Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Week to Register for Beginner's Belly Dance with Narah!

It's not too late! There is one more week to register for WVU Community
Arts Program classes without a late fee. Registration will continue
through Friday, September 4 in Room 401A of the Creative Arts Center,
Monday-Friday, 10:00am-12:00pm, 1:00-4:30pm.

Classes are beginning to fill up, so please act fast!

Registrations can be made in person, by mail or by fax (293-7491). You
can pay by check (payable to WVU) or VISA/MC. Students may register for
classes after the official registration period ends, but a $15.00 late
fee will be in effect at that time.

Visit the Community Arts Program website at You may also contact the WVU Community Arts
Program Office at (304)293-4841 x3168 or by email at


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mixed Media Mania

Lately I've been working on Halloween cards. (No, it's not too early, especially with the long list of Halloween projects I have lined up. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Halloween. It's always been my favorite holiday. I decorated my birthday cake in 3rd grade with a witch.) They've been really fun and I had to stop myself from making more and more so I can move onto other projects before the big day. I hope to scan most of them and post. We'll see... :)

So, yesterday after my doctor's appointment (blood draw), I stopped by Books a Million to get the latest Cloth Paper Scissors magazine (and some Somerset magazines). OMG! The latest CPS ( may be the closest thing to a perfect magazine I've ever found! I was thinking last night that if it had included belly dance, I may just have to die of happiness. Then I just now was checking out a link that I found in the magazine .... if you all don't hear from me you know what happened. It doesn't directly have belly dance in it, but this is the email I just sent my husband:

"so, I found the perfect magazine that combined mixed media arts with Halloween and now a mixed media arts cruise that goes to Turkey and Greece?!?!!!! Are you kidding me?!f?! It's around the time of Pennsic, and Middle Eastern Dance Camp, but a girl can dream, can't she? Anyway, take a look:
Love you!
KImberly "

OK, my little one needs my attention, so gotta run. Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Veggie Recipes

A few people have asked for some suggestions for recipes, so here are a few things we do around here. They also fulfill gluten-free and anti-inflammatory requirements. We eat organic and all natural most of the time. Tastes better and you feel better. It's more money, but so is poor function/poor health. I'd rather feel good. :)

Breakfast- usually either eggs and fruit or yogurt and fruit (blueberries in yogurt is yummy and easy. no cutting involved.) Sometimes, we'll have gluten free rice cereal, but usually only if we're in a rush.

Lunch- We usually have some combination of the following:
1. leafy green salad with a variety of vegetables, sometimes shredded cheese, chick peas/garbanzo beans or walnuts. Angelo likes a lot of raw veggies, so I'll set them on a plate for him to munch on. He'll even eat the lettuce sometimes. Annie's Naturals makes really yummy dressings. They make a delicious Sesame and shitaki dressing that even converted my salad-fearing husband into a salad eater. They also have a yummy low-fat Ginger vinaigrette and my current favorite is the Goddess dressing (has tahini in it! mmmm... )
2. Hummas (Giant Eagle makes an all natural selection in their deli) and brown rice chips/crackers (can't think of the brand, but Kroger sells the chips and they and Giant Eagle both sell brown rice crackers. the crackers come in plain, chedder and vegetable.) We also like baby carrots, cucumbers, raw bell peppers and celary with hummas.
3. Peanut butter and celery. this one's just for me. haven't given Angelo any peanuts yet.
4. cheese and brown rice crackers or sometimes we eat "Gluteno" crackers, but not too often since the potato starch is inflammatory. But it's such a small amount, I don't worry too much.
5. Today I mixed some almond butter with a little raw honey. Delicious! Just ate it out of a bowl like dessert.
6. Quorn makes some breaded Chicken substitute nuggets (meat and soy free) that are yummy and we used to have more often (though still in moderation). But, now that I'm cutting out more and more gluten, I've not had them in a while.

