Book Review: Qualifying Times – Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport

9780252079740_lgTo follow up on reading Sarah Shephard’s book about women in sport, I decided I wanted to keep going on the topic, so I went ahead and picked up Jaime Schultz’s 2014 title, “Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport.”

Having read both, I can’t help but be happy that I picked both of them up. While the topic seems the same, and certainly both books do touch on some of the same issues and both historic and current situations, they’re from two different perspectives. Shephard’s book focuses largely (but not exclusively) on women in sport in the UK. She does make reference to several points of US women’s sports, but by and large, a lot of what she’s focused on is overseas. Thus, in comes Schultz’s book, which focuses almost exclusively on the American side of things. Read one after the other, they seem to nicely fit together, fill in some gaps and have given me a better overarching perspective on women’s sports.

Alright – back to Schultz’s book.

I was hooked from the introduction of this book, which is literally titled: The Politics of the Ponytail. Have I ever thought of the ponytail in terms of sports? Not particularly, at least until now. Showcasing how this hairstyle ties into discussions about gender, age, sexuality, sexualization and femininity, Schultz does a phenomenal job of capturing the reader’s attention from the get-go. Boom. Let’s go.

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What I’ve Learned In 2 Months of Marriage

This past Friday, my husband and I celebrated our two-month wedding anniversary. While two months may not seem a lot, especially in comparison to those who have been married five, 10, even 30 or more years…. it’s not meaningless, and it means a lot to us. The past two months have been an incredible start to our journey together!

With that being said, here’s a few things I’ve learned in our two months of marital bliss.

1. Communication is key.

I mean, obviously, this is the case in ANY relationship – platonic or romantic, professional or personal. If you aren’t communicating well, it’s going to be a struggle no matter what the level of your relationship is. But that’s definitely true when it comes to marriage. Communicating your thoughts, your wishes, your hopes for the future… all important to have a successful marriage, and probably something every couple can always work on improving! Your marriage is worth investing in – so do it!

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My First HelloFresh Box Review!

One of the challenges I’ve found with living on my own has been trying to mix it up when it comes to dinner. Sometimes, it seems like my husband and I eat the same meals all the time, with our grocery list pretty much the same every time we go shopping. I’ve been looking for ways to introduce some new foods into our dinners and try my hand at cooking (I’ve mostly stuck to simple things like boxed pasta dishes on the stovetop), and decided to give HelloFresh a try.

I’ve read about a few different brands of “meal boxes” or “meal delivery services” and found a coupon for 50% off my first HelloFresh box. For the two of us and three meals a week, that meant my first box was just $34.95 — averaging to about $5.82 per meal, per person. I figured, hey, what the heck, I might as well at least try it!

That I did. My first box came on Saturday morning and I dove head-first into the first meal on Monday evening!

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Book Review – “Kicking Off: How Women In Sport Are Changing the Game”

crnbn6yw8aaxzwxI just finished reading Sarah Shephard’s June 2016 release entitled “Kicking Off: How women in sport are changing the game.” As someone whose interest in women’s sports has been piqued lately, I went searching for books about the topic. There aren’t necessarily a ton out there, but this was the first I decided to pick up! My local library didn’t have a copy, but I requested it via interlibrary loan and got one from Waubonsee Community College out in Sugar Grove, IL, and dove right in.

Overall, I found this book to be informative and educational. It was a well-rounded read, in that it looked at a variety of components of women in sports and the challenges and stereotypes they face. From girls & women actually being allowed to play, to looking at media coverage and financial support of women’s sports, to delving into deeper issues regarding girls and sports and body issues – this book covered A LOT of ground. In the end, I think it’s an incredibly important read. I learned a lot from it and it certainly opened my eyes to some issues that even I didn’t really think of beforehand.

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On…. Trying Something New

Alright, here’s the question of the day: When was the last time you tried something new?

Seriously. Think about it, and give yourself an answer. Maybe you’re one of those happy-go-lucky people who has no problem trying new things and is even excited at the prospect. Or maybe you’re one of those people who’s stuck in his/her ways and prefers to stick to what you know. Either way, the choice is yours – but why not try something new every once in a while?

Let’s take me, for instance. I’m not huge at trying new foods. My thought is: I’m not going to pay $15+ for an entree at a restaurant if there’s a chance I might absolutely hate it. The time for trying new things at a restaurant is when you have the chance to sneak a little off a friends’ plate.

On trying new experiences – and new things in general – I really am trying to open my mind and go for it! Sure, things could not end great, but at the same time, who knows what could happen? Trying something new could be the best thing you do for yourself today, this week, this month. So do it!

I tried something new this past weekend in going to my first live racing event out at the Holland Speedway in Holland, NY. I’ve never really watched any sort of racing on television so this really truly was my first experience in that world. I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy myself, or think it was a total bore — but I tried it anyways!

In the end, I thought it was pretty interesting. Even if it’s not my cup of tea (I may need to check it out a bit more to really get a feel for it and decide on my thoughts), I’m glad I went. And who knows? Maybe I’ll go more next summer (the local racing season is pretty much over now) and maybe I’ll really start to enjoy it more and more.

As moms always say — You’ll never know until you  try.