A Matter of Balance: A Woman's Quest for Health, Harmony & Kick-ass Heels

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holidays in 2008

This year Tressa & Becky kicked off the holidays with the first-ever Thanksgiving Day class. It was full of energy and fun and we were ready to dig into the stuffing and pumpkin pie. Don't you love their matching camo?
Erika, Eleanor & I followed up the next day with our Annual Turkey Work Off.

The following week I hosted our Holiday Staff Brunch

We enjoyed a tasty menu (see above) and creative Secret Santa gifts, and a game to get to know a few secrets about one another......Beth was the big winner!

Joan opens a festive Secret Santa gift (above) and Pina gets a scarf that is 'so Pina!'

Meg checks out her gift, and Peggy's receives the perfect party gift.

The following day the Rzasa clan took a holiday adventure to NYC to see the Radio City Christmas Show. The tree is looking as beautiful as ever.

The following week we gathered at The Loft for martinis to celebrate
Becky (one of our newest instructors) & the BIG 3-0!

Obviously she didn't enjoy it much.

Many of our Jazzercise friends were on hand to celebrate plus our My Time for Me buddies, Tracy & Andrea (above). As a side note, the following week I went to a great Wine Party at Tracy's where I had the BEST ever mac & cheese. Let me know if you need a good mac & cheese recipe, she was willing to share it.

Pina, Mindy & I pose after working up quite a sweat on the dancefloor.
Mindy, another one of our fabulous instructors, also celebrated her 3-0 milestone this month.

Finally, on a personal note, along with several other holiday gatherings, I was able to spend time with one of my dearest friends, Melissa, on Christmas Eve day who was home from Raleigh before hosting our usual Christmas Eve dinner at our home.

I also made a visit to Princeton to my adorable nephew Landon on Christmas Day (oh and my brother and sister-in-law too of course :)!

It was a blessing to be with our family & dear friends during this special season.

Looking forward to a peaceful and joyful New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

29 Day Give

The holidays are always looked upon as the "season of giving". So I thought it would be a great way to begin the New Year with a GIVING challenge, in order to keep the momentum going.

I'm naming January the month for giving!

I have experimented with similar ideas and then I heard about Cami Walker and read her story on her site www.29gifts.org

And that's how it began.

The concept is simple.

"Give one thing away each day for 29 days.
Share your stories about how it impacts your life to focus on giving.

Why? Because to see the world change, we have to do something to change the world.
Plus, the best way to attract abundance into your life is to be in a perpetual state of giving and gratitude. Be an important part of the global giving movement that inspires more generosity on our planet. "

The "rules" can be found on Cami's site.

Be sure to register there (I promised her you'd all check out her site and give your feedback).

You'll also find a cool calendar to keep you on track and gift cards to share & inspire others
(hey, there you go -- give someone a gift card/calendar as your 1st "give"). I've already printed mine and am ready to go. I'm planning to start on Jan. 3rd.

Don't forget to post your comments and amazing results here and on www.29gifts.org.

Happy Giving!


PS Now isn't this more fun than yet another resolution to lose 10 lbs?!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Celebrate your Success!

This time of year we are busy rushing and doing. Our to do lists become longer and longer and we become focused on DOING rather than BEING.

This week I challenge you to CELEBRATE your SUCCESSES

How have you improved your health & well being this year?

If you're a Jazzerciser, let us know how you have benefited from Jazzercise.

Have you reduced your stress… lost weight…lowered your cholesterol…??


Earn a BONUS POINT in our LIVE FIT LIVE GREEN contest when you email me your response at khallett@OPTONLINE.NET by Monday, Dec. 15th.

If you're not a Jazzerciser, I still challenge you to take time to celebrate your success.

You earned it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gratitude Challenge

The Gratitude Challenge

Some days it's easier to be appreciative than others, but if you really look, you can find something EVERY day to be grateful for. By acknowledging those blessings (even the smallest ones), you invite more abundance into your life.

I've tried to do it daily...writing down five things in my journal EVERY day that I'm grateful for. I must admit I'm not always consistent about it, and some days it's the most basic things - like that morning cup of coffee, or the fact that my car gets me to work in the morning.

Then at the end of the year, I try to make a list of 100 (yep, that's 100!) things I am grateful for in that year.

That's my challenge to YOU.

Grab your journal, open a fresh Word document, or type it into your Blackberry, whatever works for you.....but begin your GRATITUDE 100 list TODAY.

I will work on mine during my upcoming vacation (hey, there's one already - vacation.....99 to go), and will post it when I return. If you'd like to share, send yours along!

