Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Ginger Diaries: You have WHAT in your dance bag?!?

Greetings all! Happy end of February! I'm sick and tired of the snow that's been dumped on my neck of the woods, so roll on spring!

Today I'd like to discuss a somewhat amusing subject that all Irish Dancers can relate to: What exactly is in our dance bags? Is there a small life form growing in there? Maybe a bubble/poodle sock we haven't seen since 2002?

I have a very bad habit of "dropping and running" In fact, my nickname in the family is the "Queen of Drop and Run". I stuff things in my dance bag and go off to the next practice,performance,country...

I gained inspiration for this post from a popular YouTube video tag of "What's in my purse", like the video shown below. No worries parents, this blog is rated G for all, so I picked a post that anyone can watch. You would be surprised how many consonant and vowel bombs (if you get my drift) can be unloaded in one video, but I digress:

If I showed everyone what's in my purse, you would most likely hyperventilate from laughing so hard. I live out of my car and purse; it's not a pretty sight at the moment. My purse of choice is a very large Puma bag that can hold half of the contents of my bathroom :)

Luckily for everyone reading, I had a feis last weekend, so my dance bag is remarkably cleaner than usual. So, let's take a peek at what was in my bag yesterday:

So here she is! Totally and completely stuffed to the gills and the zipper is only about 75% functional, but it's nice and compact, so I know my limits on how much of my dance items I can squish in there...

Should we open up the zipper and see what is inside? I have to admit, I was frightened to look...

Looks pretty kosher to me, let's keep going...

Ahh, yes... the Irish Dance essentials! Here we have my very old hardshoes that I refuse to give up. I am a stubborn mule about them; they are my BABIES and I will not break in new shoes *pout* We also have my practice ghillies and my feis gillies. Also shown are my 4 pairs of elastics to keep my hardshoes on my narrow "boat" feet.

Here we have some "feis leftovers". They generally don't stay in my bag too long after a competition, so I can make room for other unnecessary items! Shown are my lovely mint green bloomers, a hair doughnut so I can find my inner Marie Antoinette, 1 hair elastic, and 1 bottle of Rimmel Sun Shimmer. I use my Rimmel as "touch up" tanner, as I usually do a horrible job with my self tanner. I'm so pale I have to start tanning 3 evenings in a row before a feis.

Fairly self explanatory ;) I like to not offend my fellow dance mates with questionable scent sensations after my 400th Drunken Gauger set in a row...

I'd like to call this picture my "Ode to being an 'OLD' Senior Lady". Ibuprofen for those muscular aches and pains and/or a headache from 12 pairs of feet dancing in hardshoes at one time, my inhaler for when my exercise induced asthma comes out to play (Usually at the most inopportune time, like at the Worlds) and Biofreeze, which is the magic that pushes me through each dance class.

Continuing with my tired Senior Lady theme: Cough drops to keep my wee lungs open and actually processing air so I can finish my reel without collapsing mid step,as well as my ENERGY BOOSTERS, so I can keep up with those little wipper snappers (U8's and U9's) who keep on dancing even after their turns! We have a lemon protein bar, some delicious (NOT) orange energy Gu, and a packet of Gatorade!

Tissues! For all those moments in your life, like: Dance Class: *sob* I cant, I just can't do the hornpipe stamina again, please put me out of my misery. Feis: *whimper* I can't believe I just danced off the stage (been there, done that twice in one feis season) or why didn't anyone tell me I had lipstick all over my teeth? On the way HOME from dance class: *sniffle* Why does "Chariots of Fire" make me emotional every time I listen to it?!?

Handy tools of the trade! Gaffers tape that I slather all over my shoes to at least try to prevent me from falling on my toosh, one fabulous blister band aid, and scissors that are useful for much more than just cutting tape, shoelaces, clothing strings...

You can never have too many of these! Bobby pins help me attempt to keep my curly, unruly ginger POOF in line from start to finish at class or a feis.

