Basketball Cookie Pops

    I definitely could not let the official start of basketball season at my son's school without commemorating the event with a fun basketball recipe. His team often has celebrations throughout the season and parents are always being asked to bring treats and donate their time. My son and his teammates love cookies and they love anything that has to do with basketball.     I thought it would be fun to utilize my chocolate pop making experience to create some delicious basketball cookie pops for them to enjoy. Many of you probably don't know this but I worked at a gourmet chocolate shop when I was in college and learned quite a bit about creating delectable treats with chocolate. But that is a post for another day. In the meantime, check out this fun recipe that is so easy to make! Basketball Cookie PopsIngredients:Oreo cookies 2 cups orange candy melts 1 cup brown candy melts Lollipop sticks Parchment paper Decorating bagDirections-1. Lay out a … [Read more...]

Juggling Your Child’s Sports Schedule @hotelsforteams #Hotels4Teams #Ad

    This past weekend, things got a little hairy around here due to the fact that my son had games scheduled for both of the traveling teams that he is participating in this summer. Normally, we do a really good job of managing his sports schedule for both of his teams but, this time, we got jammed up with games on Saturday and Sunday.    Although I realized that it would be tricky for my son to keep up with the demands of participating on two teams, I also know that the more he practices and plays, the better he's going to become at playing basketball. As a result, we have worked out a system for juggling his busy sports schedule and it has helped to alleviate some of the stress associated with being somewhat overextended. Here are some of the things that have worked for us thus far:Make sure you get a schedule of all the games that are planned for the season so you could plan ahead. Using Hotels4Teams allows you to book hotel accommodations as early as possible and to … [Read more...]

Modeling Good Sportsmanship For Young Athletes @hotelsforteams #Hotels4Teams #Ad

    The definition of good sportsmanship is when athletes exhibit respect for their opponents, conduct themselves graciously when they are winning or losing the game, and being fair during sports games. Unfortunately, sometimes parents get a little too competitive during athletic events and they don't always model good sportsmanship from the bleachers.     As a Basketball Mom, I have experienced frustration when my son's team has been down by a lot of points, made technical errors during an important game, or even lost a tough game by only one or two points. It's not easy to watch the disappointment on my son's face when his team loses or when they get a bad call from the referees since I know how hard both he and his teammates work all year long.    However, since we are the parents and the responsible adults, our children look up to us to be their role models when it comes to handling their emotions around losing with honor or conducting themselves responsibly as young athletes. … [Read more...]

Traveling To NYC For A Sports Tournament @hotelsforteams #Hotels4Teams #Ad

    Many of the sports parents that I am friends with around the country reach out to me when they find out that their child's team is scheduled to travel to my native New York City for a tournament. After all, most of them have never visited the Big Apple and coming here for the first time can be a little intimidating. One of their major concerns is usually how they are going to be able to afford a trip to a major city on their team budget.    My experience has been that not only do they all end up having a great time while they are here, but that they also are able to take advantage of visiting some of our attractions as well during their stay. When it comes to planning their stay and needing some downtime activities, I always recommend that they use the City Guide that Hotels4Teams offers parents and coaches. They've compiled some great places for teams to relax and bond before or after the game.    The best part about NYC is that it is that it is full of fun things for … [Read more...]

Using Your Time Effectively During Off-Season @hotelsforteams #Hotels4Teams #Ad

    Those of you who are sports parents know how important it is to plan for how to use your time effectively during off-season as well as maximize on that time when it comes to the young athlete in your life. Since my son plays on his school's basketball team during the Fall, his coaches always stress the value of making sure to get as much practice in as possible when the team's regular season is over. This is not very hard because, if it was up to my son, he would eat, breathe, and sleep anything that is related to basketball.     One of the things that we try to also do during the off-season, aside from practicing, is making sure that we plan to save as much money as possible for the expenses associated with my son being on his school's team as well as the traveling team that he is on the rest of the year. Since we finally get a break from the chaos of busy season, we can focus on creating a reasonable budget for the rest of the year. Travel is one of our major expenses when it … [Read more...]

