Archive for the year 2017
Posted on April 16, 2017 by Ching under Things to Do.
The Wichita Thunder Hockey games are one of the many free match activities that I can take Nickira to but it seems she gets less and less interested in it every year. LOL. Nevertheless, we usually go to at least one game a year. The nice thing about it is sometimes we run into other matches we know. Like this last time we ran into Siera (our former Match Support Specialist) and her little.
We started off with a quick dinner at the Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurant by her house. Brian and I had never been there. We’d only been to the one on our side of town.
I felt compelled to take a bunch of photos because the interior was a lot nicer than we expected. It’s probably the nicest Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurant we’ve ever been in.
Don’t mind Brian. This is his RBF.
Nickira wanted some kind of pasta diablo dish for dinner but she said it wasn’t spicy. Brian and I shared the fajita trio pictured below. We had chicken, beef, and pork since Brian doesn’t really like shrimp.
We had so much extra food leftover and we had a little bit of time so we boxed up our leftovers and ran into back to Nickira’s house so her mom and brothers could have them later when she got off work.
Then we were off to the Wichita Thunder hockey game. Here’s a selfie that we took while Brian went off to get us some Dippin’ Dots.
After we finished our ice cream, it didn’t take long for Nickira to lose interest in the game. She decided to braid my hair instead.
She did stop briefly to try to catch some coupons or whatever it was they were dropping from the ceiling.
Jenni, Adam, and Ava actually joined us (Jenni actually likes the hockey games and knows who the teams are) but they left well before the game was over. We stayed pretty much until the end and then took the picture below on the way out.
Nickira is that age now that she is a little bit moody. She was quite chatty and jovial the night that we went to the hockey game. When I picked her up from her house yesterday, she was really quiet and wouldn’t talk to me. It turns out, her cousin Charlie had spent the night and she wanted to stay home and play with her. I told her that I wish she would have said something before we got all the way to my side of town because we could simply reschedule.
The original plan was to grab lunch and then take the dogs to the pup park but Brian and I were kind of having second thoughts about going to the pup park because of the weather forecast so I turned out fine that we had to cut our visit short. After a quick brunch at Livingston’s Diner, we took Nickira home. Charlie was still there so she was happy.
I organized my first official zumbathon® last month but I couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of my fundraising team and some very awesome friends. It was a lot of work but it was also very rewarding.
When Faith and I first talked about hosting a zumbathon® to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters, I wasn’t sure how it would do. I put some feelers out to my Zumba® instructor friends and was completely overwhelmed with the positive response. Everyone wanted to help. We ended up with nine instructors teaching at the event. It was awesome!
I wanted the event to be a success so I was aiming for a huge turnout. I wanted to draw everyone to the event, not just my Zumba® fanatic friends so we agreed to have a huge raffle. I asked every single local business I could think of and, after all was said and done, we had 24 amazing raffle packages.
As an added bonus, we got 15 of these portable power chargers donated from work.
Since we didn’t have enough for everyone, the first 15 people to spend $20 in raffle tickets received one.
We also partnered with one of the local boutiques who generously gave every single zumbathon® guest $10 to spend at the store.
I bought 24 mason jars and 24 wooden easel stands and we used the hard, plastic document holders that Brian already had in storage, which we didn’t have 24 of but I didn’t think we would need all of the mason jars and stands. I had no idea we would end up running out of the hard, plastic document covers. We used all of the mason jars I had and all of the wooden easel stands and just used plastic sheet protectors for the other raffle item descriptions. It was a good problem to have.
Here’s what the raffle description sheet looked like assembled.
Lots of effort and planning went into the event. Above is the first poster I made, which had to be redone according to Zumba® requirements. The updated poster is on the right. These are the key things to remember for a zumbathon® to be approved by Home Office:
· The event title needs to be clearly listed on the flyer.
· Any flyer for a Zumba® Fitness event must list the full name of the licensed Zumba® instructor or their instructor ID.
Zumba® has major beef with unlicensed instructors also known as “party crashers” riding the coattails of the Zumba® brand to promote their events so they’re very strict about seeing the full instructor names on the flyers. This way unlicensed instructors can’t use the brand. The same expectation goes for classes. You cannot call it a “Zumba®” class unless the instructor is licensed.
