Top Ten Foods for a Rainy Day

Just imagine it’s a cold, rainy day and you’re hungry. You’re not sure what you’ll eat. You could go out somewhere to get a snack or a meal, you could order a pizza, or you could have one of these delicious ten foods. These are ten great dishes that I’ve really enjoyed having on a day where the sky is kind of gloomy, it’s raining, and the weather is a bit chilly. Here are my top ten foods for a rainy day.

10. Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk

Chocolate chip cookies are pretty good for any occasion. They taste best on a cold, rainy night and they keep you happy and cozy.

9. Lasagna

Lasagna is good for a cold, rainy day for two reasons. It tastes good and it’s warm.

8. Fettuccine Alfredo

With a delightful, creamy white sauce and long, buttery fettuccine, this tasty dish makes the list at #8. I’ve been enjoying fettuccine alfredo for a very long time. Its flavor, warmth, and deliciousness make it just right for a rainy night.

7. Warm Bread with Milk or Hot Tea

After a long, cold, and wet day, homemade bread whether it’s zucchini, banana, or apple, tastes amazing. Add some cold milk or comforting hot tea and you’re set!

6. Green Bean Casserole

With a combination of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French onions, this is a great dish for a rainy day.

5. Clam Chowder

At #5, this seafood soup is sure to brighten up the gloomy weather. Clam chowder is excellent for a rainy day because of its texture, taste, and savoring smell.

4. Homemade Chili

At some point in your life, if not already, you’ve enjoyed chili on a freezing, winter day, or a wet, rainy day. Homemade chili is perfect for a rainy day. My dad makes amazing homemade chili on cold, rainy days and it includes some things like: pinto beans, fresh tomatoes, green Chile peppers, shredded cheese, and meat.

3. Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce and Garlic Bread

Spaghetti with tomato sauce seems like a pretty classic meal choice. On a day where the weather is gloomy, it is perfect and especially if you add garlic bread. My mom makes a really good tomato sauce for the spaghetti which includes meat, basil, garlic, tomato sauce, and tomatoes from our garden. Yum!

2. Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

On a cold, rainy day, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches tastes great! Creamy, hot tomato soup and warm gooey, cheesy grilled cheese sandwiches hit the spot.

1. Zuppa Toscana

Coming in a #1, this soup is so delicious. Zuppa Toscana is a soup from Olive Garden and the recipe can be found online. It has a wonderful mix of spices, herbs, meat, and potato. It brings a warm, good aroma to your home and it’s perfect for a rainy day!

There are so many other delicious meals and snacks that you could enjoy on a cold, rainy day. See what else is out there!

Top Ten Foods for a Rainy Day

Setters Have to Have Many Abilities and Qualities

Setters are the coaches on the floor. They lead the team and they touch every second ball on their side. Someone with a position that important has to be a person and player with many abilities and qualities. Here are a few of the abilities and qualities setters should have.

  • Servant Leadership: Setters have to lead the team by serving them. They are not selfish, but selfless. Everything they do is for the team and not just themselves.
  • Work Ethic: Setters have to be the hardest workers on their team. Getting every second ball requires a lot of work so they have to be willing to work hard.
  • Deception: As a setter, the job is to set up your hitters with a chance to score and win. By being deceptive, a setter can hold the block and create holes in the defense. This creates a better chance for the hitters to score.
  • Creativity: Setters have to be creative with their sets and all that they do so that the defense is always on their toes, guessing where the next set will go. Setters have to have different moves to get to different balls. Like a setter might do a spin move to get to a close, low ball and might use an outside foot stop move to get to a really low ball that might put them off-balance.
  • A Positive Attitude: As the team leader, a setter has to be encouraging and positive with fellow teammates. They have to have an optimistic attitude. This creates a lighter, happier mood on the court and it can keep the team strong and prevent players from getting down.
  • Communication/Vocal Leadership: Setters have to communicate with their teammates. They have to be able to tell their teammates what play they plan to run and what your opponents are doing with the block and such. This could be in a form of hand signals or actual words.
  • Confidence: Confidence is something a setter MUST have. At the higher levels of volleyball, have you ever seen a setter afraid to make a set or a setter who just isn’t proud of their skills? Of course not! Setters have to believe in their skills and know they are great players.

There are many things that make setters the great players. Setters have to be servant leaders, hard-working players, deceptive, creative, positive and encouraging, communicative, and confident. These abilities and qualities are some of the things that make setters stand out. Without these few things, what would a setter be?