AND.......if you are a Jazzercise customer participating in our Holiday Promotion, you can earn ONE EXTRA BONUS point for your team when you bring your completed list to class by Thanksgiving. We'll add it to our Gratitude Wall (names optional).

Enjoy your attitude of gratitude!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Featured Entrepreneur

I recently had the honor of being featured in the book Sixteen Weeks to Your Dream Business: A Weekly Planner for Entrepreneurial Women By Nada Jones & Michelle Briody published this fall by Mcgraw-Hill.

Here's what Amazon had to say............

Plan the Business You've Always Wanted--One Week at a Time

Whether it's selling products you love, or creating a service you know people need, business start-up experts Nada Jones and Michelle Briody will take you step-by-step through the process of making your business aspirations a reality. From carefully planning out a bullet-proof business model, to marketing your business and finding a customer base, this planner helps you track your progress and nail down all the details that will make your business thrive.

Sixteen Weeks to Your Dream Business gives you

  • Tips on researching your industry, competition, and potential customers
  • Money management advice—from finding financing to bookkeeping and accounting
  • Networking techniques to target new contacts and customers
  • Forms, worksheets, and folders for ultimate organization and overall planning
  • Valuable Web site links for resources, references, and more

Each chapter features a success from women business owners throughout the country. Yep, that's me on page 178. I guess you'll have to buy the book to see what it says! Check it out on Amazon or go to my web portal to order through Barnes & Noble or Border's AND be rewarded for your purchase.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Operation Soccer Ball

If you haven't heard.......OPERATION SOCCER BALL IS GROWING!

At Jazzercise customers and friends have been contributing to the efforts to assist Lt. Daniel Merritt (nephew of our instructor Eleanor Casale) in his efforts.

Please take a moment to read Lt. Merritt's latest message....and considering helping out.

We just partnered up with kickfornick.org, a program started to honor Nick Cevasco one of America's Finest who gave the ultimate sacrifice here in Iraq, it is another great organization that is helping bring soccer to kids in need. We also just got some hefty donations and many more balls are on the way. Buffalo Wild Wings has just sponsored Operation Soccer Ball and will be encouraging all customers to bring in deflated soccer balls in order to get more balls to the kids here in Iraq. The New England Revolution, also sponsored Operation Soccer ball and has donated hundreds of soccer balls.

This program is working and my platoon has been giving out soccer balls like candy over here in AL KUT.
We are building new friendships, showing the Iraqi Police the power of community policing and the beauty of making kids smile "just because". We are sending the right message to the good people of Iraq, America Cares.

I have said this before and I believe this. Operation Soccer Ball has the ability to save lives. My platoon is constantly operating outside the wire, constantly patrolling with the Iraqi Police and training the Iraqi Police; this is what we do and we are great at it. On the flip side we are always exposed to the dangers here in Iraq. Military Police in general are always outside the wire and constantly risking our lives in the hopes to get Iraqi Security Forces where they need to be. We do this so when we leave Iraq, Iraq will be able to stand up on her own.

Operation Soccer Ball brings out the best in people, it creates a safety net for US Soldiers by creating positive relations wherever we go.
We train, we fight, we rebuild, and we hand out soccer balls and play with the little ones, we make kids smile. We build friendships and repel the insurgency at the same time. It is hard to understand how handing out soccer balls can save a US soldiers life but try to think outside the box and you can see it as I do. We are spreading the joy of Soccer, building positive relationships, building Multi National cohesion, and providing great examples of community outreach and community policing for the future leaders of Iraq.

I have mentioned all the big sponsors that are getting involved but need to express the importance of individuals who have continued to send me balls.. Thanks so much.. This is where the majority of balls are coming from, individuals. They come in boxes, 1,2,10 at a time and it makes a world of difference to the kids here. This programs has been fueled by individuals who take a small amount of time to donate money to my site or send a box of balls to me over here in Iraq. I thank you all
so very much for your generosity..

Please continue the support OSB and please continue to send balls and spread the word.. Check out
OPERATIONSOCCERBALL.ORG to see the latest pictures and events. Thank you for helping the kids out over here. Thanks for keeping my soldiers safe...

1LT Daniel H Merritt

1/511th MP CO
FOB (Forward Operating Base)
APO AE 09317
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Summer Staff Outing

It was that time of year again........time for our Summer Staff Outing.
This year our team hit the streets of New York City for an adventure that took us through the South Street Seaport, Chinatown, Little Italy and more!

Armed with a few initial bits of information, we were sent on a mission, aided by clues and mysterious cast members strewn throughout various locations such as street corners, bars, out of the way shops, and seedy alleys.

Pina and I study the map. We look at crazy choreography notes all the time....SURELY we can figure this out!!

