Friday, April 11, 2014

Young Champions Of America: Cheer Program- Uniform Time!

*If you missed my first post about our experience with Young Champions Of America, be sure to catch it HERE!!!*

We're a couple months into our Young Champions Of America cheerleading experience, and things have been moving full steam ahead! The girls are learning new cheers and dance routines, and getting a routine set for their competition in June.

So far my daughter has been doing quite well. A lot better than I expected for a 4 year old with no previous experience! I attribute a lot of her success to the coaches, I seriously cannot say enough about how fantastic they are with the young children. Its almost as if they were made for this position, its not often you find coaches this great! These past couple weeks my daughter has been struggling a bit with participation. To be fair, a sickness and death in the family occurred, so her schedule was pretty shaken up. I decided that the best thing to do in these situations is to take her anyway, even if she isn't participating- she's actually still learning and taking everything in, as soon as we came home she was able to do every single move they learned that day, even though she didn't actually do much at practice! She's only 4, so I expect a few hiccups along the way. The head coach is great with dealing with different issues with the girls, and as you can expect with a large group of 4 & 5 year olds, things always come up! They are so gentle and reassuring, it really makes me feel confident in leaving my daughter with them. I'm also really starting to see Alexa blossom into a little social butterfly. So far, most of her social interaction is between family members or friends that we've known her whole life, its amazing to watch her become comfortable with making friends with girls that she has never met before- hopefully some of them will be going to kindergarten together!

On another note, uniforms have started coming in! There are a few pieces that we're still waiting on, including her bodysuit, so that is not included in the picture below. I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality of the uniforms- much nicer than what we had 15 years ago! Here is a sneak-peek at Alexa's uniform, I can't wait until the rest of the pieces come in to share with you! 

Over the next few weeks I'm hoping to capture a good video of the girls practicing one of their routines- it is seriously one of the cutest things that I have ever seen! We're super excited to keep preparing for our first competition!

Young Champions Of America offers classes in several convenient locations around Western Pennylvania, more information can be found HERE. And if you're not in PA, don't worry, they are a national program, so head here to find a class near you! Remember, this is NOT a high-pressure program. They are very low commitment (there are no requirements to compete), perfect for girls just starting out!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Confetti Cake Dip Recipe

Confetti Cake Dip Recipe

-1 Box Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix
-1 Can Pillsbury Funfetti Vanilla Icing (I used green to give mine a St. Patty's Day twist)
-1 Container of Cool Whip
-1 Box of Teddy Grahams for dipping

I also added marshmallows from Lucky Charms as a garnish for St. Patrick's Day, you can use any type of sprinkles for an everyday garnish.

Just mix together the dry cake mix, icing, and cool whip in a large mixing bowl, then transfer to a medium bowl for serving. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy! =)


Friday, March 14, 2014

Young Champions Of America: Cheer Program

My daughter has been showing an interest in cheerleading for quite some time. I've searched high and low, only to come up discouraged because I wasn't willing to plunk down a huge sum of money for competitive cheer for a 4 year old. I was looking for something fun. I was looking for something instructional. I was looking for something low-pressure. Young Champions Of America was EXACTLY what I was looking for! 

Here is some quick information, in case this is your first time hearing of Young Champions Of America: 

Young Champions Cheerleading offers this fun and exciting program for beginners, intermediate and advanced level students. There is more to Pom-Pom and Cheerleading than just learning basics. Along with providing lots of fun, this program promotes coordination, confidence, poise, physical fitness, artistic expression, teamwork and competitive spirit. Our students learn the fundamentals of dance and cheer, dance routines, parade routines, cheers, chants, jumps, how to perform in front of an audience and tryout preparations for junior high and high school squads.

Students have the opportunity to participate in competitions, parades and performances. While Young Champions does not make these events mandatory we feel it is an instrumental tool in creating self-confidence and high self-esteem. We also provide advancement through skill level testing. In the cheer program while students advance from each level whether it be by age or testing they will learn fundamentals and advance stunting skills. Young Champions coaching staff is trained in stunting technique and safety guidelines by several Nationally Renowned College Coaches and Squads, to insure that coaches and students are stunting safely.

In general locations Young Champions classes have a $7.00 non-refundable registration fee and each class is $7.00 a week. These prices and payments may vary by location.

Sounds pretty perfect, huh? Well, so far it has been! We're 4 weeks into the program, and so far both me and my daughter are extremely happy. Registering was a piece of cake. We simply registered right there at the first class, for a very low fee of $7.00. Then we just pay $7.00 for each class after that. They also offer ways for people to pre-pay, if you prefer that.

The most impressive aspect so far, in my opinion, has been the coaching. The women who teach this class are absolutely fantastic with the girls. They are extremely patient and kind, yet very knowledgeable. Each class starts with some basic skill building, then ends with putting a routine together. The parents are let into the gym for the final 5 minutes to get a sneak-peek at what the girls have been working on.

