A Fun Saturday!

Krystal calls me up on a lazy afternoon and asks me the question that every girl is asked at some time in her life. That age old inquiry that marks a milestone in every human’s path to enlightenment, “You wanna be a hula girl for a retirement condo party?” At first I wasn’t sure, but it wasn’t long before I fell to the seductive lure of riches beyond compare. Namely a grass skirt and all the bbq I could eat (and the pay didn’t hurt either)!  Before the two of us could say Aloha, the weekend was on us and our scrambled rehearsals were paying off.

 

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Krystle is the best to dance with! How those steps ever were figured out with all the giggling is a mystery.

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The two of us hula’d out butts off to the best of our ability! The comedy helped, we started off with a silly skit and came back with our grass skirts on to announced we’d be doing the native dances of Bradenton.

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The first set was hula, and the second we changed into some other costumes to do a little belly dance of a few different types. Krystle did an amazing job with her candle dance, and she did a very cute Egyptian dance too although the pics didn’t come out. The set was :

A hula duo (to a very cheesey hula song off a party cd we called Tropical Tetris Level 3 although that wasn’t it’s real name)

A hula solo (with Krystle drumming for me)

A hula solo (Krystle dancing to Aloha Mea)

A hula duo (to Little Brown Gal)

A hula with the audience where they got up and danced with us

— Intermission —

An Egyptian solo (Krystle danced to a song I don’t know the name of)

A veil dance (that was me dancing to Principles Of Lust by Enigma)

A candle dance (by Krystle)

A gypsy-ish skit/improv (Krystle drummed for me dancing, with some zills by me and a silly tambourine)

 

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This is her aunt, ain’t she cute? The audience was very nice to us, and played along even when we made them do the arm movements to Little Brown Gal with us.

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There was plenty of silliness in our belly dancing too, especially when Krystle drummed for me to dance to. Ask her about the whipped cream, she really loved that part. *snerk*

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It was a very fun evening! Aint’ writing much about it yet, because we’re trying to pull some pics off the digital video. That and I need to catch up on several posts that I’m behind on before the weekend!

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April Halfa!

Y’all ready for a hafla? Can’t heeeeear you <insert zhagareetshere>! It’s the middle of the month, and we all know what that means. It’s time to dance! Every second Tuesday of the month Hip Expressions hosts a hafla at St. Petersburg Nights, and it’s always a really fun time. Get ready for a bunch of pics, I couldn’t choose between dancers because they’re all really good!

Kimberly grabbed the mic and our attention and started off the party to much whistling, applause, and the always present shrill zhagareets (that I kinda suck at but am trying).

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The night really started off right when the first performer was Johanna ‘Xenobia’ showing off the new choreography she’s teaching, and some really impressive moves after that too!

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You know the woman’s stunning when she manages to even outshine a costume like that!

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Bey y’all didn’t know mermaids were real and shook their tails in St. Pete.

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Then Crystabellwas prancing out with her very first solo. She worked really hard all month on it, and the results really showed in her dance.

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She’ll really bend over backwards to make sure the audience has a good show.

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She showed everybody some gothic fusion, and was really working it from the tip of her feather to the pants she waited forever for!

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Evelyn Tosi did some really pretty lyrical jazz, and added new meaning to the word extensions. That woman has no bones, I’m sure of it!

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Some dancers show a little leg, she gives us the whole shabam!

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Amanda came next in a whirl of bright yellow and silver sparkles, like some exotic songbird out for a shimmy. She’s one of  Bethsheba’s students, and certainly did her teacher proud with her performance I’m sure.

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This is one of my fav pics ever, that expression on her adorable face could be bottled and sold for millions.

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Can an evening be called truly fun in Loud Zoo doesn’t show up? In the usual riot of colours and fabric swirls, they hit the stage like a hurricane in skirts. Admittedly that’s pretty appropriate for Florida.

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It’s nothing but fun when they dance, I love it every time. The intensity, the moves… the costumes!

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Will not make an I Dream Of Genie comment… will not make an I Dream Of Genie comment… will not make *gives in and sings the theme*

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Y’all didn’t think they’d be dancing to prerecorded music did ya? Here are the music makers, in this pic giggling as much as playing.

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One of the best, without a doubt performances of the night was Johanna’s wings choreography class featuring Kimberly, Chris, Leticia, Sheila and Aurora. The camera has been soundly beaten for not taking a single pic of Kimberly where you could see her face. To try to make it up to you, the camera offers you these incredibly stunning women with wings.

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Evelyn Tosi trumpted back on the floor, a bundle of energy! She was working hard, but fortunately didn’t end up too out of breath.