Could this be our guy? He had us stumped at first....but sure enough he was our contact at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Yes, that is a large LIVE frog in my bag.

Hey it's New York, anything goes, right? No one even gave us a second look parading around with this little guy.

Tressa and I are determined to decipher our next clue.
How many Jazzercisers does it take to figure out which direction to go?
Maybe they have some secrets under those blue hats??

Fortunately it was a gorgeous day! Good thing we had our comfy shoes on.

We enjoyed a delicious meal afterwards at Angelo's of Mulberry Street followed by amazing deserts (Mindy and I went for the full size chocolate covered cannoli's).

Does it sound like I'm being mysterious? Okay, maybe a bit, but I think it's best if you go check it out for yourself:
Accomplice New York.

You'll be in for a lot of fun and adventure! And if by chance you see an albino midget named Abe holding a lemon -- ask him "How much for a twist, pale little man?"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tres Jazz

The energy at Tres' Jazz was electric! Nearly 2,500 Jazzercisers from around the globe have invaded New Orleans — the birthplace of Jazz — for fun-filled days of shopping, partying and of course, dancing!

My mom & I arrived on Wednesday. Here she is striking a pose on the famous Riverwalk.

We headed out to the French Quarter for dinner on our first night.

New Orlean's famous Bourbon Street by day....

On Thursday the rest of our crew arrived. Tressa & I peruse the schedule and try to map out our classes.
The Shopping Expo opened and the craziness began. Togs had loads
of great bargains, you can see the madness below.

We escaped to the sidelines to review and try on our Togs bargains. Tressa & I look happy with our loot, or maybe just happy to have survived the Togs chaos.

Thursday afternoon we attended two Instructor Only events.

The Behind the Scenes of a Taping was really interesting. It’s

amazing how much goes into the final product which arrives in our
mailboxes. The Taping Team was on hand for Q &A in an "Oprah" sort of setting.

Thursday night was the Instructor Reception and it was first class!
This group certainly cleans up well. Joining Tressa & I are Sarah (from Pennsylvania) & Becky - soon to be instructor in Stamford...ssh....don't tell anyone Becky was smuggled in!
We had catfish and jumbalya and good and met some new friends.

We caught up with some old friends too… including Shannon, who is running very
successful classes in Chicago.
Among the favorite classes was of course Tim Roberts , especially his Ballroom Bounce.
Check him out for yourself!


It was an honor to be a part of the East Coast Circuit class and to teach with such a dynamic group of professionals.

As always the Men's class was a highlight, as well as Dancin' Abs, Party Jazzercise with Kenny (my favorite Jazzer-guy), Guts & Butts with Shanna & Rich, and so much more!!!

We caught up with Kara as well. She is as hilarious as ever, even now that she's a married woman :).

Mom & Kara, & Tressa & I wait for the Opening Night Show to begin.

The Opening Show was a real tribute to the music and culture of the city and Amanda Shaw was absolutely unbelievable and watching her perform was really one of the highlights of the weekend in my opinion. And she also performed at the Shopping Expo. Check out a profile of her at http://www.myspace.com/officialamandashaw or even better go to Youtube to see her in action Henry Butler is a legendary New Orleans musician, pianist and vocalist www.henrybutler.com
The incredible Charmaine Neveille also performed www.charmainenevilleband.com as well as the amazing Giordano Dancers, named after Gus Giordano, Judi Shepard Missett's mentor.
The show was very informative and we learned a lot about the history of jazz and the c
ulture of New Orleans.

Charmaine Neville said that we could have gone to any other city in the country, yet we chose to come there and for that each of them was truly grateful.
Many people we met echoed her message.

On our last night we went to Nola's one of Emeril's restaurants. http://http//www.emerils.com/restaurant/2/NOLA-Restaurant/welcome
The food definitely lived up to his reputation.

Mom & Kara brave Bourbon St.

The New York Gals: Kara, Fran, Shoko, Alicia & Nancy

(I think Lisi had been abducted by this point!)

Becky scored us a bunch of beads!

Of course we had to make a stop at the House of Blues.....it's Naw Orleans after alll!

You can check out even MORE photos of our trip on my Facebook page www.facebook.com ,
(Just search for me), including more of our party on Bourbon St. Although remember, what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans, right??
You can also see great video clips and lots of other photos at www.jazzercise.com
(click on Tres Jazz).

I loved checking out the jazzercise.com photos for a glimpse of some of the stuff I missed.

As with all Jazzer-events, we returned home happy, exhausted, sore and with plenty of shopping bags in tow.

A good time was definitely had by all!!

See you next time,