Sunday, April 28, 2013

About Buying Quality Goods: Don't Go Into Debt Doing It! Plus Tips on How To Maintain Your Investment Purchases

You know quality counts.  Just about anyone will tell you that it's about quality not quantity in your investment purchases.  French fashionistas believe in buying quality goods versus cheap crap.  Cheap crap will cost you more in the long run because it needs more repairs, doesn't last and isn't timelessly classic.

Case in point: just a few weeks ago I blogged about basically paying $50 over the course of six years for a brand new, authentic Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote.  I sold it on ebay in March for a little less than the full retail price I paid for it in 2007.


But there's a caveat about this whole "buy quality" thing: don't buy something if you can't afford it!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

More Good News Happened This Week. Here's Proof.

Inspired by last week's outpouring of awesomeness, I have to share more of the wonderful things you experienced this week. 

From a marriage to weight loss to kicking cancer's ass, you had a great week.  


 my son is getting married this weekend Gina!! OY VEY! And I'm going to Vefas to watch and cover Mayweather/Guerrero fight!

(YAY, Elf!)


Justin Jordan I have a dream of becoming a police officer helping people but was to heavy. I had surgery and have lost 180!

Kristen
I learned this past week that my college is paid for completely and I don't have to pay a dime!

Terri Head 
haven't seen you since our Cowboys days. Next week, I get my chemo port removed. Woot Woot! 


I am taking a break from winning Xbox hockey to see a sonogram of my son with my pretty and smarter than me wife.

My week was a good one for the following reasons:
  • I had two questions answered by the great Guy Kawasaki during a chat for an online course I am taking. Very helpful!
  • I had a blast broadcasting the NFL draft with Bill Jones and Steve Dennis
  • I visited with friends on Thursday night and reconnected with a person from high school. 
  • THIS is my daughter: 
The girl is funny.
Like the good vibes?  Share yours in the comments section.  Email me at thatsportsgirl@gmail.com or tweet me to be included in future editions.  Let's make Good News Friday happen!
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Good News Happens. Here is Proof.

From the tragedy in Boston to the awful explosion in West, TX, it has been one story after another dominating the headlines, the conversation in the lines at Starbucks and more this week.

But in a week that wreaked havoc on our emotions, good things happened.  I asked you to share some good news and, friends, you didn't disappoint. 

Just read what an awesome week you had.  If the past few days taught us anything, it's that our time is precious.  Let's enjoy every minute of it.

Hope you smile at some of these wonderful photos, fabulous stories and brilliant musings from a four-year-old you shared with me on Twitter

I sure did.

Patrick Lopez:  heard our babys heart beat and sonogram picture for the first time today!

Becky Crist:  I'm gonna be a grand mother for the first time! Yea!

Linda Dietz: Helped a client basically pro bono. My heart needed that this week.

Bill Holcomb No picture, but my daughter, Michelle Blanton, is celebrating 2 years cancer free on Saturday!
Janice Carter I personally had a good week. My family and friends are safe and well, and I'm grateful!!

Shoes: father/daughter dance tomorrow!! Pow

Jay Davis:  My four-year-old told me yesterday that chickens dont wear socks

A number of you shared the video of a cat playing with the vacuum.  It will have you peeing-in-your-pants laughing.

Another great tweet I received from a friend showed a picture of her at the Rangers home opener playing hooky from work with a friend.  To protect the privacy of all parties involved, I'm keeping that pic to myself.

 
Maffew. BABY


Daniel Nash   baby girls making their first brownie



M. Hob Here's my girls having fun with their theatrical makeup class at quad c....does this count? Have a great day!







And, finally, this gem from TankPuncher:
We won 7 games in a row on NHL 13 on Xbox. Sorry that's about the best news I have for ya.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What To Do In Chicago

The Cubs.  The Rangers.  Wrigley Field.

Just typing those words makes me feel better.  In the wake of Monday's events in Boston, a sense of ceremony and the opportunity to take the mind off enormous tragedy is comforting. 

The thought of travel, sports and American traditions does that for me.  I hope this can be just a brief respite for you, as well.

The Rangers begin Interleague play Tuesday against the Cubs in Chicago.  It's their first visit to Wrigley Field since 2002.   Texas returns to play the White Sox in August 23-25th.


Chicago is one of the best cities in America of which I haven't experienced enough.  I spent a weekend there during the famed Chicago Air and Water ShowWhat a sight to see planes flying over Lake Michigan with the beautiful downtown skyline as a backdrop.