Dinner is more involved since there's another person here to either cook it or watch Angelo while I cook. Keep in mind that I'm still searching for variety since we are limited by what I can eat, my husband can or will eat and what we can easily serve or modify for a toddler. You may not have all these limitations. I don't follow any written recipes, but have usually gotten my original inspiration from one. Here are some of the things we eat for dinner (amounts are for two adults and a toddler plus sometimes a little left for next day's lunch) (you can add a salad to any of these):

1. Red beans and rice-
1 can red beans, undrained (you can also substitute black beans)
rice (4-6 servings)
1/2 small - medium onion
1/2 each red and green pepper, sometimes orange too
1/2 small spoonful of minced garlic
*oregano (about 4-5 shakes)
*thymes (about 3 shakes)
*rubbed sage (2-3 shakes)
*1 bay leaf
*cayanne/red pepper (1 1/2 shakes)
*white pepper (dash)
*black pepper
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
optional- Quorn ground meat substitue
(we like spicy/well seasoned food; if you don't or can't eat it, try this with oregano, thyme and sage only.)

pour olive oil into wok or large pan, set heat to medium
after a minute or so, add garlic. Saute for 30 seconds
add chopped onions and saute until clear or nearly so
add chopped bell peppers and saute until almost tender
add meat substitute if you're going to
add beans and seasonings, stir often until meat substitute and beans are heated through

Chick Peas and Quinoa (or could sub brown rice) stir fry
1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans, undrained
1/2 small to medium onion
1 medium tomato
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
1/2 small spoonful of minced garlic
*few shakes each of oregano, thyme and black pepper
4 servings of rice/Quinoa

If using Quinoa and it isn't pre-washed, "wash" it. I put it in a bowl, pour enough water to cover plus a little more and then swish around. Hold your hand at the edge of the bowl and gently pour water out through fingers, which catch most of the Quinoa. I don't know if this is how you're "supposed" to do this, but it's what I do and seems to work. If you don't wash it (or get the pre-washed kind) the Quinoa will be overly crunchy. yuck.

pour olive oil into wok or large pan, set heat to medium
after a minute or so, add garlic. Saute for 30 seconds
add chopped onions and saute until clear or nearly so
add sliced squash and zucchini and saute until almost tender
add chopped tomato and stir about 1 minute
add garbanzo beans/chick peas
add seasonings and stir often until all is heated through
serve over Quinoa or rice

Pasta with sauce
Use brown rice pasta (penne gets less mushy) or Ancient Harvest's Quinoa and Corn blend pasta
Choose your favorite pasta sauce (we like Natural Choice, Muier Glens, and Annie's naturals. I have lofty ideas of some day making my own sauce. Until then... )
add garlic, onions, bell peppers, oregano, thyme, rosemary as mentioned above. You can also add Quorn brand ground meat substitute (if you are a family of meat eaters, try this and see if they notice. I'm betting they won't, but I haven't had meat in a really long time.)

or, you can add onion, garlic, spinach (frozen works great and is probably fresher than what you buy in the store) oregano, thyme, rosemary and Quorn brand chick'n (chicken substitute) tenders.

Chinese stir fry
Canola oil
veggies of choice - shredded carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, etc.
onions and garlic as mentioned above
Quorn brand chick'n (chicken substitute) tenders.

Saute garlic and veggies as mentioned above, add Quorn chk'n tenders and cook for a while. add plenty of ginger (it is anti-inflammitory!) and a little extra oil if it is dry.

Hummas with pasta
use pasta suggestions above
Pre-made hummas- original or roasted garlic (large tub or two regular tubs)
saute garlic, onions, various veggies (squash, zucchini, bell peppers, shredded carrots all work well)
add cumin, corriander, black pepper, a dash of red pepper, a little salt
add a little water to thin out the hummas sauce

We also occasionally use the Garden of Eatin' taco kits and use the Quorn brand ground meat substitute, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, lettuce

A Taste of India makes some yummy all natural pre-made dinners. Just make rice and pour over the heated sauce and veggies for those lazy nights.

I'm sure there's more, but I gotta run. going to a movie tonight!!!

drink ginger tea

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Regstration for Narah's Fall Beginner Belly Dance classes begins Monday

I hope you have had a wonderful summer! The WVU Community Arts Program is gearing up for another great semester of fall classes. Registration will begin this coming Monday, August 17 and run through Friday, September 4 in Room 401A of the Creative Arts Center, Monday-Friday, 10:00am-12:00pm, 1:00-4:30pm.

*Belly Dance Class description and information below!

