Monday, March 11, 2019

Team Mama Idea: Oreo Cookie Basketballs

Coach Hubby is coaching No. 3's basketball team this Winter. We don't have the tallest or most talented team, but this group of 10 year olds has been playing their hearts out week after week. So much so that Saturday's game was for a spot in next week's championship game!

We got off to a slow start putting us behind by 16 points early on. Our boys continued to push through though and got it within 5 points with just under a minute to go in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, we committed a foul (we were in the bonus) and missed all of our shots. Ugh! Such a heartbreaker.

To brighten sweeten up the rest of their day, I made these fun Oreo cookie basketballs.

Seriously, how fun are they?! They were easy, quick, and yummy. Right up my alley! They'd be perfect for birthdays, end of season parties, March Madness, or even post-game snacks.

Want to make them yourself? Then just keep on reading!

All you need:

  • Oreos (I used double stuffed but regular would work too. As would golden Oreos!)
  • Orange candy melts
  • Black cookie icing (it will set, making the cookies stackable)

That's it. Literally only three ingredients!

All you do:

  • Melt candies according to directions on packaging (you should end up with a smooth, lump free consistency).

  • Dip your Oreos, one by one, in the candy melts and place them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Be sure to completely cover both sides.

  • Place the cookie sheet in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes, until the candy melts set/harden.
  • Once the cookies are completely set, begin drawing on the lines using the black icing. Start with a straight line down the center, followed by two curved lines on each side, and finally a horizontal one across the middle.

  • Place the cookies back in the fridge for about 25 minutes to allow the lines to set.
  • Remove the cookies. ENJOY! (Store cookies in a Ziploc bag. They should last for a couple of weeks. But let's be honest, when do cookies ever last that long?!)

That's it! Easy, peasy, huh?

For more fun, basketball themed treat ideas be sure to click HERE!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Sports Mama Tip: How to Take The Perfect Team Photo!

Maybe your kid was sick on Picture Day. Maybe he or she closed their eyes. Maybe your Coach thought Picture Day was on Saturday instead of on Sunday. Or maybe your league doesn't even do team pictures to begin with. Things happen. And because they do, I am here writing this blog post!

Here are my tried and tested tips to help you take the perfect team photo:

  • Plan ahead. Pick a date and time, and notify your team. I usually schedule ours for practice days, but pre-game can work as well. Just avoid scheduling it post-game... think sweaty faces, dirty uniforms, and possible frowns if they didn't win. It's also a good idea to have a couple of extra jerseys on hand in case someone forgets theirs.

  • Location, location, location. Location is everything! It will help to tell your team's story. If you're photographing a football team, take it outside on the field. For basketball teams, take it right on the court. You can even incorporate props such as a ball, helmet, a goal, or bleachers if photographing a high school team.

  • Uniformity. There's no I in team! Be sure that everyone is uniformed. And I'm not just talking jerseys. Will the team smile or not? What about hands? Whether you go with hands behind their backs or in their pockets, you'll want to make sure that they are all doing the same thing.

  • Strike a pose. Will they sit, stand, kneel? Whatever you decide you want to be sure that the entire team will fit in the shot. You also want to be able to see each individual player's face. If you're going for that traditional pose, you'll want to line the shorter players up in the front, and the taller ones in the back. Want a more modern pose? Check out Pinterest or your favorite pro team for some inspo!

  • Keep clickin'. Chances are that at least one player will have their eyes closed or be looking in the opposite direction. I suggest shooting in continuous mode and taking several photos, just in case. The more you take, the greater your chance of getting that perfect shot!

  • Have fun! I always like to finish the photo shoot with a "funny face" pic. And so do the players. These honestly always end up being my favorite!

I hope you find these tips helpful! Don't forget to share your photo(s) with the entire team. Your fellow Sports Mamas will be grateful that you did!

*** Click HERE for my youth sports photography basics!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

15 Deliciously Fun March Madness Food Ideas + Links to the Recipes!

Today is the last day of February! That can only mean one thing... Spring March Madness is coming! And in my home, it's a pretty big deal. We watch games, snack, and repeat.

