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Friday, October 31, 2014

Top 5 Things Coaches Look for in Potential Players

As a high school coach, I know the heartache of tryouts and cuts more than I would like to! I have been coaching for 11 years now. I was an assistant for 5 years and now I am head coach for the last 6. My assistants are literally the best people I know! We have spent hours upon hours trying to make the right decision on what players will make our team most successful! It is the most emotional, gut wrenching part of the job! Here is what we as a coaching staff look for in our potential players! There are several intangible things we find important other than skill.

5. Student than Athlete  - As a high school coach, nothing is more important than being a good student than an athlete. At our school we have a pretty strict attendance policy, and nothing is more frustrating than keeping a player on your team that CAN NEVER PLAY!! We totally love players who take school seriously, that go to class and try to get good grades.

4. Versatility - This is really important as a coach! Nothing sounds more like music to my ears than when I ask a player what position they play and I get the response, "anywhere you need me." Somebody who can only play one position is hard to find a position for on the team, but someone who can play several positions is easy. When you have multiple options it makes our job a lot easier. Also, when a coach asks you to play another position, it is not because we think you're awful at your choice position. We think the team would benefit from you playing at the other position and we trust that you can get the job done where we put you!

3. Hard Work - I hold open gyms three days a week after school for three months in the fall for two months in the winter. I want everyone to have an equal opportunity to improve and show me what they have! Nothing is harder than having a player show up at tryouts and never having seen them before. These open gyms give them an opportunity to show me how they play. Three days is not a lot of time to decide who is good enough to be on the team. If we see them in the off season then we can make a more informed decision.

Also, it says a lot about a player who is dedicated enough to put the work in to get better, not only for themselves but for their team. When I coached with my former coach he would always say that in order to win you need a little bit of skill and a lot of luck. My favorite quote is by Thomas Jefferson, "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." There is nothing more true than this!

2. Coach-ability - We have been blessed with a lot of talented athletes and some are more coachable than others. As coaches we believe that if it's not broken then don't fix it! If a girls is batting .400 then why would I change her swing?! I'm not stupid, even though at times I may appear to be so! However, when it's not working, we will want to try something different, to make you get out of a slump. Even though it is not something you are used to, but if it helps you improve than why not?! The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I will admit, I am not perfect and I don't know everything, but I have coached with the best of the best! I know a few things and all I want you to do is try.

1. Attitude - Girls sports are hard at times to coach! I am a girl, I know what goes on. Attitudes can make or break a team! I have been really lucky to always have girls on my team who have the great attitude and will to win! Positive attitudes can be the difference between a win and a loss. No matter the situation a player who can be positive is priceless, it can be contagious! I had a short stop last year, that it didn't not matter the situation, she somehow pulled the team together. She was contagious and she has left a legacy for the younger players, they want to carry on her tradition!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

We Are Co Hosting The Weekend Social

We are so excited! We have the opportunity to party with these cute ladies! This should a fun weekend. Please join us.
KD FINAL DRAFT Caricatures
Weekend Social Party Rules
Most Viewed” Spotlight Winner: EasyFoodSmith
Ronda’s Pick: Lou Lou Girls
churro bites

GoodNites * TRU-FIT* Real Underwear

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This is a sponsored post for GoodNites * TRU-FIT*, but all opinions are 100% mine.
Growing up, I had a close family member that struggled with bed wetting at night. I know it was super rough for him. The fact of the matter was, he couldn’t control it, it was a medical condition. Although I’ve never discussed his condition with him, as a mother, I can only imagine how rough it might have been for him to want to attend sleep overs with friends on the weekends. I’m sure he would have always been nervous that he would wake up wet.
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That’s why I love the idea of the GoodNites * TRU-FIT* real underwear. They are REAL underwear. They are soft and comfortable and would make any child that suffers from bed wetting feel confident.
Another cool thing about  GoodNites * TRU-FIT* real underwear, is that they are machine washable. Each package comes with two different styles of underwear. The starter pack also comes with super absorbent, disposable inserts, that are sure to stop any leak, keeping your child dry, and more importantly, their sheets.
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I can only imagine what a relief it would be for parents to not have to wake up in the middle of the night to change sheets EVERY night! Am I right?! I really love my sleep, and so do my children!
I went to Target to purchase mine, and right now they have an on-package coupon for $2 off, so make sure you use it when you purchase yours.
If you have a child that suffers from bet wetting, nocturnal enuresis, you can visit GoodNites® website and the  GoodNites® Facebook page for solutions and advice from trusted experts.
You can also join in on the discussion for GoodNites* TRU-FIT* #TRUFITTARGET Twitter Party on Wednesday, November 19 from 8:00 – 9:00 A.M. PST / 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. EST.
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GoodNites* TRU-FIT*.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Matt is obsessed with everything pumpkin! Don't tell him I said that, but it's true, every time we see anything pumpkin he MUST try it. For his birthday he requested pumpkin spice with cream cheese frosting. I felt like I must oblige because he had a big test the next day and it was his birthday! This cake was really good, however, Matthew mentioned it didn't have enough pumpkin taste. I disagree, but you'll have to try it yourself to decide!

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick of softened unsalted butter
1 8oz package of softened philadelphia cream cheese
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 cups of powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, brown sugar and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time until mixed well.

2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and nutmeg. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter and egg mixture. 

3. Add in pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla until everything is mixed together with no clumps. 

4. Lightly grease 2 - 8 inch cake pans and lightly dust them with flour. Split the batter in half into the 2 pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

5. Run a knife around the edges of the cakes and turn them out and let them cool on a wire rack.

6. Cream together all the cream cheese frosting ingredients in a kitchen aid. If you prefer thicker frosting than add extra powdered sugar. It's hard to frost a warm cake with a stiff frosting so keep that in mind when mixing yours.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Doin' Football with Flair!

