like the One I have always feared becoming.
(No, Mother, it's not you. )
It's more like the Leader Moms in my old Girl Scout Troupe. Not one specifically, but a montage of them all. The way they pursed their lips like they knew everything, and disapproved of it. The way they could barely cope with programming the VCR. They were overprotective, and their kids became skillful at lying . They out-volunteered each other to store the Girl Scout cookies at their house gleefully, and then bitched and moaned until all the boxes sold. The Girl Scout Leader Moms were weird.

I hate to say it, but I have seen the beginnings of myself going down. I literally had to force myself out of a rut there, and did it in this blog. I became HoopMamma, and rededicated myself to hooping again. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have begun this journey. On the days when I have really had it the worst.... when I am tired and cranky... I hoop. I have to- if I don't, I won't have anything to write about. Unfortunately, when I hoop a whole lot, sometimes I am too tired to write. Forcing myself to hoop and write about it is making me a better person, but its a good amount of work.

I feel like my hooping snaps me back into reality. Not the reality I create for myself, but the one that actually exists. The one where its okay to wear bindis and too much lip gloss; to hoop half naked (or fully naked- your choice) for myself/my hubby at night (or during the day); and to spend a good amount of time completely indulging in my own needs... I have to remind myself; it's not "luxurious" to spend time on myself; its a necessity. 

(Because headbands do not make everything OK.)

HoopMamma's original intention was to lose 30 pounds by hooping a half hour a day, in six months. Now, a month and a half into it, I am down 8 pounds. I also happen to feel hotter than I have in a LONG time. I bought new hair products (and have been using them); I took myself shopping for casual wear (that's just a little hotter than casual wear); I decided to buy myself the dream wedding band that I have always wanted. As if those things weren't enough, I would like to share with you that I have brushed my teeth and washed my face TWICE a day without fail for the past week!  It just gets better and better. Lets just say that HoopMamma's spirits are high.

I am beginning to realize that I am hooping for many reasons, other than losing weight.

I have been hit on, whistled at, and pounced on more in the past few weeks than I have since I got married 7 years ago. And not just by my hubby...! Its been so great. Hey- don't jump to any funny conclusions - I only go home with one man.

I love my hubby- he drives me crazy from time to time, but I love him.

I don't wanna be the mother that blames her never-ending self-image issues on her children/husband. I don't wanna be the mother who completely lets herself go for the same reason. I don't want to be the mother who is so wound up (pursed lips).... for the same reason... you know the story. 

I want to be a role model to my kids- I want to work, be good at things, and lead by example. I want my kids to make me a better person, and not be my excuse for failure.

I feel better than I have in years. I have lost a bit of weight since I started the HoopMamma blog: my boobs have stopped doing that "double boobie" thing over my Le Mysteres. Eight droopy pounds. Twenty-two to go.

Check out this Mamma at our Hoopnotica "World Hoop Day" celebration (For those of you that were unaware, check out!

How cute is she? I wanna be just like her when I grow up. She is now the HoopMamma I aspire to be. Look at her! She is so HOT, holding her baby while she hoops. So sweet, and energetic; happy, and healthy. I don't wanna be the type of mother who gets defensive and thinks/says, "Sure, but she probably only has one kid". But I would be lying if I told you that I had never thought anything of the sort. The more I allow myself to think like that, the deeper I sink into a rut.

Since I started Hooping for this blog, its like my whole persona has changed. I am not the only one who has experienced this. I read about hoopers all the time who have experienced amazing changes in their lives after beginning to hoop. I receive such beautiful letters from people in praise of hoop dance- women with physically limiting conditions and women who mentally have grown. The solution to my own problems has literally been right under my nose, and I was just ignoring it 

See, this is my second time experiencing this "hooping phenomenon". The first time was when I learned to hoop after the birth of my first baby, 4 years ago.

I went from feeling hip, sexy, cute, fun, flirty, smart and stylish, to overweight, tired, drab, slow and sarcastic (I was just a little bit jaded about it, too). I was happy to be a mother; I was smitten with my new child. I was also disenchanted with my physical being, and felt a little hopeless.

Then here I am after a full summer of Hoopnotic Hoopdance:
Feeling sassy, energetic, and hot. (I am the one with the black sunglasses on my head). I remember this feeling. 
After the birth of my second baby, I fell back outta shape. Not just physically but also mentally. I really hadn't realized how bad I was getting until now. It was a slow and steady decline into a way of life that really kinda... sucked. Pursed lips and girl scout cookies. I was becoming argumentative. Crabby. Far from sexy. I was arguing a lot with my hubby. Worse was that I had actually allowed myself to believe that "the rest is downhill from here..." What the he!! is that $h!t??!! Really? 

I feel so much better now; and the best is yet to come. I feel blessed to have this outlet; this simple. beautiful ring of sparkly plastic. Who would have guessed...