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She had enough to blow out her candles! Karen held on to the cake as this jazzy tornado made a wish on her 50th B-Day. Yes, really. Pick your jaws up, dancing keeps you looking like this.

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After the intermission, Omaris drew us all back to our seats to watch hypnotized by her moves. If you’re thinking Hip Expressions has the best looking crew ever, you’re right.

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Omaris. She makes it look so easy… then makes you sweat your rear end off in class. She also manages to look like *this* while doing it, which I assure you is nothing like what I end up looking like afterwards.

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The perfect ending to a perfect line up, Kimberly Connor (AsparaImports) enthralled us with a dance from India.

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After the show, people got out on the dance floor to shake it themselves! Krystle found herself a perky little dance partner, who explained to me after the dance how the light circles on the ground lived there. Disco lights in their natural habitat!

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If dancing ain’t enough for ya, there’s plenty of shopping to be done!

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It’s no surprise that we gather around Kimberly Connor’s display, where she sells clothing from India as Aspara Imports.

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Even Flat Stanleycouldn’t resist!

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A little relaxing with the hooka is a favourite treat at St. Petersburg Nights.

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Shauna (please forgive me if I’ve spelled your name wrong woman) gave me the biggest smile as D and me said our laters. It would’ve been nice to stay for the party, but it was an early morning and we had to scoot our butts back to the house. More beach pics and belly dancers on their way!

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Hafla Coverage – Coming Soon!

It’s a busy morning, but I promise y’all I’m working on the newest hafla post as fast as my little fingers will type and edit!

B-Day Shimmies For Me Part 1

Ain’t it cute? Don’t you want it? Y’all can’t have it, because it’s my B-Day present so there! Yes, despite my outward appearance of a young and nubile teenager (*snort*) this weekend I turned 35 and it was fun! Saturday between classes, this bag was presented to me by Krystal and Crystabell. On top was two adorable Chinese finger puppets of a girl and a dragon, and inside was a pair of ruffly dance pants (the same ones Crystabell is wearing but these are black) that they had bought and Krystal had spent days hemming because I ain’t overly tall. Ain’t they sweet? That was a big surprise!

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So sweet and innocent you’d never know they could be up to somethi… yeah, that’s about as believeable as the teenager comment.

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As usual, the three of us headed out to the beach to drum and dance and eat grilled food from the grill shack. The treat we weren’t expecting was this Hoola Monster to show up! Abby came by and chatted us up a bit when she spied us near where she was hanging out. Not only is she downright brilliant to hang out with, she ended up coming back and bringing her… Nah, you’ll have to scroll down further to see what happened (and the movie clip I grabbed of it!)

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 There was dancing of course. Crystabell was practicing her upcoming solo on April 14th.

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Krystal was practicing her solo for next month!

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Ok, it ain’t all hard work. There’s plenty of laying around and nibbling food and carrying on about whatever occurs to us to be worth talking about.

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She brought her hoop! Krystal and Crystabell were drumming and Abby came back to do a little freestyle on the beach. It’s short, but if you scroll down you can revel in her moves and wish you’d been with us!

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Yeah, there was even a little of this. The sun and wind was really getting to us, which is why I look kinda snoozy in this pic. Krystal carefully posed me and took these, which had to be hard on her because getting a good pic of me while I ain’t making a weird expression or scratching my butt ain’t easy. Thanks chiclet!

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What happened when the rest of the shimmiers showed up? You’ll have to come back tommorow to find out, and trust me when I say you’ll wanna. There’s a saxy Russian and some great dancing (another movie clip, yay) from Johanna and even cake!

A Few Pretty Thangs And Me Trying Not To Squint

These are some pics I took of dance related items I own and love.

These bracers are as heavy as they look, but they make me feel like Wonder Woman!

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A choker that I wear a bunch.

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A purse I bought at Ren Faire.

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A parasol that I bought there too!

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The background orange and red are two of my veils.

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Pics you take at arms length of yourself on a windy day at the beach don’t work really nice, but you can see my bindi and hair which I wanted to show off and the little bindis over my brows and on either side of my lips.

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Baking Challenge!

She did it. CB threw down the gauntlet and declared no mercy, we had no choice but to pick up our whisks and our oven mitts and join the fray as if we knew no fear.

Cake Pops. Specifically cupcake pops, but due to technical difficulties they’re cake pops and darn it that best be good enough for y’all.

First, the memo about using a boxed mix instead of home made cake ended up lost in my virtual mail so here I went making cake. After wondering what would work best, for no explainable reason I had the bright idea to make applesauce cake and brownies to find out which worked best! In these pics you’ll see applesauce cake pops, the brownies ummm… Ok, you know the part where you put them in the fridge to cool and they suggest that you hurry it up by putting them in the freezer? Do you wanna know what happens when you put brownies mixed with cream cheese frosting in the freezer and then forget about them for several hours because of a head cold and an addiction to Katamari Damacy?