Here are fifteen fun, basketball themed food ideas that are sure to make any game a SLAM DUNK!

Basketball Peanut Butter Dip via Julie's Eats and Treats

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders via Home Made Interest

Easy Basketball Brownies via Confessions of a Sports Mama

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites via Two Peas & Their Pod

Basketball Pizza Dip via I Heart Arts 'n Crafts

Basketball Breakfast Kabobs via Confessions of a Sports Mama

Jalapeño Popper Pigs in a Blanket via Host The Toast

Buffalo Chicken Nachos via Yellow Bliss Road

Basketball Cupcakes via Confessions of a Sports Mama

Basketball Mini-Quesadillas via Worth Pinning

Bacon Wrapped Smokies via Moms Need to Know

Game Day Buffalo Hot Wings via Ahead of Thyme

Slam Dunk Basketball Cookies via 2 Wired 2 Tired

Jalapeño Mozzarella Sticks via Life's Ambrosia

Pizza Basketball Court via Food Network

Let me know if you end up making any of the recipes. Or be the game MVP by sharing one of your own in our Facebook Group!

Happy March, Sports Mamas!

*** Click HERE to read my Super Bowl food ideas!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

DIY Basketball Themed Valentine's Day Box

Up until a few days ago, I thought my days of helping my boys prepare for their school Valentine's celebrations were over. I was feeling a bit sad about it too. They grow up way too fast! But then I read No. 3's teacher's weekly newsletter, and that fear disappeared!

Just like No. 2 did when he was in the fifth grade, he has been tasked with creating a Valentine's Day Box! Here are the rules:

  1. Create a box to hold your valentines- it should be big enough to hold valentines from your classmates.
  2. You must be able to transport your box to and from school on your own!
  3. You can get help from your family, but you must be the creator and be involved in every part of building your box.
  4. All boxes must be at school by February 14th.

Winners will be chosen for each of the following categories; traditional, most creative, "green", sports themed, animal themed, book/movie themed. The winners will each receive $500 in bonus bucks which the students can turn in for things such as extra recess! And because No. 3 is MY boys, I'm sure you can already guess what theme he chose... sports, of course!

He decided on making a basketball box. (Click HERE to see the football themed box No. 2 made a few years back).

Want to make one yourself? Here's what you'll need?

  • Box (we used one of Coach Hubby's shoe boxes)
  • Construction paper (orange, white, and black)
  • Wood grain printed duck tape (tan construction paper will work if you can't find any!)
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue (a glue stick and hot glue)
  • Paper towel roll
  • Rings from two Gatorade bottles (they will become the rims)

He began by applying the duck tape to the top of the box.

Once the entire top was covered, he used the orange construction paper to cover the sides.

The next step was to draw the lines on the court (half court, 3-point, etc.) We used a black sharpie for that. Quick tip: tracing a paper plate will help avoid wiggly lines!

Now that you have a court, it's time to make your hoops! Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the actual process, but here's the finished product.

We made the backboard out of white cardstock. No. 3 wrote the words "shoot me a valentine" on them and glued on a basketball. The pole was made out of a paper towel roll. We simply cut it, colored it black with a sharpie, and glued them together. We then hot glued the Gatorade ring aka rim to the backboard, let it dry for a few minutes, and then glued the entire hoop to the box. He also made a scoreboard using the black construction paper. That's it!

As far as Valentine's cards, I found this super cool idea on Pinterest! I mean seriously, what can't you find on there?!?

(Click HERE for directions including free printable and 3 ingredient slime recipe!)

Happy Valenslime's Day, Sports Mamas! Wishing you love, health, and happiness today and every other day of the year!

*** Update 2/15/19- HE WON!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

7 Things I Learned In My First Season as a High School Basketball Mom

No. 1's first season of high school basketball has come and gone. SO bittersweet! The team finished 12-3, earning them the best record in the conference. Way to go, Spartans!

Just like with any brand new experience, I learned quite a bit along the way and thought I'd share it with you all today.