The randoms!! Arguably the best finds in any dance bag, as it makes me wonder "What was I thinking when I placed that item in there?" I spy with my Ginger eye: my practice and general usage iPod, (I am an Irish Dance music JUNKIE, I constantly need fresh tunes or I get bored) Boots brand facial cleansing wipes that are particularly useful post-feis before going out to dinner, shoe polish for my held together with "love and tape" shoes, 1 empty bottle of sock glue, a headband to again help keep my hair out of my face, and a set of iPod speaker parts... the parts for the speaker whose power supply blew out a year ago, whoops :-x

And LAST but certainly not LEAST

Antibacterial spray: Because small children, though adorable and endearing, are full of lovely germs ;) I spray liberally before, during, and after class. Sometimes I spray their hands too!

Just to make everyone giggle a bit more, I have BONUS FOOTAGE of two of the shelves in my apartment bathroom! I can count 8 personal health/injury care products in the photos below. How many do can you find? *hint* One of the items is Tums, which are for pre-dance class or pre-feis nerves, haha.

I couldn't believe I had all of those products just sitting on the shelf. I couldn't make up that arrangement if I tried! All my non-dance friends get a great giggle looking at what's in my apartment. Therapy wobble boards, ice packs, muscle rub... I think that's what most young adults have in their apartment, right?!? * crickets chirp loudly*


Not to end this month's blog on a "Debbie Downer" note, but Aly and Nic have graciously given me the opportunity to share my thoughts, so here I go:

As some of you may know, my 21 year old brother Scott, the ONLY person Oliver (the family cat from January's blog) loved, passed away suddenly a month ago. It has been an extremely emotional month and will be for a long, long time. I want to thank all of my Irish Dance friends for their love, support, online and real hugs, and their friendship. My Irish Dance family is as much of a family as my blood family: Always there for a chat or a shoulder to lean on.

Scott was a brilliant poet and a master of the English language. He had the ability to craft poems so beautiful and so thought provoking that it was astounding. I also needed a dictionary and thesaurus to read them, but that's beside the point ;)

While I'll never do him justice, I'd like to share some of my thoughts:

Carpe Diem! Do what you love and always follow your dreams. Take the time to tell the people you love how MUCH you love them. Don't sit around waiting for life to happen, go and DO it! If you have always wanted to go skydiving, pick up the phone and make an appointment.

At the end of a bad feis or a plain old "no good, very bad" day, just remember that a brand new day is right around the corner. Laugh, live, love and ENJOY LIFE!!!

Also, a little Scotty-ism: Always dress smashingly from head to toe; you never know what occasion you may need to be prepared for. ;)

I take comfort that I now have a very special guardian angel watching over me. Scott, look out for me buddy. I miss and love you!


So, what does everyone have in their dance bags? Any interesting finds?

Until next month my friends!

Keep on jiggin!


See Colleen's January post here! And stay tuned for March's issue, coming soon!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crafty For A Cause: Album Of Life And Love

 As some of you may be aware, we've got a fabulous new crafter here at I Heart That! Dance: Head of Papercrafting and Senior VP in charge of Things Which Require Gluing, Laura Church! Proud mom to both a Irish dancing daughter and son, she'll be filling out our shop with her amazing cards, scrapbook kits and other fun stuff during the coming year.

And we are extra happy to introduce her work by blogging about a wonderful charity effort she is involved with: The Boom Effect. "Sonic Boom" is the alias of the daughter of podcasting pioneer Tee Morris, co-creator of, writer of four social media books, and the first novelist to serialise his novel.

Tee's wife Natalie passed away suddenly on January 5th, 2010, leaving him raising his daughter alone. From The Boom Effect:

The podcasting, writing, and social media community gathered around and within days had raised over $10,000 to cover funeral expenses and other pressing bills Tee was facing. This response was incredible, and showed just how much Tee has touched the lives of others.
However now, as a community we are turning our attention to Sonic Boom’s future. She is only five now, and relying on Tee to provide everything for her. We have the aim of providing a trust buffer for her, so that she can go to college if she wants.
Nothing is going to replace her mother, but the funds raised will give more opportunities . So writers, podcasters and creative types of all stripes are offering up items for auction.

Laura, a self-proclaimed Podiobooks addict, has donated one of her amazing pre-made scrapbooks for this auction -- her page for the event can be found here:

The auction will occur online during the webathon February 27th in the 11am-12pm Crafts timeslot!

For all the details on how to bid on this or any of the other great items in the auction check out the Info For Bidders!

Lots more images of Laura's Album of Life and Love can be seen on her Flickr page:

And stay tuned to the shop for Laura's exclusive new IHTD products!