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(In 2007, I donated peripheral blood stem cells to a 21 year old stranger.  Read about my journey.)

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Monday
Dec032012

Never underestimate a girl with balls

 My inner circle of family and friends has known that I have been tossing this idea around for a long, long time - perhaps 2 years now.  Through the past decade of coaching high school girls, I have observed a huge decline in self esteem amongst my players and an increase in overall discontent within this generation of high school students as a whole.  I've blamed many things, including technology and the media.  Did you know that the average teen sends and receives 100 texts a day?!  Blame doesn't offer solutions and I don't think technology and media usage are going to decline anytime soon, so what to do?

The way I coach has had to evolve over the years.  My practice plans now include a huge amount of team and confidence building activities.  Everything we do has a greater meaning.  It pays off, not only by way of winning games - the last 4 teams I have been involved with have gone to their championship game - but also in the way the players carry themselves and interact with each other.  I have seen first-hand that sports can be an amazing vehicle towards self esteem and away from self destructive behaviors.

Here are a few disconcerting statistics for you, from a recent CDC study as reported in a NYDailyNews.com article

  • 1 in 6 high school students has seriously considered suicide.
  • 1 in 12 high school students has attempted it.
  • 20% of high-schoolers said they'd been bullied while at school.
  • 16% said they'd been 'cyberbullied' through email, chat, instant messaging, social media or texting.

The call to do more has been shouting loud and clear.  I have the skills, the heart and the willingness to make a difference.

But how?

There are a gazillion "anti-bullying" programs out there.  So many that kids are becoming numb to their message and they tend to roll their eyes when they know yet another speaker is coming around to share their message.  So, I decided if I choose to do something, it needs to be cool.  It needs to be a bit edgy and interesting.  It needs to grab their attention.

Never underestimate a girl with balls.

Not sure when this concept came to me, but since day one, it has been in my heart and on the tip of my tongue.  Every person with whom I have shared my idea has shaken their head with a smirk, sly smile or full on laugh.

Edgy?

Yep.

Controversial?

Perhaps.

But the intent is pure.

The mission of a girl with balls™ is to empower girls through sports by sharing inspirational female athlete stories/quotes, running empowerment workshops for sports teams and to generate funds through apparel sales for donation to worthy causes benefitting female athletes.

If  you have a female athlete in your life or know someone who does, I encourage you to go check out the website.  We are planning our first run of apparel and are offering a limited selection to be shipped in time for the holidays.  The store offers tee shirts for basketball, softball, soccer, tennis and volleyball in a couple of styles and colors.

If you are here reading this at Mommycosm, you hereby part of my inner circle.  Therefore, I'm offering you a 10% discount if you purchase before December 15, 2012.  Simply enter MYPEEPS into the discount field at checkout.

In true blogger fashion, I am also offering a giveaway.

Giveaway:

One lucky Mommycosm reader will win a tee shirt in their choice of style/color/size from a girl with balls™.

Mandatory Entry: Simply leave a comment on this post with your first name and state initials.  Tell me: which shirt would you like if you win?

One comment per person, please.  You must supply an email address in order for me to contact the winner.  (Note: Due to spam, I do NOT recommend putting email within the content of the comment itself.)

Submitting a comment constitutes agreeing to the terms of the Official Rules.

Deadline:

All comments must be received by Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7am (et).  Mommycosm will use Random.org to choose the winner.  Any comments received after the deadline will not be considered for the giveaway.

Disclosure:

I am the founder of a girl with balls™ and will be providing the giveaway prize.

Friday
Nov302012

eBay Holiday Gift Shop on Facebook [spon]

eBay created a fun Holiday Gift Shop app for Facebook this year.  You can create gift lists and kids' toy lists based on recommendations from eBay experts and, get this, each day a lucky winner will receive one of their gift list items (valued up to $200) PLUS a $100 eBay Gift Card.

How cool?!

The catch?

It ends today, November, 30, 2012.

My bad for not sharing sooner... ehem... my inbox has been a leettle out of control the last few weeks.

So, go on over and play around.  Right now.  No time to waste!

No one can see the lists you've created unless you share them.  It's quick and easy to do and is all connected to the eBay site and eBay mobile app, so if you see anything while you are on there that you must have, you can go ahead and purchase.  Convenient.

Who couldn't use a $100 eBay gift card headed into the holidays?

Disclaimer: I was hired by Splash Creative Media to write this post on behalf of eBay as part of my involvement with the eBay Parent Panel.  Thoughts and tardiness are clearly my own.

Wednesday
Nov282012

Yummy winter boots from Crocs

It's no secret here in Mommycosm that I am not a fan of winter.  Cold.  Snow.  They are my kryptonite.  

We have a family home on the sunny-all-year island of Aruba.  If we ever win the lottery (please, please?) or somehow else become independently wealthy, we would move there and avoid winter all together.  But that's just not in the cards.

*sigh*

So, I do what a reluctant New Hampshire native needs to do in order to get through cold, nasty winters.  I drink lots of warm lattes and make sure I am outfitted properly and fashionably for the cruel weather.

Speaking of fashionable, check out these new winter boots from Crocs.  Yes, you heard me right.  I said Crocs.

