Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm off to my hometown to spend Thanksgiving with my family, participate in an alumni soccer game, and eat lots of pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing. Love this time of year.

What are you doing this Thanksgiving?

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sporty Saturday Spotlight

sportyspotlight3This Saturday the sporty spotlight shines bright on wakeboarder and snowboarder, Lucille Rogoff. Check out Lucille’s interview below where she shares how she went from feeling scared to snowboard to making money doing it, her fave athletes, an action shot, and much, much more.

Name: Lucille Rogoff

Age: 40

Sport(s): Snowboard, Wakeboard, Wake skate, wake surf, and trying to learn to barefoot

Hometown: Monroe, NY

High School/College/Grad School: Monroe-Woodbury High/Ramapo College of NJ/ Univeristy of Phoenix

Sponsors: Freestyle Watch Co, SMX Optics, Fuel, SixSixOne, SockGuy, SnowGirls, Tooks Int’l, Kinesys, GoPro, Member of the Monster Army

What’s your fave sport?

I love all sports and would have a hard time choosing just one, but I make money snowboarding, and I compete as well, so its probably my most lucrative sport.

How many years have you been playing your fave sport?

Funny thing is I have actually only been doing all my sports for going on 4 years, this will be my 4th season snowboarding, and I am in my 4th season wake boarding,less for all the other water sports.

What was your fave sporty moment or memory?

It took me forever to want to learn to snowboard so my favorite memory is when I was finally able to ride all over the mountain with my friends.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing your sport?

Respect gets Respect, not that I didn’t know that before but to see how frequently in lessons it is stressed that.

List some awards or accolades you’ve received.

Ranked 2nd in Central Vermont and 7th nationally for Slalom and Giant Slalom.

Who’s your fave athlete, both male and female?

Hannah Teter/Dallas Friday are my favorite female athletes and Rusty Malinoski/Danny Kass are my favorite male athletes.

What’s the girliest thing you like to do? (Pretty Tough signature question)

I am tomboy at heart, but I love to put on a dress and look like a girl whenever possible, and nothing beats a good manicure/pedicure to go with that.

Thanks, Lucille!! Nice pics and I love the Yankees jersey. Best of luck with your career!

Do you or someone you know want to be spotlighted? Shoot an email to Keri Mikulski at kerimikulski(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy Saturday! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MTV's The Jersey Shore

Last night during The Hills, this commercial appeared on my television...

Seriously? Is this how America see us.. The Jersey Shore?

Okay, in my defense, I live near Cape May about ninety miles south of Seaside Park and my hair is no longer big. I mean, it used to be, but that was a really long time ago. Fist pumps? Again, a long time ago. And yes, I love malls. But, seriously who doesn't?

Can't wait to check out this new reality show. :)

What are you watching?

Happy Wednesday! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Sporty Spotlight

sportyspotlight3This Saturday the sporty spotlight shines bright on 2006 Queen of the Track, Cyndee Schwartz. Check out Cyndee’s sensational interview below where she shares how she stays balanced, her thoughts on winning, and much, much more.

Name: Cyndee Schwartz

Sport(s): Drag Racing

Age: 50 (yikes – how did THAT happen!)

Hometown: Colfax, CA


Strayer University alumni (BS Computer Info Systems - 2006 )

Currently attending Sierra College - Administration of Justice

Number: G759/7759 SST

What’s your fave sport? Drag Racing

How many years have you been playing your fave sport? 6 Years

What was your fave sporty moment or memory?

It seems like every year I get more memories to add into my fave list… so this is a tough question. One of my favorites was a race two years ago where my friends, Katherine, Nancy, and I decided to compete in a small trophy class race. There were about 30 cars in the class, and we three girls did our best to not have to race each other. One by one we took out the guys we raced, and in the quarter finals, we were still in. We each again took out the guys, and then met each other in the semi final round. Katherine and I ended up in the final round. She cut a better light, so I ended up taking runner-up that day. We shared so many laughs that it was really impossible to get stressed over the race – which is probably why we did so well. That was the most fun I have ever had during a race day.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned from playing your sport?

Winning is a combination of attitude, skill, and luck. All you can control is the attitude you have, and your prep for the race. If Bad Luck gets in the way of a win, don’t let it get you down. Just continue to do your best no matter what.

What lessons have you learned about work ethic from your sport?

Show up, prepared to work, and with a good attitude, no matter what else is going on in your life – and you will succeed.

What have you learned about teamwork?