  1. It's a big time commitment. Between practices and games, high school basketball is a six day a week sport- every single day except for Sunday. The days are long but the season is short. I'm missing it already!
  2. Games are early. Well, Freshman and JV games are. In our area, the Freshman play at 4:15pm and JV plays at 5:30pm which can make it tough for parents to get to each and every game. Luckily for me, I leave work at 3:15pm and didn't miss a game. You may want to keep this in mind if you have a rising Freshman!
  3. Cash is a must. As with all high school sporting events, you must pay to watch. Games in our area cost $6 for adults and $5 for students (cash only!), children under 5 and senior citizens are the only ones who get in for free. And of course if you give in and visit the ever so tempting concession stand, you'll need cash for that too. Mmmmm, Chick-fil-A sandwiches!
  4. No participation rule. Yep, you read correctly. Coach does not have to put your player in if he does not want to. If your athlete is one of the last ones off the bench, tell them to not take it personally. Only 5 players from their team can be on the court at a single time. Be supportive and tell them to keep working. Hard work really does pay off! (Click HERE to read my post about what to say to your child after each and every game).
  5. Volunteers. High school basketball depends heavily on parent volunteers. Each of our home games required 5 volunteers; 2 to help with ticket sales and 3 to help run the concession stand (click HERE for my tips on running a successful concession stand plus a list of the 10 best sellers!). Multiply that number times three home games (Freshman, JV, and Varsity) for a total of 15 volunteers needed per game day. It takes a village!
  6. Student Section. You know the group of student fans that sit together to cheer on the home team and cheer against the visiting team. They are awesome if you are playing at home, but beware, they can be brutally frustrating if you are away! If your child is going to play high school ball or ball at any higher level for that matter, they're going to need to have thick skin (as are you!)... especially when they're shooting their free throws at away games!
  7. Basketball is family! Many of the Freshman players and their families will stay and watch both the JV/Varsity games and vice versa, even if that means being at the gym for five hours. Hello, bleacher butt! We cheer for each and every player on the team. We help give each others kids rides to and from practice. We buy extra hot dogs at the concession stand for our hungry Sports Mama bffs. We're all in this together!

I hope you all have had, or are still having, a fun basketball season!


*** Like this post? Click HERE to read 7 things I learned in my first two weeks as a high school football mama!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

20 Deliciously Fun Super Bowl Food Ideas + Links to the Recipes!

The big game is tomorrow!

We may not be rooting for the same team or even be able to agree on which commercial is the best. But one thing is for sure, 99.9% of us are looking forward to the food! It doesn't matter whether you're hosting your own party, have been invited to one, or will simply be watching at home in your jammies. Regardless of your plans, you won't want to miss this list of 20 Deliciously Fun Super Bowl Food Ideas.

I've compiled a mix of both savory and sweet game day dishes (along with links to the recipes!) that are sure to score a touchdown! Ready, set, hit... I mean, here we go!

Football Deviled Eggs via Full Thyme Student

Pulled Pork Nachos via Family Fresh Meals

Easy Football Brownies via Confessions of a Sports Mama

Loaded Tater Tot Skewers via Made With Happy

Football Pepperoni Pizza via Eclectic Recipes

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs via An Affair from the Heart

Ice Cream Football Sandwiches via The Celebration Shoppe 

Chocolate Strawberry Footballs via Sweet Dreams and Sugar Highs 

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders via 

Pigskins in a Blanket via

Jalapeño Popper Football Cheese Ball via Peas and Crayons 

Garlic Parmesan Baked Chicken Wings via Evolving Table 

Football Cake via Confessions of a Sports Mama 

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs via Tidy Mom 

Fruit Filled Watermelon Football Helmet via 

Rotel and Velveeta Queso Dip via Eighteen25 

Cream Cheese Jalapeño Poppers With Bacon via Wholesum Yum 

Crispy Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites via The Comfort of Cooking 

Snack Stadium via Kraft Recipes 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Footballs via Life, Love and Sugar

Have a favorite game day food? I'd love for you to share the recipe in the comment section below or in our Facebook Group! #sharingiscaring


*** Click HERE to read my March Madness food ideas!