They are yummy and have become my go-to favorite to wear out and about when I'm brave enough to be out and about.  Warm and soft on the inside over a base that feels as wonderful as summer Crocs, all while remaining extremely fashionable on the outside.

love, Love, LOVE.

You can purchase these and other Crocs online via their website or find a retail store near you using their handy, dandy store locator.

The boots pictured here are mine, all mine.  They are the women's Berryessa Hiking Boot and are on sale right now for 21% off.  Woot!

My feet will be happy.  Any advice on how to get the rest of me through winter this year?

Disclaimer: I was offered free product in exchange for sharing information with my readers.  Thoughts are always my own.

Monday
Nov262012

Thanksgiving in Mommycosm

Feel like I need to be wearing a tee shirt today reading "I survived Thanksgiving 2012".  We hosted dinner for 14 people - mostly my husband's side of the family.  Not gonna lie, the planning and build up were a bit stressful, but we have this down by now. We handled a lot of prep in advance and were able to enjoy the day.  Really, really.

Here are a few shots taken from my iPhone.

What's better than a fried turkey?  TWO fried turkeys :)

The oreo cookie place settings were a huge hit - and were yummy to eat after.

The Pioneer Woman's Stuffing entered the menu here 3 years ago.  I think I've finally perfected it, if I do say so myself.  Devine.

Not the greatest quality picture, but wanted to share anyway.  To simply say that this woman is my brother-in-law's mother doesn't depict the bond we have with her.  Nana.  She has seen 95 Thanksgiving dinners and I felt privileged to have her join us again this year.  We have fun together, if you couldn't tell.  She's trouble and recognized my kindred spirit years ago.  It's quite the compliment when she finishes her plate and ask for seconds.  Unfortunately, due to a fall out of bed a couple of years ago after imbibing in one (or maybe two) of my famous Naughty Gingerbread Mantinis, she had to stick to wine instead this year.

Confession: Pretty sure I only made the oreo turkeys to hear her giggle.

I'm still recovering from a turkey hangover and we still have way too much food left over, but I'm grateful to have both opportunity and means to host dinner for family.  When I look back on past holidays, I fondly remember times spent with my Grammy and Uncle Vic and miss them dearly.  Who knows where we will all be next year.

So... did you survive Thanksgiving?  Tell me what you did.

Thursday
Nov152012

Fresh, natural turkeys from The Meat House [$50 giveaway]

We may be far north of the Mason-Dixon line up here in New Hampshire, but I swear sometimes I was meant to be a southern girl.  I prefer the heat over the snow, don't mind my husband driving around in a big 'ol truck and even catch myself saying y'all every now and again.

Must have been from Charleston in another life.

One other southern thang I enjoy?  Deep frying our Thanksgiving turkey.

Oh, yeah.  YUM.

It's become tradition to fry our turkey ever since we started hosting Thanksgiving Dinner a few years back.  We even serve it up on paper plates.  We're Klassy.

Not your traditional New England holiday dinner, right?  They might take away my Yankee card after admitting this so publicly;-)

My husband takes the turkey (or turkeys depending on how many people we're hosting) outside with the fryer while I prepare the sides inside.  He gets to play with fire and I get him out of the kitchen.  It's a recipe for a long, long marriage.  Posting goofy pictures of him kissing a turkey may not be... we shall see.  Ha.

I think he enjoys this tradition as much as I do.

 

Check out this recipe over at The Meat House Blog for fried turkey.  Frying is super fast (3 minutes per pound, plus 5 per bird) and frees up my oven for other things like the sweet potato casserole and snowflake buns.

OK, I'm getting hungry for turkey and Thanksgiving is still over a week away.  Planning to order my turkey on Friday from The Meat House.  I mentioned in the past that we prefer to buy all of our meats there.  So, I was super excited when I saw that they are taking orders for their fresh, natural turkeys.  Count me in.

Want to win a $50 gift card to The Meat House to buy yourself a fresh, natural turkey this year?  Here's how.

Giveaway:

One lucky Mommycosm reader will win $50 gift card from The Meat House.

Mandatory Entry: Simply leave a comment on this post with your first name and state initials.  Tell me: have you ever fried your turkey?

One comment per person, please.  You must supply an email address in order for me to contact the winner.  (Note: I do NOT recommend putting email within the content of the comment itself. SPAM is not a quality meat.)

Submitting a comment constitutes agreeing to the terms of the Official Rules.

Extra Entry: Follow @TheMeatHouse and re-tweet their #Meatsgiving tweet, come back here and leave the link to your tweet in a separate comment.  Oh, and it's not just for an extra entry, it's for a great cause.  For every re-tweet, they will donate $.50 to Share our Strength, a campaign to end chlidhood hunger in America.

Deadline:

All comments must be received by Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 7pm (et).  Mommycosm will use Random.org to choose the winner.  Any comments received after the deadline will not be considered for the giveaway.  Although it is my intent for you to use this gift card to purchase your turkey, there is no guarantee that the gift card will arrive prior to Thanksgiving despite our best efforts... therefore you can use it to buy whatever you desire at The Meat House during this holiday season.

Disclosure:

I received a gift card in order to facilitate my review.  Giveaway provided by The Meat House.  Opinions, thoughts and the goofy turkey kissing husband are mine, all mine.