Sofitel.com
My husband and I stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, located in the heart of the Gold Coast.  It was a great, stylish base for exploring the city on foot.  This French-owned chain always has deals on rooms.  Check its website, Travelzoo or any of your other favorite travel-related sites.

My friend, Bryan Dolgin, is a Chicago guy.  He was the White Sox radio pregame and postgame show host in 2005.  He later served the Rangers in the same capacity for three seasons.  He has some great tips if you're interested in visiting the Windy City this year for a baseball game or quick getaway.  I second his suggestion on Gibson's Steakhouse.  It's a classic.

Here are Bryan's suggestions:
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Food As Medicine? It's Definitely a Form of Prevention.

"Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food." -Hippocrates.



From acai to mangosteen you have probably seen superfood claims.  The LA Times had an interesting examination in the theory of food as medicine recently.
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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why Quality Counts: A Lesson From a Louis Vuitton Tote

"In this world, you get what you pay for."
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle 

"Cheap is cheap."
Inez's mother, "Midnight in Paris"

You get the idea.  I am a believer in investment purchases but I hate paying the full retail price for them.  Whether it be a better price on a Gucci bamboo shopper tote, Louboutins for less or Prada for pennies, I've blogged about my love of discounted designer goodies.  But after this weekend, I might just be changing my philosophy on certain items.

Hear me out:


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Friday, April 12, 2013

Inspired by the Rangers Road Trip to Seattle? Here are Great Places to Eat, Stay, Play and More!

It is one of the most beautiful, delectable and exciting U.S. cities you can visit.  If you have the chance to visit Seattle, do it.  It's a trip you will always recall fondly.  Plus, if you're a Gen-X Pearl Jam lover like me, it will help you re-live your early 90's grunge spirit.

View of Pike Place from Matt's in the Market

I have been there twice for Rangers baseball coverage, twice for Cowboys games, twice on my own for vacation and once as a pit stop en route to the beautiful San Juan Islands.

Driftwood on Orcas Island
If you're heading that way for a baseball or football game, stay downtown.  Both Safeco Field and Century Link Field are within walking distance of most downtown hotels.  You could easily take a cab if it's too far for you.  It shouldn't cost more than 10 bucks.

Here are some of my recommended spots and activities gathered over a decade of visits.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Where to Eat and Drink in San Antonio

Mavs/Spurs Circa 2010
I always seem to be in San Antonio for one reason or another: a Mavs/Spurs playoff series, Cowboys training camp or, most recently, Rangers spring training.  I have spent the better portion of a decade visiting the Alamo City at least once a year.

With Rangers third base coach Gary Pettis at the Alamodome
Eating well on the road is a sport, won at which I've won and lost.  While I was pregnant, covering the Mavs championship run (ah memories!) in 2011, I searched in vain for fresh, non-fried vegetables in downtown Oklahoma City.  I failed.  Trust me, this is a sport.

Fresh off a quick weekend in San Antonio, here are some can’t miss spots to try near downtown: 
  
The interior at Feast
Feast – a modern, eclectic tapas spot in the beautiful King Williams Historic District.  My photographer had lamb kebabs and corn fritters while I had mussels and brussel sprouts.  We enjoyed it on the uber-hip patio.  All of it was outstanding.  

Patio at Feast
It’s a good mix of families, the San Antonio gay fab crowd and husbands trotting out their second or third trophy wives.  Great food, great people watching, a definite must-try.

Patio at Mad Hatters
Mad Hatters Tea House & Cafe – a funky tea room in the King Williams Historic District.  A perfect breakfast or lunch spot.  I ate two meals a day here during Cowboys Camp 2011.  They do wonderful whole grain pancakes and omelets for breakfast and outstanding salads at lunch.  They also have a lovely hot and iced tea selection. This is a girlie spot that can satisfy a guys appetite with hearty sandwich offerings.  Bonus: free WiFi!

On The River Walk
I think eating on the River Walk can, at times, be a losing effort.  Most of the restaurants offer bad, overly seasoned food that have you regretting it the next day.  These, though, are some quality choices:


Wavy Gaudi iron entrance to Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas in the Hotel Contessa - hotel food in a gorgeous setting.  If you’re dying for a Catalan vibe without the trip to Spain, this is a good option.  You can find jamon serrano, paella and shellfish stew.  The décor is inspired by famed Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi.  Worth it if only for the trippy Gaudi vibe.


Exactly what you would expect at Biga on the Banks
Biga on the Banks - nothing too terribly innovative.  You will find typical spinach salads, cheese plates, steaks and fish.  It works because it doesn't suck.