· Finally, any time Zumba® and Zumba® Fitness logos appear on a flyer, the following disclaimer must be added: Zumba® and the Zumba® Fitness logos are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.
Home Office doesn’t play. I had to make all of these changes before my zumbathon® could be approved and listed on the Zumba.com web site.
Because I’m a nerd, Brian and I went to scope out the gym a few weeks ahead of time. I took lots of pictures to help me plan decorations and other logistics.
Here’s the mock up of my decoration plan:
The main difference is that, even though I bought 50 feet of gold fringe, we didn’t have enough to cover that wall as planned. There’s a part where something sticks out from the wall and we had to fringe around it. I really should have brought a tape measure and measured everything out instead of just eyeballing it.
We also ended up with so many raffle items that we had to take three long conference room tables and place them along the gold fringe wall to display the items and the jars. With the raffle along the gold fringe wall, we ended up moving our two coolers filled with water bottles next to the raffle ticket sales table. We stuck to the blueprint except for those two minor changes.
I bought all of this gold fringe and they still weren’t enough. I’ve made a mental note to buy 75-80 feet of gold fringe for the next event.
Here’s a picture of the front entrance of our Wichita service building… On the day of the event, I tied several colorful balloons at the bottom and the top of the three handrails. We also wrapped the tree that’s by the entrance of the parking lot with multiple colorful balloons to make it easier for people to find our event venue.
These are the matching shirts that I got for the instructors. The shirts came in aqua blue (Christina, Amy, and Todd), neon green (Missy, Andrea, and me), and black (Stephanie, Pat, and Charis). Brian got an honorary shirt for being such a good helper and I threw the extra blue and green shirts in the raffle.
The Friday afternoon before the event, Mike helped me bring a bunch of stuff over from the office to the gym. Brian and I were supposed to take my little sister to the Wichita State vs. Texas Tech baseball game that night but she canceled on me last minute because her aunt, uncle, and cousins were in town. We figured that we would stay home and blow up balloons instead (so we wouldn’t have to stay up all night doing so after the game).
After we finished blowing up the balloons, Brian had the brilliant idea to make a trip to the gym to drop off some supplies so we wouldn’t have to make two trips the next day. He had the right idea. We barely had enough room for what was left.
We definitely would have had to make two trips had we not had the foresight to transport some things the night before.
I randomly bought this “Let It Move You” free-standing banner last year because I thought it was awesome and I finally found use for it.
The funny thing is, I don’t think anyone noticed it. LOL. Now I can’t wait to have another Zumba® event so I can bust it out.
These are my fabulous teammates Alicia and Alex all set to sell raffle tickets.
The instructors who came to help us setup got to preview the awesome raffle items before anyone else. I have to say, the gold fringe wall turned out pretty darn cool.
The custom banner I had made turned out awesome as well.
Eleanor came to party with us but then had to leave early. However, Francie was around to claim her prize when we drew her name in the raffle.
Here’s a fun picture of me and Alex.
Here’s me and Andrea in our matching shirts.
Here’s me and Amy.
This is me taking a selfie with one of our strategically-placed playlist printouts. Here’s the full playlist, in case you were wondering…
Here’s a group shot of the Zumba® crew who came out early to help set up.
Here’s Brian being matchy-matchy with Charis, Pat, and Stephanie.
I love this photo of me and Christina. Since we finished decorating ahead of schedule, we had some time to goof around a bit before the doors opened.
The gold fringe wall was a huge hit!
We also had fun with the two photo wall backdrops.
The photo booth props that Faith loaned us worked out great as well.
We had a disco ball at one goal and a makeshift Christmas-light chandelier at the other. We didn’t really have a specific plan for the lights because they weren’t part of my mock up but Amy brought them and by golly we were going to use them. LOL. It actually turned out pretty cool.
The event was super fun and I thought it ran pretty smoothly. I’ve made a few notes about how we can further improve the event if we hold it again next year. In the meantime, we’ve got lots of time to think and plan.
Here are some pictures from our Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising events at Chick-Fil-A (Central and Rock) and Chipotle (Maple and Ridge).