°Belly Dancing (ages 13 and up)
Narah, Instructor
Six weeks, September 8-October 13
Tuesdays, 7:00-8:00p.m., Rm. 426A at the WVU Creative Arts Center (in a brand new studio with a beautiful view)
Cost: $60.00

Students will learn basic posture and foundational technique of the ancient art of belly dance. Each class begins with a yoga warmup and continues with a fun and thorough break down of basic movements which set the foundation for a beautiful and empowering art form. Narah will often guide students through a series of movements and combinations, keeping the energy up and teaching them how all those basic moves make a dance.Note: No experience necessary, but students with heart conditions or other medical concerns, injuries, joint problems or if pregnant should alert the teacher prior to the beginning of class.

For a complete list of Fall classes, please see attachment, and for further information, including class descriptions, a registration form and a copy of our downloadable brochure, visit our website at You may also contact the WVU Community Arts Program Office at (304) 293-4841 x3168 or by email at

Registrations can be made in person, by mail or by fax (293-7491). You can pay by check (payable to WVU) or VISA/MC. Students may register for classes after the official registration period ends, but a $15.00 late fee will be in effect at that time.

I hope to see you soon! Come explore the arts with us today!

Best wishes,


Jeanne Frieben, Director
WVU Community Arts Program
(304)293-4841 x3185
404A Creative Arts Center, WVU
Morgantown, WV 26506-6111

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back home and Recharging

(photo by John Massey/Rufio at Casa Bardicci; left to right- ?, Joanna Abel, Me, Kari Merlina, Bonnie)

Pennsic was really really fun!!!! It always takes a lot of preparation, but I tried to reduce my workload by sewing very little for myself. what I did sew, I didn't even wear, but I'll have it for upcoming performances.

The Folkloric show was fun! Low key - very Folkloric in it's presentation and very refreshing. Doing something a little less formal was great, especially since the show was the same day I arrived. I did my cane dance, which is always a fun prop to work with.

The Unique Combos and Layers class went wonderfully! Thank you, Mishka for drummimg! I'm so happy she's in the area!! Looking forward to future collaborations! (Mishka is Daveed Korup's apprentice and only 40 minutes from Morgantown! How lucky am I? and so is the Morgantown Belly Dance community!!!) Sold some DVD's, got a workshop proposal for Rochester, NY. Very cool! I only allotted an hour for the class and since the class was so big, I had a ton of material "left over", but I expected that. I prefer to have more than enough anyway.
I have to say that the Lowty Totey party at Casa Bardicci and the party at Vlad's on Tuesday night were the highlights of my Pennsic War night-out-dancing experience. At LT, Ocean, Nevik, Donavin, Sedo, Kazuki (Sado and Kazuki had their beautiful daughter there with noise cancelling head phones on- she slept right through it. so cute!) and a bunch of other musicians and drummers played some incredibly amazing music!!! The energy was unbelievable!!! I had so much fun especially interacting with Ocean and Nevik! I thought my voice would be hoarse from all the rock concert screaming I did that night. My throat was kind of sore when I woke up. So worth it! My goal at Pennsic was to _have_fun_ and blow off steam. Mission accomplished. :)

Next year, I'll get to stay longer and since Angelo will be a little older, I hope it won't be so hard chasing him next time. This time, I left Pennsic on Wednesday to do some laundry and head to my parents' on Thursday in enough time to help Mom prepare to bring Dad home on Saturday.

It was a homecoming with mixed emotions. We're all so glad to have him home again, but because the rehab hospital took him as a charity case, he's home about 4 weeks earlier than he normally would be. So, while he's made progress, he's more dependent than he would be should he have gotten that month of intensive therapy. I've shown him how to dress himself (I'm an Occupational Therapist) and set him up with some activities to do, so that will help. There's also the possibility that he'll get some free home health therapy (Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy once a week) and that will help too. It is hard on me and the kids (Angelo and Dana doggie) to be away from home so long, so after 4 days, we came back to recharge. There's no place like home.

My husband, Eric, had the house clean by the time we got back and that was wonderful! Between the "Post-Pennsic glow" and a clean house, I'm inspired! I have been designing Halloween and Faerie Con costumes in my head today. Faerie Con is in Baltimore, MD (only 3.5 hours from here) and a week after my birthday!!! So, Happy Birthday to me- I'm going!!!!