Gold medal in sports crafting

We are moving on to round two in the recycle old sports trophies and medals and such project. So as not to set the bar too high, we are tackling another easy one, upcycling (trendy word for taking old junk and making it into new junk) medals into magnets to use on the fridge or any other metal surface. This is so stinking easy! If this were a Learn to Skate program, it would be appropriate for the third group–the kids that can barely stand up and try to suck their thumbs through the helmet cage.

medalsIMG_6883Supplies:  Medals (obviously), a pack of magnet buttons, a pair of pliers (needle nose are best) and some glue that will bond plastic and metal.


Step 1: Gather up the old medals you’ve got looped around drawer knobs and hanging from the bedpost. We’re going to remove the medals from the fastener with the pliers.

Just grab the loop part with the pliers and bend it gently to create a space to slip it off.

Step 2: Open the packet of magnets. (See, told you this was easy.)

Step 3: Figure out how many magnets you will need per medal. Some of the bigger medals, or the really heavy ones, will need more than one magnet.

Step 4: Read the directions on the glue. Apply some glue to the back of the magnet, then place the magnet, glue side down, on the medal. It might recommend clamping the items together, in which case you can put a heavy book or a brick on them for a few hours.

Step 5: Allow glue to dry.

Step 6: Pop one of those nifty new upcycled babies on your fridge and admire your handy work!


Lessons learned
The magnets I bought weren’t very strong and I had to use two or three on some medals. When I make more of these, I will use the neodymium magnets that expert crafters use. And, as I instructed you, read the directions on the glue BEFORE you use it. I used the Gorilla Glue White Glue, and did it all wrong. I put on too much glue, not realizing that it foams up, and made a bit of a mess the first time and actually adhered a medal to the counter. But hey, it’s on the back where you can’t see it, so no harm, no foul in my crafting book.

Also, a shout out to Laura Lorraine for the completely awesome “Live to Goal” bottle cap you see hanging on the fridge. She will custom make those with your team name or player numbers.

I’m contemplating something more advanced for the next project but in the meantime, I’d like to show off your crafts so send me a photo of how your project turned out.

A gift from the Trophy Mom and YOU at the Center

holidayFor the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in an incredibly reflective and transformational course. I want to share this opportunity with you, so you can make space in your life for the things that matter the most to YOU! Please enjoy this gift for the new year.

If you have questions about the 100-Day Course, view to the Course Description page or to the Frequently Asked Questions page to find out more. If you still have questions, you can contact Rachel at:  Rachel is an extremely insightful and perceptive coach. If you are unsure if this course is right for you, she can talk with you about why that may or may not be the case.
What a great way to start the New Year off right – the 100 Day Course.
* use code MyTribe at registration
**this Gift Certificate is good until January 6thor until the Course is full.

I have been able to take this course at no cost and have agreed to blog about it. As always, my opinions are my own, and you can see more on my policy about reviews here. That being said, I highly recommend you take advantage of this offer. So get on it! And happy holidays!

Win first place in the trophy re-use category

A selection of trophiesWe live in very real danger of being impaled by a sports trophy. Hockey, baseball, softball and soccer trophies hang out in the house alongside important things like the TV remote and the Waterford pitcher we got as a wedding gift (surprisingly still in one piece). After nixing the idea of adding a trophy wing to the house, we instead moved to cull the herd of gold figurines and got rid of anything that wasn’t a first place finish or individual award. Yet still they lurk in small gangs–on bookshelves, dressers, from closets, the mudroom, the living room–staring expressionlessly, stuck in an unnatural frozen pose, feet moored to a base of plastic.

It kind of creeps me out.

As I have mentioned in the past, I am not the crafty domestic sort. But I am a believer in making something out of nothing and not being wasteful. So after consultation with the winners of these trophies, we are moving to dismantle the collection and put the trophies, or at least parts of them, to good use. Some time spent surfing Pinterest yielded a few doable ideas, and since you probably have a treasure trove of trophies and medals at your house, I’ll post the results of my efforts– successes and failures.