Alex and Faith manned the Spirit Wheel at Chick-Fil-A. I was in Kansas City that night but Brian was there to support the event and take pictures for me. He kept me posted all evening and made me feel like I was there with them.
Kate came out to support the event.
Christina and Jake were there at Chick-Fil-A too.
Brian got a selfie with Alex.
Here’s a picture of Lila, her husband Michael, and their kiddos.
These next set of photos were taken at Chipotle on Monday night.
Misty came to both events but she only did the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A. Since she came and ate inside this last time, I made sure to get a selfie with her.
April and Gavin came to eat and support the fundraiser as well.
Jeff and Devan came out also.
There were a few others who came to support the fundraiser that I didn’t get pictures with because Brian and I left to go workout after we had early supper. Probably not the smartest idea I’ve had.
After Zumba at South YMCA, some of Missy’s peeps came out to eat with 10 minutes left on our fundraiser.
Here’s a pic of me and Danielle.
Danielle, Erin, Wendy, and Todd.
Here’s a picture of our group shutting down the fundraiser. We had such a great time visiting that I almost forgot to pick up my work car for the drive to Kansas City the next day. We drove clear past downtown before I remembered.
Anyway, if you missed our restaurant fundraising events, not to worry. You can still donate and support the cause. I’m accepting donations via my Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising page (simply click on the link and follow the prompts). Thanks in advance for supporting this awesome organization. You’re making a difference!
March was a super busy month for which I am still recovering. It was a whirlwind with something going on every weekend. I still can’t believe I survived.
At least I got to spend lots of time with my favorite people. This is a picture of Missy and Brian at the new Los Cocos in Andover after the Shake Your Shamrocks Zumbathon®. This was the night that we introduced her to the joys of $1.99 margaritas everyday.
The next day, we saw everyone again because I hosted a “thank you” get together for the instructors who generously volunteered their time to teach at the Zumbathon®.
I try to be purposeful about everything I do, so I had three main objectives for this event:
- I bought matching t-shirts for all the instructors to wear at the Dance For Kids’ Sake Zumbathon® as a “thank you” for their participation and I needed a way to get the shirts to everyone without having to drive all over town to make shirt deliveries.
- I needed to make sure that everyone knew the location of the Zumbathon® ahead of time so none of the instructors would get lost and be late on the day of the event.
- It was a good way to have a small, fun get together to show everyone how much they are appreciated.
Pat, Charis, and Stephanie all got the black shirts. Todd, Amy, and Christina got the aqua blue shirts. Andrea, Missy, and I got the neon green shirts.
The event was an instructor-appreciation-slash-shirt-cutting-party, where everyone got to pick up their shirts and bling it out too. To that end, I brought a bunch of old shirts for us to practice on.
This was one of my “practice” shirts.
Charis (foreground) and Andrea (background) both did “practice” rounds as well.
I think Missy must have brought her own “practice” shirt because I do not recognize that one. I don’t think it was part of my shirt stash.
Pat did a “practice” round also.
I have no idea why everyone insisted on cutting on the floor, but they all seemed to be fine with it. Here are a few more pictures…
Here’s Charis contemplating her design.
Here’s Andrea’s finished product.
We brought in cake and sandwiches to celebrate Stephanie’s birthday.
We made her cut her own cake. LOL.
I did two “practice” rounds at the event but didn’t end up finalizing my shirt design until the next day. Here’s the finished product.
I had to be creative and strategic about where I made my cuts because, while I wanted to shrink the one-size-fits-most to fit me, I didn’t want to lose any of the writing on the shirt both on the front and back.
Rather than cutting along the bottom to shorten the shirt (it was almost to my knees #ShortPersonProblems), I decided to cinch the sides to hike it up to a more manageable length.
I braided the back of the shirt to shrink the width of it but I had to start below the Zumba® logo/design because I didn’t want to lose any of it.
Here’s a close-up shot of the braid design.
Here’s another view of the back and side.
I decided the front was too boring so I cut some slits on the right shoulder.
It’s still pretty boring on the front but there wasn’t much I could do because I wanted to keep all of the writing. It turned out pretty well overall. This is by far my favorite “destroyed shirt” to date.