It's football season! My school's team just made the state playoffs and it was pretty exciting! With all the college and pro football, there is bound to be some pretty awesome tailgate parties. There is no reason that it can't be in style, right?! Below is everything you need to have your party in more style than tailgate I have ever been to! Check out these items and sites and see what you think!!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . The opinions and text are all mine.

  1. Blinged out cowboy boots - Bling and cowboy boots - tuck in your jeans or in the southern states, wear them with your sundress at your college tailgate. Pick these up at Nordstrom.
  2. Mini-Chandelier in your Fan color! - How else will you see once the sun sets?You need light after dark, right? Then why not make a statement that your tailgate is upscale? Buy it in the color of your alma mater at Macys.
  3. Breathalyzer - No one wants to be responsible for a drunk driver...You've been a great host, but you can't pay attention to everything everyone imbibed. Want to be really safe? Ask them to breath here before handing over the keys. Pick it up at Best Buy.
  4. Canopy Gazebo - Stake out your territory quickly with this easy one-piece steel frame. Its also got SPF 50 UV guard protection. Buy it at Walmart.
  5. Portable Generator - More than just a power source, its also an air compressor and has built in USB sockets to play audio. Buy it now at Walmart.
  6. Cocktail Case - Take everything you need for sophisticated mixology in one case - martini or mojito anyone? Order it from Get Organized.
  7. Portable DISH Network - Do you actually need tickets to the game? Take your viewing with you wherever you go, truly portable at 10 pounds, means the backyard, the riverside or the parking lot. It automatically finds the satellite signal. Order online and pick it up at your local Walmart.
  8. Beer Keg - Serve Heineken and Newcastle on tap at your tailgate, in your backyard or your basement. Order it from Macys.
  9. 40" LED TV - Make sure you can see the touchdowns from any angle. Take advantage of the HD shows on your DISH network. Order it from Walmart.
  10. Bison Leather Football - Tradition with an edge? They make great burgers and great leather. Ready for that pick-up game? Order it at Orvis.
  11. Bison Burgers + Franks - 8 each of the Bison Burgers and Franks. Great lean meat, show your guests you care. Order the package now from Omaha Steaks.

Let’s Celebrate!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


Every year, at this time, my cute Lisa starts counting down the days until it’s her birthday! Lisa will be 12 on December 4th and she always has all the birthday plans in place before her birthday. Every other year, I let my kids have a friend birthday party and this year, Lisa will be having a family party. She has decided that we will be going to her favorite restaurant, Chuck a Rama and swimming. I know, right? You would think she would want to go to Chuck e Cheeses!


We don’t just have a ordinary birthday party celebration, that would be too boring for this girl. Last year, we had a mystery themed party and it was loved by all! The girls played a mystery game to find out who had stolen the candy, and each party goer received a box full of candy with a ransom note. One year, Lisa wanted a “red” party and so everything was red! Even the hamburger buns had been turned red.


So you can imagine that preparation starts early at our house!  I love to shop at Walmart because you get your groceries and other things that you might need around the house. As I was cruising through the kid cards section, I noticed something different, Hallmark has cards that fold out to be a poster! How cool is that! Did you know that you can earn rewards for Hallmark cards that you buy at Walmart? For every 5 cards you buy, you’ll earn a reward.


My juices started to flow in my brain and I thought about all the cuties in my life that have birthdays coming up and would love these #KidsCards. I knew my cute Lisa would love the one with Austin and Ally. My Max would love the Star Wars card and Miss Gracie (and even my 15 year old) would fall in love with Twinker Bell! They were so cute that I had to buy them early.


The Hallmark card looks like any other card but just a little fatter.



It has a sweet sentiment in the middle but then “whoa” it folds out to a full size poster! The price isn’t bad, it was only $4.97. Most posters cost more than that and most cards too. The fun thing is that they won’t just throw the card in a drawer and forget about it. Your birthday sweetie can enjoy it for a long time.


You can see that Lisa found my stash and wanted to open it right away. She was so excited of thinking were she wanted to hang her new poster. I guess, the birthday celebration has started early this year! #CollectiveBias


Make sure you check out http://www.connectionsfromhallmark.com/?utm_source=cbias&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=kidscards ** to sign up for Hallmark Rewards, and to see great content from other bloggers. Join in the #kidscardsconversation on Twitter! 

THE Best Marinara from Scratch!

In order to have awesome pizza you need incredible sauce, this is the best marinara I have ever made. Matt and I got all the fresh tomatoes we could find from our parents and grandparents. We was them and cut them into chunks and then reduced them until they we soft and squishy. After that my grandma let us borrow her colander and so we ran the tomatoes through that and Matt crushed the tomatoes. Which allowed us to get rid of the seeds and the skins! We ended up with 89 oz of crushed tomatoes! Here's what we did from there!

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup grated onion
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 garlic cloves, minced
89 oz crushed tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Once you have crushed your tomatoes. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the onions until they are soft and brown. Then add your minced garlic and let cook for about a minute. I already had the tomatoes in a large pot so just add the onion, garlic and butter to the pot of crushed tomatoes. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

2. Then add the oregano, salt, sugar basil and olive oil. Stir until it is mixed well. We then let it simmer on medium low for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. We wanted thick marinara for the pizza sauce! Then add the black pepper to taste.

We have a little competition going on, Zac has a his marinara sauce too and he thinks his is the best. Please try both of them and let us know what you think!  http://loulougirls.blogspot.com/2014/08/marinara-pizza-sauce.html