Setters Have to Have Many Abilities and Qualities

In the Boot…

About a week ago, I finally went to a sports/foot specializing doctor for my foot. It had been hurting since last fall after I hurt it in dance class. Anyway, the doctor checked out my foot and took some x-rays. After all of the examining, he looked at the x-rays and found a thin fracture on one of my sesamoid bones. (The sesamoid bone is imbedded in the tendons under your big toe.) So the first step in healing the bone was to put my foot in the boot. Dun…dun…dun… Being the athletic, active person I am, it’s been painful and hard to have to sit on the sidelines. But, it has also been a wonderful learning experience. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far from being in a boot.

  • You see a whole new side of the activities/sports you participate in. I’m a dancer and I also play volleyball and tennis so I’ve watched a lot of sports over this past week so far. You learn to see the strategy from off the court and you can see how other players play and how they hit certain shots.
  • Appreciate being healthy. Be as active as possible when you aren’t sick or injured and take advantage of all of your energy and abilities. When you’re healthy there is so much you can do to improve your health and your game!
  • Follow the doctor’s orders. This one is something I already knew when I first had to start wearing my boot but this really emphasized this point. Following what the doctor says will make it more possible for the fracture to heal correctly and fully.
  • Be patient. I’m in this boot for a whole month (which feels like a decade) and I could possibly be out of sports for two-four months but I’ve learned that it’s going to take time and I’ll just have to wait. It’s better to be out for four months than forever.

This experience in the boot has been very different and challenging. It has also really taught me to appreciate being healthy and understand patience. Now I’ll have to wait for my full recovery and I’ll be back out on the courts soon! 🙂

In the Boot...

In the Boot...
My boot 🙂


Top Ten Songs

Today, music has become a very big part of society. We here in it the car, it plays in movies and ads, and we sing music in the shower. There are so many wonderful songs on the radio and in everyone’s minds. This list is based off of my own opinion. Here are the top ten songs:

10. “Roar” –Katy Perry

Katy Perry makes the list! This song was an instant hit. The words are very inspiring and motivating.

Top Ten Songs

9. “Wake Me Up” –Avicii

Avicii created a wonderful, innovative song in the alternative music category. “Wake Me Up” is a good song to dance to and will get people up on their feet.

Top Ten Songs

8. “Sky Full of Stars” –Coldplay

“Sky Full of Stars” is a very calm, smooth song. The music is great and Chris Martin’s voice adds to the depth and coolness of the song.

Top Ten Songs

7.” Empire” –Shakira

This new song is very fiery and upbeat. It really shows off Shakira’s amazing abilities as a singer.

Top Ten Songs

6. “Radioactive” –Imagine Dragons

With haunting instrumentals and good vocals, “Radioactive” makes the list at #6. The lyrics are different and this song is very unique.

Top Ten Songs

5. “Popular Song” –MIKA featuring Ariana Grande

MIKA and Ariana Grande make the middle of the list. This song is can relate to today’s pre-teens and teens pretty well. It is very bubbly and has a catchy tune to it.

Top Ten Songs

4. “Viva la Vida” –Coldplay

This older song by Coldplay also makes my top ten songs. With more of a religious and melancholy tone, I find this song to definitely be a favorite.

Top Ten Songs

3. “Unconditionally” –Katy Perry

Katy Perry makes the list again! Without a doubt, this is a beautiful love song. It has great rhythm and a fantastic beat. Katy Perry’s vocals make the song even more memorable every time it is heard.

Top Ten Songs

2. “Gambler” –FUN

“Gambler” is an older song by FUN. With a slower beat and smooth, quieter lyrics, I really enjoy this song and find it very relaxing to listen to.

Top Ten Songs

1. “Let it Go”–Idina Menzel

From the worldwide hit movie “Frozen”, this song makes the top of my top ten list. “Let it Go” is a very inspirational song and the instrumentals are astounding. This is one of those songs that sometimes can give a person chills.

Top Ten Songs

There are so many great songs out there today. Some other great songs that didn’t make the list are, “Brave” by Sara Bareilles, “Dancing Shoes” by Dev, “What Does the Fox Say?” by Ylvis, “Maps” by Maroon 5, “Believer” by American Authors, and “Pompeii” by Bastille.