Budgeting During Travel Tournaments @hotelsforteams #Hotels4Teams #Ad

    The school year is almost over and most of you are probably breathing a collective sigh of relief because you know you are going to get a break from driving kids to extracurricular activities and sporting events. Around these parts, there is no off-season! My son participates in a traveling basketball team when his school team is enjoying their off-season. This means that I am still one busy mom at the end of the school year and during the summer.    Those of you who have children who play sports know that it can become a huge expense. Aside from buying the proper safety equipment and athletic shoes, there is also the cost of traveling to away games, eating out when you are away, and travel expenses that you incur from having to take road trips and stay in hotels during travel tournaments, for those of us on traveling teams as well. Fortunately, I have picked up a few tricks over the years to help us budget during travel tournaments which I would love to share with all of … [Read more...]

I’m A Hotels4Teams Sports Mom! @hotelsforteams #Hotels4Teams #Ad

    Since my older son was in third grade, I have been a proud Basketball Mom. He has always loved basketball and, if it was up to him, he would spend every minute of his life on the court. Seeing him grow as an athlete has been a tremendous source of pride for me because of the values that have been instilled in him when it comes to being a team player and pushing himself to the limits.     When we started this journey years ago, I never imagined that I would begin to love basketball and even become one of the loudest moms in the bleachers cheering for my son. Basketball has become a huge part of our lives since my son plays for his school's team and is also on a traveling team during the off-season. So, basically, it's all basketball, all the time around these parts.    Our family's love of basketball and our son's dedication to the sport is why I was so excited when Hotels4Teams asked me to become a part of their Ambassador Program. Since my son is on a traveling basketball … [Read more...]

It Is Time To Get Active! #LetsPlayHSMakeover @DrPepperSnapple @LetsPlay #Ad

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Let’s Play, an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group that provides kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority by building and improving playgrounds and donating sports equipment to groups in need. Although I received compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.    It's no secret that we a huge basketball family. My older son has been playing competitively since he was in the third grade. Being an athlete has give him the tools to stay confident in all areas of his life and it has allowed him to be active on a regular basis. Even though our younger son plays basketball only for enjoyment, he understands that it is also important for him to engage in active play.     As an active family, we were really excited to find out about the Let's Play initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group. They are committed to making sure that kids and their families have all the resources that they need to … [Read more...]

Are Your Kids Getting Enough Physical Education? #ProtectPE @Voices4HK #Ad

*This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.     There are many factors that influence how children perform academically but I bet many of you did not know that students who receive physical education, or PE, do better when it comes to behavior, academic achievement, and emotional health.  It's important for kids have frequent opportunities to engage in physical activity on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily PE or its equivalent for the entire school year.    Racial inequalities and socio-economic challenges leave many schools without resources for PE, but kids shouldn’t have to miss out on the benefits of PE because of where they live or because their schools lack financial resources.  A good PE program is a crucial part of … [Read more...]

Fuel Their Dreams Of Being Part Of Team USA! #LetsPowerTheirDreams #Ad

    This is a very exciting time of the year for my family and I.  Ever since I was a kid, my siblings and I would post up in front of the television every four years to watch the Olympics.  Sports have always been an important part of our family life, everything from basketball and tennis to American football and soccer.  Since my father is from Spain and I was raised there until the age of eight, we love watching soccer and my boys love playing with their grandpa.     Thankfully, my son has had a very rewarding athletic journey.  He seems to excel at all sports with basketball and soccer being his favorites.  The relationships that he has forged with his teammates have been wonderful and playing sports has also contributed to raising his confidence and self-esteem.  We are extremely proud of him and hope that sports continue to be a big part of his life well into adulthood.  Soccer has especially been great for getting in touch … [Read more...]