Great Week for Women in Sports

Since last Sunday, it’s been a great week for women in sports. There were a lot of firsts…….

U.S. WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM CELEBRATE

Last Sunday, the U.S. women’s soccer team won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.  FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association. It was the first time since 1999 that the U.S. team won. I followed the tournament with my dad. Actually, he watched more than I did, but I watched the final and a few games in the early and knock-out rounds. The knock-out rounds began when there were 16 teams left.  Sweet 16 in basketball terms. At the beginning of some of the early tournament games, I noticed some announcers and players from other countries talked about the American’s weaknesses and simple game plans. By the final game, all that talk about weakness and simple game plans went away.  Our team only let two teams score, Australia and Japan. We had really great play from Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo. Both of them won awards. Carli was named MVP and got the Gold Ball. She also won the Silver Boot for her scoring. She is the first woman player to score three goals in a final. Hope got the Golden Gloves Award for being the top goalie in the tournament. There were so many other players that made our team so dominate.  Jill Ellis was the head coach and it was her first world cup as a matter of fact, she’s the first female head coach to lead a U.S. team to win it all!

SERENA SLAM

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photo

Serena Williams won Wimbledon on July 11, 2015 and completed a “Serena Slam”. It means that she has won all four of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments in a row. The Grand Slam tournaments are the Austrialian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open. If she wins the U.S. open next month, she will have won all of the Grand Slam tennis tournamnsts in a calendar year. Only three other female tennis players have done that. If Serena wins the U.S. Open, she will tie Steffi Graf for the most single grand slam career titles (22) in the modern era. She is already the oldest woman at 33 to win a grand slam tournament.

EQUAL PAY TO PLAY

Tennis is Equal
Years ago Billie Jean King, Chris Everett, Martina Navratilova, and others pushed for equal tournament pay for women and men. Wimbledon was the last Grand Slam tournament to start paying women and men winning players equal. Serena earned 1.88 million pounds and the 2015 men’s winner will earn the same.

Soccer Has A Long Way To Go
FIFA, the world soccer governing body paid the 2015 Women’s World Cup participating teams a total of $15 million. The winning team got $2 million. FIFA paid the 2014 Men’s World Cup participating teams $576 million. The winning team got $35 million. The US Men’s team got $9 million and they didn’t even make the finals. That’s crazy!  We need some Billie Jean King’s, Chris Everett’s and Martina’s to push FIFA toward equal pay. There’s an investigation into FIFA for corruption. Maybe they need to investigate the low women’s pay too!

Happy Birthday USA!

Today is the United States of America’s  239th birthday. I read an interesting article from NBC News. Here are some interesting facts from the story.

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I Love the USA! I like the Fourth of July because I get to spend my time eating at our annual cookout and watching fireworks. I love to do special crafts or cook special deserts on holidays.  When i craft and cook, I do it better than Martha Stewart! Just kidding.

Today I made some firecracker cookies. I found the recipe on the Cookin’ Cowgirls blog. Stephanie Hann is the blogger and she now has a business selling hand made jewelry.  Talk about coincidence, Stephanie is from Stillwater, Oklahoma.  The same state as I! Please check out her blog here.

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Firecracker Cookies
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Ingredients

1 box french vanilla cake mix, 16.25 oz
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C red sprinkles
1/2 C blue sprinkles

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Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the sprinkles. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. The cookies will be very soft at first. Cool and enjoy!

Congratulations to the Principal!!!

Today has been a great day in the world of dance. Misty Copeland has been named principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater.

I was able to meet Misty at my dance studio last year. She is so cool! I remember her telling us about all of the hard work and challenges of being a soloist. When she came to our studio, she was the third African-American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theater. She also talked about her goal of being a principal dancer.  And now, she is the first African-American principal dancer in the 75 year history of the American Ballet Theater!  You can read about our meeting here. I also wrote about my dream to be like Misty one day here. Is it obvious I like her? Well I do. She’s one of my biggest inspirations. Ballet is the constant pursuit of perfection and Misty inspires me to strive to get better everyday….

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Here is one of the famous commercials she has done….

And yes, I still have her autographed books…Life in Motion Signautres

2015 Liebster Award

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Hi everybody,

I know, I know……………long time, no blog.  I’ve been pretty busy for a twelve year old.  Last month I only found the time to write two blogs, and I have a lot to tell you.  I promise I’ll do better.  May was a busy and exciting month for me.  In my next blog post, I’ll tell you about the end of the school year and my first end-of-year dance recital at my “new” studio (which I guess isn’t new anymore), and a bunch of other things.  But first, I want to tell you about the Liebster Award.  This award was created to help “Discover New Blogs.” The Liebster Award is a way to give lesser known bloggers a boost and to help them gain readership.  I was nominated by a nice lady who writes a really cool blog called “Life in the Front Seat.” I am supposed to answer the following questions and post them to my blog.