Meeting Governor Hickenlooper

Wednesday, June 25th, I had the opportunity to go to a press conference set up by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade at Ravenbrick, which is a growing smart window company in Denver. The governor was present and announced six new grantees for the advanced industries program, for the state of Colorado. This included aWhere Inc., DH2i, MBio Diagnostics Inc., Prima-Temp, Inc., Ravenbrick LLC, and Reference Technologies, Inc.

After the six companies were presented their grants, Ravenbrick gave a demonstration of how their smart windows work and gave a tour of the factory. The windows are smart because they are created with two panes of glass with a piece of film in between the two. When the temperature gets higher, the windows darken, reducing heat and glare and when the temperature drops, the windows remain clear, letting in heat and light.

After the excitement with the conference and the tour, my sister and I had the chance go and meet Governor Hickenlooper. We talked to him and he was very intelligent, funny, and kind. He asked my sister and I if we were going to be entrepreneurs and we both responded with a yes. He also told a few cute stories about his son Teddy.

It was an exciting day to go to my first press conference, tour a high-tech manufacturer, and meet Governor Hickenlooper. Definitely a day to remember.

Meeting Governor Hickenlooper


Top Ten Kids’ TV Shows

There are many great children’s shows out there in the world. Not just from my childhood but seeing other shows as I’ve grown up, there are ten kids’ shows that I think really stand out above the rest. They are really fun and can be educational. The reviews are all based off of my own opinion. Here are the top ten kids’ TV shows:

10. “Caillou”

Caillou, a young boy, filled with questions about the world, and eager to learn more, reflects the toddlers and youth of today. This show is cute, but I think that it comes off as a little cheesy. This show teaches some great lessons for young children and has great colors and cute ideas.

9. “Hi-5”

Packed with entertaining and catchy songs and quick but fun stories, this is a great show for toddlers. Hi-5 does a great job of keeping the attention of all viewers and the stories are cute and easy to remember.

8. “Dragon Tales”

Dragon Tales is a very cute and fun show starring Emmy and Max, two young siblings. They have their dragon friends Cassie, Ord, Zak, Wheezie, and Quetzal. They go on many fun adventures and learn a lot about friendship. This show has an interesting plot and I watched it for a very long time as a child. I would recommend it.

7. “Word Girl”

Learning the meaning of words has never been easier with Word Girl. This show is a wonderful way for kids to learn the definitions of words. Word Girl introduces the word, defines them, and then uses the word. Filled with fun episodes, the young superhero, Word Girl, really does come to the rescue for educational TV shows dealing with  vocabulary.

6. “The Magic School Bus”

This show is a great scientific educational kids’ show. Ms. Frizzle leads her students on crazy adventures to learn more about things like friction, the digestive system, the solar system, the water cycle, and so much more!

5. “Arthur”

Arthur and his friends make the middle of my top ten. All of the episodes have great lessons dealing with friendship problems or just problems in life. The problems that Arthur and his friends deal with can be pretty realistic sometimes and that is a very good quality. However, the newer episodes haven’t been as good as the old one with a retouching of the animation, and I don’t like it as much. The newer episodes just don’t seem as good to me as the older episodes.


4. “Cyberchase”

Cyberchase is another great educational show for kids from kindergarten to 6th grade. It teaches math and sometimes weather concepts through fun, and sometimes dangerous adventures with great characters. This show helped me understand multiplication better and this is a great show to provide children with quick and easy tips for math.

3. “SpongeBob”

SpongeBob has been around for many years and is a classical kids’ show. It includes a great set of characters including youthful SpongeBob, his friend Patrick, Sandy the squirrel, and grumpy Squidward, and many silly and fun adventures. With all of SpongeBob and his silly adventures, your kids are sure to get a laugh.

2. “Phineas and Ferb”

“Phineas and Ferb” makes the list as #2. It has a lot of adventure, Candace who has to bust her brothers, a silly villain, crazy inventions and buildings, Perry the Platypus, good songs, and a large variety of entertaining episodes.

1. “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”

Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Applejack top the list. This show is amazing. It is really fun, filled with music, color, and great characters including monsters and villains. Unlike many shows that just have a growing plot in each individual episode, the plot is great and it builds wonderfully throughout the seasons. It’s a show for kids of all ages.

Top Ten Kids' TV Shows My Little Pony

Some shows that didn’t make the list but are still really good kids’ shows are, “Sid the Science Kid”, “The Backyardigans”, “Fairly Odd Parents”, “Clifford the Big Red Dog”, and “Jimmy Neutron”.

Setting Goals – Does it Help?