Yeah. You could seige a castle with them. Tommorow when they’ve come close to thawing out, I’ll try to post some of their chocolate coated goodness which worked very well. On to the pops!

As you can see here, this is not a cupcake shape. It started out that way, but after trying to wrestle with what I thought was a tight schedule (forgot that CB said 11:59 p.m. PST instead of EST) and being generally unskilled with shaping baked goods the little flower cutout that should’ve made the top of the cupcake started looking pretty cute on it’s own. The next thing I knew, I was cutting out big thick flower shapes and shoving them on the sticks cheerfully!

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Why do just those when I have these adorable little heart cookie cutters too? The pink candy melts and the pink sprinkles were so cute and simple, and I was happy to have them nice and relatively neat. The next time I wanna be more creative, but I really enjoyed how they came out. Ain’t y’all precious!

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Yes, the background is my robe. Cake and microfleece, natural friends? Yes, really have been in this robe all day because I felt like crap. Please don’t ask what I was wearing while taking these pics if they had the robe in them. You really don’t wanna know about my au natural tendencies when it’s late and D is the only one around. Don’t judge me.

… and don’t ask where a little frosting ended up.

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Chicken Balti

There’s a moment when you look into your closet and say, “Half my wardrobe comes from India, shouldn’t I learn to cook appropriately?” Ok, that’s not a moment you may have experienced for yourself, and quite honestly I just really love Indian food but the bit about the wardrobe is starting to be true.

Armed with a copy of Best Ever Indian Cookbook, Chicken Balti sounded like the perfect thang to start with. Simplistic and a one pot meal, how can you go wrong with that? Technically it was two pot, since I made some rice to put it on. Being true to my disorganized nature, I didn’t have half of what I needed in the right forms so there was a good bit of improvising and guessing. here you can see the line up ready to culture me good.

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The recipe says onions, but all I had was green onions! it worked out well for our tastes, they were milder and fresh which lightened up the heavier spices in a very friendly way.

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 Sad but true, there were no big tomatoes in the kitchen either! Publix had a sale on the tiny tomatoes, which is why I had two boxes of the cherry darlings hanging around with nothing better to do. a few slices, and they were ready to play. The spices called for in the recipe were fresh, but everything I had on hand was dry so I used about half of the called for amounts. The ginger root I forgot to pick up, and I ran out of dry ginger which explains the lack of any in the balti.

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It was embarrassingly easy to make, I barelyeven felt like i did any work! a quick saute of the onions and tomatoes, the spices thrown in for a few minutes to really mix in well and then the chicken. If it wasn’t for babysitting the rice could’ve taken a little snooze.

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The pics suck, because I was cooking kinda late at night.

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D and me loved it. There’s really no other word to describe it besides love! D declared it a new addition tot he usual rotation, and I was in no position to argue since I was trying to shove as much of it in my mouth as would fit. The entire fat content was two tablespoons of olive oil. you can’t beat that healthy-wise, but the taste is every bit as satisfying as a cheeseburger. this is very much a satisfy a craving meal.

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Basic Balti Chicken

2 1/2 to 3 lbs. chicken
3 tbsp corn oil (used olive oil)
3 medium onions, sliced (used green onion)
3 medium tomatoes, halved and sliced
1 in. cinnamon stick (used cinnamon powder0
1 large black cardamom pods (used cardamom powder)
4 black peppercorns (used black pepper)
1/2 tsp. black cumin seeds (used cumin powder)
1 tsp. grated fresh root ginger (didn’t use)
1 tsp. crushed garlic (used minced garlic)
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. natural (plain) yogurt
4 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander (didn’t use)
2 fresh green chilis (didn’t use)

Skin the chicken, then use a sharp knife or cleaver to cut it into 8 pieces. Wash and trim the chicken pieces, and set to one side (cubed chicken breast).

Heat the oil in a large karahi, wok or deep pan. Add the onions and fry until they are golden brown. Add the tomatoes and stir well.

Ass the piece of cinnamon stick, cardamoms peppercorns black cumin seeds ginger garlic garam masala chili powder and salt. Lower the heat and stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the chicken pieces. 2 at a time and stir fry for at least 7 minutes or until the spice mixture has completely penetrated the chicken pieces and they are beginning to brown.

Add the yogurt to the chicken and mix well.

Lower the heat and cover the pan with a piece of foil (used a lid), making sure that the foil does not touch the food. cook very gently for about 15 minutes, checking once to make sure the food is not catching on the bottom of the pan.

Add the lemon juice, fresh coriander and green chilis. serve at once, from the cooking pan.