The organization does compete, once in June, but it is completely optional. We are choosing to compete, I think that it really will be a great confidence-boosting experience for our daughter.

I'm excited to share our journey with Young Champions of America this year, and we're excited to see what's to come!

Check out some pictures from our first few weeks of cheer fun =)

More details may be found:

PA Locations for Classes (Day of the week and time will vary based on age,ability and location)

Franklin Park
Blueberry Hill Park
1604 Blaine's Way
Sewickley PA 15143

The Brownson House
1415 Jefferson Ave
Washington PA 15301

Ross Twp Municipal Bldg
1000 Ross Municipal Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Slippery Rock
Slippery Rock Area Park and Recreations
320 N Main St
Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Slippery Rock Township Community Center
155 Branchton Rd
Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Corry Community Center
15 S 1st Ave
Corry, PA 16407

Belmont Complex
415 Butler Rd
Kittaning, PA 16201

Maplewood United Presbyterian Church
108 Woodland Rd
Greensburg, PA 15601

East Suburban Family YMCA
2200 Golden Mile Hwy
Plum PA 15239

North Huntingdon
Shafton Fire Hall
681 Jackson St.
North Huntingdon, PA 15642

Murrysville Community Center
3091 Carson Ave
Murrysville, PA 15668

New Brighton 
451 Constitution Blvd
New Brighton PA 15066

Cranberry Twp
Fountain Park Church
8533 Peters Road
Cranberry Twp PA 16066

Disney On Ice: 100 Years Of Magic Review

Last Friday we got the opportunity to check out Disney On Ice: 100 Years Of Magic. This was the first time our kids, 4 & 6, have ever seen the show, so everyone was super excited! I thought the show was just magical. I really wasn't prepared for how good it truly was. With the Olympics just ending, I think I went into this show with high expectations for the ice dancers. Well, they lived up to every expectation I had! Not one single fall during the entire show! Very impressive!

One thing I was most impressed with, was the variety. They covered more recent movies, such as Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, and movies from our childhood, such as Aladdin and The Lion King. They even included Pinocchio! There really was something for everyone. One of my biggest worries was that the show would be too "girly" for my 6 year old son. He was pleasantly surprised by how much action the show included! Both of the battle scenes from Beauty and The Beast as well as Mulan were absolutely fantastic.

My absolute favorite part of the show was It's A Small World. The way they turned it into an ice show was just fantastic, it was so much fun to see the different cultures represented!

I'm pretty sure Disney On Ice has just become a yearly tradition for us. If you haven't taken your children yet, you should absolutely plan on it next time it comes to your town. And for all my fellow frugal friends, there are always fantastic specials on tickets, making it a very affordable experience for all families!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Vintage-Style Nautical Bracelet: Only $3.56 Shipped!

Free Peet's Coffee Kcups

If you own a Keurig, head over HERE to score a free sample of Peet's Coffee K-Cups!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Disney On Ice: 100 Years Of Magic Ticket Giveaway

Join the celebration as more than 60 of Disney's unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic! You'll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and many Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you'll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!

CONSOL Energy Center, March 5th - 9th

We are offering a Ticket giveaway for a family 4-pack to the Friday night performance, March 7, 7:00pm. Must be 18 to enter, one entry per day. USFG will randomly choose winner on Tuesday, 2/25 at 5pm and announce via social media and email. Click HERE to enter today!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monster Jam Superheros & Sweethearts Valentine's Party

At the last minute today I found out about an event called Monster Jam Superheros & Sweethearts Valentine's Party. I didn't really know what it was all about, but it was free and we didn't have anything else to do, so we headed downtown for the evening! And I'm glad we did! This event was AWESOME! The best part about it, for every person who attended, Monster Jam teamed up with Tickets For Kids to donate 1 ticket for an underprivileged child. Their goal was to raise 1000 tickets....I'd be willing to bet they came pretty close to that!

The main feature of the event was the Pittsburgh premiere of Monster Jam's new truck, the Iron Man truck. We were able to go down to the floor to take pictures with the truck & driver, plus the kids got the driver's autograph.....which was really cool! Other activities included face painting, an airplane craft, masks, and balloon animals.

We had a blast tonight, check out some pictures I captured!

5 Perfect Shrimp Recipes

1. Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta - So flavorful, so spicy and so easy to put together, perfect for those busy weeknights!

2. Shrimp Avocado Salad

Shrimp Avocado Salad Recipe from

3. Baked Buffalo Shrimp

Baked Buffalo Shrimp | Oysters & Pearls

4. Shrimp Fried Rice

Welcome Home: ♥ Shrimp Fried Rice

5. Shrimp & Macaroni Casserole

Shrimp & Macaroni Casserole Recipe