  1. How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what is it about?
    “What Ainsley Likes” is the name of my blog. Obviously, my name is Ainsley and my blog is dedicated to all of the things I like.  I use it as a way to express myself, to talk about the things I do on a regular basis, to talk about the things that I am thinking and what I care about, and to explore and discover interesting things in life.
  1. Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
    My blogging inspiration comes from all of the things in my life. I gather inspiration and ideas from school, dance, friends, family and everyday life.  I love clothes.  I love holidays.  I love to read.  And I really like reading the news on the Internet, so I try to discover something interesting about those things and post them to my blog.
  1. Can you give 11 random facts about yourself? 
    I love to dance.I love fashion.
    My mom calls me a clothes horse!
    I’m an awesome reader. I can read up to two books a week depending on what else I have going on.
    I love arts and crafts.
    I have a very close knit family.
    I have a dog named Ziggy.
    I started playing the clarinet this year. Still not sure if I like it yet.
    My favorite color is pink.
    I like to play Trivia Crack on my I-phone.
    I like to try new things at least once.
    I have a large doll collection, especially American Girl Dolls.
  1. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2014?
    I danced in a professional ballet production for the first time, The Nutcracker. I had a small part, but it was very exciting to dance with professional ballet dancers.
  1. What is it you love most about blogging?
    Blogging gives me a way to express myself. I love to write.  And what better way than to write about everyday things.  I also have started getting into cooking (simple things, of course).  I craft too.  My blog gives me a way to share what I like to do.  I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet other people and make new friends from blogging.
  1. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
    The first thing I would wish for is MORE WISHES!
    Then I would wish for world peace. I do not like to see people suffer.
    Of course, who wouldn’t want a million dollars? So, I’d wish for M – O – N – E – Y!!
  1. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
    I would like to visit France. According to Forbes Magazine, France has some of the most beautiful cities in the world.  They are also known for their awesome clothes, especially Paris.
  1. What are you currently watching or reading?
    I read a lot of books. There’s a library around the corner from my house so it’s very convenient for me to get books.  I’m currently reading Little Women.  I have two shows I like to watch…The Voice, which just ended, and Dance Moms, of course.
  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
    I love living in the United States. I hope to one day be able to live in New York City and be a famous ballerina like Misty Copeland.
  1. What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
    I go in my room or find a quiet place and read. Sometimes I like to take a long bath, but after about an hour, my brother always yells from the hallway, “Your spa day is over, Ainsley!  Get out of the bathroom!”
  1. Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?
    In 20 years, I hope to be in the middle of a dance career! When I am finished dancing, I will go to college and study dance performance and sports medicine or nutrition so that I can go back and help dancers with their health, including physical problems, injuries, and managing their bodies and their weight.

I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Award.  Thank you to Adrianne for nominating me for this award.  It is an honor that she likes my blog. You should check out her blog. “Life in the Front Seat.”

Enough about me… let’s talk about this Liebster Award.  The rest of this Liebster fun involves nominating other bloggers and their blogs.

I’d like to nominate
John Hansen, Julia Byers,  and Kira Budge at “Teens Can Write, Too
Chandelle at “seed & feather
Ava at “OMG! All the Cool Girls: Girls, Tween, Teen Fashion Blog

Here’s what you need to do if you accept the nomination.  You’ll need to answer the eleven questions listed below in an upcoming post.  Be sure to comment here and let me know that you’ve posted.  I’d love to read it!  In your post, please link back to me (linking to this post would probably be most helpful to trace the Liebster trail).

You’ll also need to nominate bloggers for the award in your post.  Your main criteria is that the blog needs to have less than 200 followers on your social media platform of choice and that you need to love that blog!  Just be sure that you notify them of their nominations and that they have the link to your post so they’ll know what this Liebster Award is all about.

Here are your questions:

  1. How did you decide on the title of your blog, and what is it about?
  2. Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
  3. Can you give 11 random facts about yourself?
  4. What was your biggest accomplishment of 2014?
  5. What is it you love most about blogging?
  6. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
  7. What is one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
  8. What are you currently watching or reading?
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  10. What is something you do when you need to take time for yourself?
  11. Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?

Memorial Day – Help Carry the Load

An American flag flaps in the wind.

I was watching the news with my mom last night and they had an interesting story on Memorial Day. Last year, I blogged about Memorial Day and talked about the history of the holiday and why it was created. I also talked about what it has become and how people celebrate it today. Originally created to honor veterans of the Armed Services who had died, Memorial Day has sort of become a holiday to honor any loved ones who have died. In our family, it is a tradition to visit the cemetery on Memorial Day and to put flowers on the graves of relatives we’ve lost.

There was an NBC news story about a veteran named Clint Bruce. He is a former Navy SEAL who has completed a ton of dangerous missions while he was in the military. He has also lost a large number of friends and fellow soldiers while in battle. Mr. Bruce believes that it is his duty to remind Americans of the real intention and meaning of Memorial Day, so he founded an organization called Carry the Load.

Carry the Load collects contributions that are distributed to the needy families of troops and first responders who have died in the line of duty.  Carry the Load also organized a charity event that I think is a pretty cool idea – a walk from West Point, NY (home of the United States Military Academy) all the way to Dallas, TX!  This year’s walk began on April 28th at the cemetery at West Point and ended May 24th (yesterday), the day before Memorial Day, in Dallas.  The total distance of the walk was 2,000 miles.  The walk is actually a relay, and works just like the march of the Olympic Torch every four years.  Most people walk just part of the long distance before passing the American flag off to another person who continues the relay.  The walk passes through several cities and towns between West Point and Dallas and serves as a reminder to people what the real meaning of Memorial Day is.

Today, my dad smoked pork spare ribs and country style ribs.  My mom made warm potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, and corn bread; and my dad said grace for our food before we ate.  And before we prayed, I reminded my dad to pray for the soldiers and their families who had died in service to our country.  It’s the very least we could do.

Happy Memorial Day!