Boudros
Boudros - a "Texas bistro on the Riverwalk" in a pretty setting.   A menu heavy on Gulf shellfish, quail, garlic mashed potatoes, all the stuff you would expect.  Again, a good choice because it doesn't suck. 


Starbucks - really.  I can't count the number of meals at the Riverwalk Starbucks I have eaten over the years.  Seriously, they have some healthy options: oatmeal, spinach/feta/egg white wrap, protein box, decent sandwiches, fruit and veggies boxes.  Gotta love free WiFi. 

Lagniappe
The Quarry Market is a solid retail and restaurant space north six miles of downtown that features a Whole Foods, My Fit Foods, Canyon Cafe, Piatti Italian Restaurant and much more. 

Mi Tierra Restaurant and Bakery is the popular, open-all-hours Mexican spot.  The food is fine.  The real reason to go: you never know who you will run into there at 2am.  


Menger Bar
Menger Bar
For cocktails, one of my favorite spots is the Menger Bar in the Menger Hotel.  It's "an exact replica of London’s House of Lord’s Pub. "  Teddy Roosevelt recruited his Rough Riders here.  It's a fabulous bar, full of history and interesting characters. 

The Vbar
The Vbar in the Hotel Valencia is very hip.  It's the equivalent of the Menger hotel's hot, younger daughter who just got a boob job.  It has won a couple of "Best of...." awards.

Bar Rojo the new-ish Grand Hyatt isn't bad.  

SWIG Martini Bar on the Riverwalk was a favorite spot for postgame cocktails following a Mavs/Spurs playoff game.  A tad cheesy but popular and filled with tacky tourists like yours truly. 

Hitting the Bayou City?  Check out my recent must-hit list for places to visit in Houston
Interested in Austin?  We just had a fabulous visit to the state capitol
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Delicious Baked Apple Dessert in a Snap

Actually, it's faster than a snap.  This apple dessert recipe took about seven minutes from conception to completion.

After the delicious (really!) kale, lentil and sweet potato soup I made for the main course, I wanted something sweet but not a sugar overload.


We had a bunch of apples in the house, so I pulled this recipe out of my you-know-where.  It turned out to be a winner.
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Gina's Delicious Kale, Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

Will she like it? 
While looking for easy ways to use some vegetables I had on hand, I found a recipe for kale, lentil and sweet potato soup on the blog Eat Live Run.  While her version is great, I have formulated my own adaptation that I think is fabulous.

Gina's Kale, Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 10 diced baby carrots, peeled and small diced
  • 3/4 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic (garlic powder is fine in a pinch)
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, torn
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small 1/4-1/2″ cubes 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 
  • Mrs. Bragg's Organic Sprinkle Seasoning to taste 
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Directions:
Heat the oil in a saute pan.  Once hot add the onion, celery, carrot and sweet potato and cook until softened.  Add the garlic and kale and continue cooking until kale wilts.

Transfer vegetables to a soup pot.  Add the lentils, seasoning and stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid.

I served this with a warmed baguette and bit of brie.  The sweet potatoes and lentils provide a hint of sweet, the kale provides texture and the red peppers add some heat.  This soup didn't need any salt or pepper.  It's a substantial dish.

But does the kid like it?  That's the million dollar question.

Call her Mikey....she likes it! 
She dug it!  She would pull a piece of onion or kale out of her mouth if it was too large.  Otherwise, she loved it, particularly the lentils and sweet potatoes.

This recipe took about 45 minutes to make, start to finish taking into account my remedial knife skills.  It freezes beautifully.



 
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Monday, April 1, 2013

So You Want to Work in Sports? Here’s a Day in the Life of Your Dream Job

I am asked some form of the following questions almost every day:

“What’s it like being a sports anchor and reporter? “  Fun but hard.

“How did you get into this business? “  Read this.

“Have you always wanted to do this? “ Yes.  This and more.

But more and more, the individuals who want to enter the sports media world think we spend our days cheering at games, chugging champagne with owners and chest bumping athletes.  Not quite.

THIS happened!
Take Easter Sunday 2013, for example.  Photographer Bill Ellis and I left San Antonio at 10:30am, where the Rangers had just wrapped up their spring training schedule with a two-game series against the Padres.  Our final destination?  Houston for the season opener between the Rangers and Astros on Sunday night.


Bill Ellis & I heading to Minute Maid Park

Here’s a typical "day in the life" that includes everything from stale hot dogs to a drunken Astros fan bum rushing our live shot:
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