On the way to my past tennis tournament this Sunday, the topic of coaching tips came up. John Dunning, the volleyball coach at Stanford, has his girls from the team write at least three goals that they want to accomplish by the end of practice. They can be physical, tactical or strategic, mental, nutritional, leadership, and so forth. Both my sister and I found this very interesting and decided to give it a try for the tennis tournament.

I set three goals for myself:

  1. Smartly place my cross court shots. (tactical/strategic goal)
  2. Stay positive and use every point as a learning experience. (mental goal)
  3. Stay hydrated and save energy. (nutritional goal)

I played five matches throughout Saturday and Sunday and there were several things I noticed from setting the goals. I’ll give examples from a few of the matches I played.

Match 1

Goal 1: accomplished

Goal 2: sort of accomplished

Goal 3: accomplished

Conclusion: Goal 2 was partially accomplished but, I wasn’t always in the right mindset during the match. Sometimes I was very focused and positive about the task at hand and other times I was out of it and careful about hitting the ball. My other two goals were met though. From this match I realized that by not meeting all of my goals, I lost the match. I thought there could be a relationship between setting goals and the match results.

Match 3

Goal 1: accomplished

Goal 2: accomplished

Goal 3: accomplished

Conclusion: I accomplished all of my goals for this match. I was relaxed, played smart, and stayed hydrated. By having goals to accomplish, I feel that they helped me win the match.

Match 5

Goal 1: accomplished

Goal 2: accomplished

Goal 3: accomplished

Conclusion: Looking at the results from my third match, you would think, “Oh, she won that last match, right?” Wrong, actually. My last match was a very good one and I played hard; however, my unforced errors or “gimme points” cost me big time. Even though I did meet all of my goals, I did not win the match. This was in contrast with my idea that setting goals can help you win matches.  What it showed is that it is more important to focus on performance than outcome.

So, setting goals for you is a very good thing to do whether it’s tennis, volleyball, soccer, academics, or just life in general! It helps you think about what you can do to get better and keeps you from being so worried about the outcome. From my last match at the tournament, I wasn’t discouraged about the outcome at all. I was focused on the goals I had set for myself and I was pleased that I accomplished them. I felt like I had a successful tournament by setting goals and seeing accomplishments made throughout the weekend. Setting goals can make you more successful in all that you do.

Setting goals improves your serving and your game.
Setting goals improves your serving and your game.

Tennis Tips for Tournaments

This past weekend I participated in a satellite or challenger tennis tournament in Fort Collins, Colorado. There were several tennis tips that I learned from this tournament that I want to share with others.

  1. Stay focused throughout the points and match. You have to stay focused on what you want to accomplish and how you want to execute your shots otherwise your opponent can take advantage of you and win a few points and even a game or two.
  2. Hit the ball in and play smart. You could have the best forehands or the best backhand slice shots in the world but if you can’t hit the ball in or return it back to your opponent then you can’t compete and the match is pretty much lost. And if you only push it down the middle or beat the crud out of the ball every time you go up to the net, then your game won’t be at the level you might want it to be. If you have a selection of shots and place the ball according to how your opponent is playing or how you want to win the point, then you will be much better off.
  3. Stay active if there is a rain delay or a delay of any sort. This weekend, due to the rain we had a four hour rain delay. I found that it was better to stay patient and warm during the delay so that when I got to play, I was ready to go, and I wasn’t stiff on the court. Check the weather often too so you’ll know when you could possibly play next and you’ll be ready for your next match.
  4. Stay positive. It’s important to stay positive while you play so that you stay relaxed and play your best. If you get down on yourself you start to miss more shots, you get upset, your confidence goes down, and your playing level goes down, and then you just end up in this big hole that you dug yourself into. To prevent this, when you miss a ground stroke or a serve or a volley just think to yourself, “I’ll get it in this time,” or, “Here we go, next point.” These kinds of things go through my head and this past weekend, they helped me be successful mentally even if I lost a match.

Welcome to a Few of My Favorite Things!

Welcome to “A Few of My Favorite Things”! I will discuss a few of my favorite things on this blog. This includes tennis, volleyball, dance, photography, modeling, books, art, dogs, and so on. I will post blogs every Sunday, so check back every Sunday for a new blog!

I really look forward to sharing my life experiences, stories, tips, ideas, poems, and much more with you guys.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at my blog. I hope you find it helpful, inspiring, funny, and enjoyable to read. Enjoy!

Favorite Photos Lightning Project