This week, I broke out the craft supplies and got to work on Project #1. We are going to make decorative wine stoppers from trophies. Project #1 involves wine, looks super easy, no sewing involved and I get to use the cordless drill. Seemed like high potential for success and I needed a confidence boost, so that’s why we picked this for the first project. Read the rest of this entry »

Leftover FSA funds? Buy an AED

We are pretty fortunate at our house. For starters, we have health care. Second, our employers give us the option of a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) for medical expenses. And third, emergency room visits and trips to the orthopedist were way down this year. A record low — only 8 total — stitches, no broken bones, separated shoulders or sprained MCLs. Yep, it was a pretty good year.

So the good news is a healthy family. The bad news is we have a lot of money left in our FSA this year. And with the restrictions on how that money can be spent, it means we either stock up on heating pads, sunblock and contact solution or we lose that money. Well, even a mom on a mission to wipe out melanoma can only go through so much sunblock. And losing our hard-earned money isn’t an attractive option either. So we came up with another solution.

PhilipsAEDIt wasn’t my idea. The account rep at our FSA provider suggested to my husband that we shop one of those FSA-approved websites, and mentioned that “you could even buy an AED.” Hmmm. What would we do with an AED?

Each year in the United States, 350,000 Americans die suddenly and unexpectedly due to cardiac arrhythmias. Almost 4,000 of them are people under age 35, according to the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes website. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that bystander use of an AED before EMS arrival increases the odds of survival by 80%. I’ll take those odds.

And from the American Red Cross website:

The American Red Cross supports the position that improved training and access to AEDs could save 50,000 lives each year. The Red Cross believes that all Americans should be within four minutes of an AED and someone trained to use it.

So we bought an AED. While part of me thinks it would be cool, it seemed kind of selfish to add it to the Mom Bag and drive around with it in my car. And that’s why we donated it to our high schools, where it’s accessible to over 6,000 people.

We have a secondary school campus that ranges over 305 acres. Three high schools, each with baseball, softball, soccer, football, track, tennis and lacrosse facilities, are spread out over those 305 acres. You aren’t within four minutes of a bathroom in some locations, let alone an AED. Our schools don’t have the money to install an AED every 500 yards. I bet yours don’t, either.

When I contacted the school to see if they were interested in an AED donation, they were thrilled. And when we took it over, we met Barb, who had lost her son due to a sudden heart arrythmia.

Here’s part of the thank you letter we got from Barb.
“I can’t express enough how kind and generous it is of you to donate an AED for the . . . district.  Since our son Mike passed away in March of 1998 from a sudden death heart arrythmia, our family has been involved with the SADS (Sudden Arrythmia Death Support) organization; learning and reaching out to other families who have experienced such a loss . . . . From our family as well as my entire school family, we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.”
See? Much better than driving around with it in my car.
There are three weeks left in the year. Have you checked the balance in your FSA? An AED might be out of your price range but maybe a business will match your donation. And a decent first aid kit starts at around $30. Do you really need all that sunblock?

Putting YOU at the center

Regular readers will note that they haven’t had much Trophy Mom to read lately.  Sadly, the blog has dropped toward the bottom of the batting order, somewhere between making graduation party decorations and cleaning out the linen closet.

But I’m hoping that will change by the time I complete Day 100 of You @ the Center, a coaching program with Rachel Davis, Ph.D.  The opportunity to take this course came to me through Enlist Moms. I applied, mostly out of desperation, with no real hope of 1) being selected or 2) being able to fit it in to my ridiculous schedule. To my surprise, I was selected, and even though the timing was not so great, I decided that I couldn’t let an opportunity like this pass by. I enrolled, and have just completed week one. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Essential items to pre-pack for sports travel

IMG_1606If your kids play travel sports, that means you are, duh, traveling a lot.  Possibly every weekend during the season, and a slew of other times in between. How many times have you unpacked the suitcase late at night in some godforsaken hotel after driving several hours only to find that you (or your precious future draft pick) have forgotten some fairly essential grooming or hygiene product?

Plenty, I bet.

Read the rest of this entry »

The good, the bad and the stupid: A weekend of youth hockey

team photoA few weekends ago, I willingly monitored 29 Squirt hockey games. It involved about 40 hours of watching other people’s kids play hockey and eating rink food while inhaling Zamboni fumes, but it was mostly fun. In many ways it was a snapshot of everything that is right, and everything that is wrong, in youth sports.

What was right: Read the rest of this entry »