When I write my post about the actual Dance for Kids’ Sake Zumbathon® event you’ll see how everyone’s shirts turned out. Everyone did a fabulous job of customizing their respective shirts. All of our shirts turned out different and uniquely our own. Stay tuned!
We’ve had back-to-back fun Zumba events in the community of late. First, there was the Zumba Love Party at East YMCA; then Step Up & Dance at West YMCA; then Member Madness at North YMCA; there was also a Blacklight Z-Party at South YMCA; and finally we had “Shake Your Shamrocks” at Andover YMCA.
Our event in Andover was so named because we decided to hold it on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.
As someone who cannot resist a good Zumbathon®, I attended many of these but I was only involved in organizing the member appreciation event at my home branch Andover YMCA. There are actually five of us Zumba® instructors who teach Zumba® classes in Andover — Tiffany on Monday mornings, Charis on Monday nights, Mandy on Tuesday nights, Hannah on Thursday nights, and me on the weekends — but only four of us were available that Friday. Tiffany could not take the time off her regular job so she sat this one out. She participated in the one at South YMCA though, so she had already done one of these events.
Charis, Hannah, Mandy, and I decided to teach six songs each. Mandy put together a killer playlist. Charis and I volunteered to take care of the decorations. Charis got streamers and these dangly star things. I had some balloons set aside for the Dance For Kids’ Sake Zumbathon® event that I was organizing so I decided to dig out all of the green balloons from that bunch and use it for this event.
Initially, we weren’t sure if we should have the event in the studio or the gym so we reserved both. Jackie was there that night to set up the sound system in the gym just in case we needed the larger space. Since she was around and she’s much taller than Charis and me, we asked for her help with taping up the streamers at the top of the mirror. You can kind of see the decorations in the picture below.
I think it turned out pretty well. I was a little bit worried because I popped three of the balloons in transit but we had more than enough to make the studio look festive.
We were able to stay in the studio because, in addition to it being St. Patty’s Day, all three of our local college teams (KU, K-State, and Wichita State) had basketball games that evening. We still had a pretty good turnout (about 55 people) but not enough that we had to overflow to the gym.
It actually wasn’t too crowded in the studio. We had plenty of room for everyone. And, it turned out better, as far as I’m concerned, because the studio has a better sound system and mirrors. Dancing is way more fun with mirrors!
Here’s a better picture of our group. Those who stayed for the photo at the end, anyway. Some people don’t do photos.
Here are some action shots we took during the Zumbathon®.
This is Mandy in the green shirt in the foreground.
Mandy did a fabulous job of mirroring. That’s when you face the class and do a mirror image of the moves. She did this a few times throughout which, I think, is super helpful. The recommended way is always to face the class because it allows you to connect with the students better. We can get by without doing it because we have mirrors. However, one of my goals for 2017 is to teach facing the class more.
Christina came late but she made it!
This is Alicia and her daughter Kariana.
They have become regulars on weekends. I love having them in my class.
This is my friend Andrea behind me. She is also a licensed Zumba® instructor. She started teaching classes at Derby Rec this month.
Of course, I had to get a selfie that shows off our fabulous decorations that Charis, Jackie, and I worked hard to put up. We were going for festive yet tasteful and understated and I think we achieved it.
I love that we had this fabulous photo backdrop. I wish more people would have taken advantage of it. Here are some.
I had to demonstrate how it’s done. LOL.
Here we have another mother-daughter duo, Sonia and Carolina.
I love these two for going all out. I think they are regulars from Downtown YMCA.
They’re party of Missy’s crew.
We had a few Andover YMCA faces but we had great representation of Zumba® lovers from all over the city, which is actually what I liked best about the event. Missy brought in a ton of people. While we hosted the party to show our appreciation from our members, it was great that we got to share it with all members not just those who are based in Andover.
The event was actually free to non-members as well so it was a great opportunity to check out the Zumba® classes offered at the Y, Andover in particular. And, besides the event being free, our group exercise coordinator Kristen gave us bottles of water and t-shirts for everyone. I think everyone who attended the event got one and we still had some left over. She really hooked us up.
I know that St. Patty’s Day won’t fall on a Friday next year but this event turned out so well that I hope we do it again next year. It was fabulous! I wish you all could have been there to dance with us.