The hardest thing is that it ISN’T all about you - it is about the team – and many times the spotlight will be on other team members. Love it and celebrate it when your teammates do well and you don’t. Be there for your teammates always, for the good and the bad. They are your family.

How do you balance school and sports?

I have a five way balance thing going – God, family, work, school, and drag racing. That is the order of priority that I have to keep them in. I tell you it can be tough! Drag racing is part of my life and who I am, but without the other parts - drag racing can’t exist.

List some awards or accolades you’ve received.

My absolute favorite accolade was King (ahem… Queen) of the Track in 2006 during an all-truck race. I was unbeatable that day!

Final Round Wins: 5

Final Rounds: 9

Semi-Finalist: 1

Who’s your fave athlete, both male and female?

For male – John Force. He’s an NHRA pro driver that’s had some pretty tough spots over the past few years. He cares about everyone on his team (even the one’s that AREN’T related), he has a winning attitude, and he is just an inspiration to watch.

For female – Peggy Llewellyn. Another NHRA pro in the Pro Stock Motorcycles class. She is a treasure. She has a great personality on and off track, and tough competitive spirit. I have never seen her lose her cool – no matter what the circumstances. She is a great role model.

What’s the girliest thing you like to do? (Pretty Tough signature question)

I get together with my daughter-in-law, and some friends, and we either scrapbook, or make some crafty creations with stamps. To me that is WAY girlie… especially after being in the garage tearing an engine down the day before.

Thanks, Cyndee! Great advice on winning and the importance of balance and best of luck with your Drag Racing career.

Do you or someone you know want to be spotlighted? Send an email to Keri Mikulski at kerimikulski(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sporty Saturday Spotlight


This Saturday the sporty spotlight shines bright on twenty-two-year old Fabienne Lanz. Fabienne hails from South Africa and is a history making Motorsport Racer. Check out Fabienne’s interview below where she shares a must read tip for athletes, how she handles competing in a male-dominated sport, her strong faith, and much much more. And don’t miss some great Fabienne pics.

Name: Fabienne Lanz09 C.T. National picture taken by Steve Wicks

Age: 22

Sport(s): Motorsport - Karting

Hometown: Kyalami, South Africa

Number: 96

Position for 2009: 3rd in the South African National Vortex Super Rok category.

What was your fave sporty moment or memory?

I am blessed and grateful to say that I have a few very fave moments in Motorsport. I think the most fave moment would be the one in 2007 at the Vortex Super Rok Grand Final in Lonato, Italy, because I as an athlete performed my best and the team was top notch, from the engine engineer to the chassis engineer and the support was phenomenal. I had to learn the track really fast, as I never even laid eyes on that track before. I adapted to the grip level quite quickly as well, which I am very grateful for as many people struggled with it. I had a lot of confidence, I was solid as a rock, and no one could intimidate me. Everything came together in the end, we finished 5th in the world and we made history as I became the first female to finish on the podium. I was over the moon! I thank god for everything as his hand was over me.

List some of your best achievements to date:

2003 – Raced in 3 of the Florida, USA Rotax Max Junior Championship, won 2 rounds and finished 2nd in the third. Finished 4th in the South African Rotax Max Junior Championship.

2004 - Finished Runner Up (2nd) in the South African Rotax Max Challenge Championship, won the Rotax Max Challenge NRKC Championship in a South African designed and built Kart (Apex) & qualified to participate at the Rotax Max RM1 International Final at Lanzarote, Spain in 2005.

2005 - Made history and became the first female to make it through to the Final day out of 89 competitors of which only the top 34 qualify to the final round.

2007 - Finished 4th in the Final at Round 1 of the Rotax Euro DD2 Challenge in Salbris, France. Finished 8th in the South African Vortex Super Rok Championship, qualified for the Vortex Super Rok International Final in Lonato, Italy. Made history again as I became the first female to finish on the podium as I finished 5th out of 50 top class karters in the world. I got my National Colours for our outstanding performance.

2008 - Finished Runner Up (2) in the South African Vortex Super Rok Championship, won the Vortex Super Rok NRKC Championship and qualified to participate at the Vortex Super Rok International Final in Lonato, Italy. Finished 13th overall out of 66 competitors.

09 VKC National -  start of the race Fabienne in front (96), Tasmin Pepper(31) and Ian Young(18) just behind her picture taken by Steve Wicks

In a male dominated sport, how do you handle it and how do they handle it getting beaten by a girl?

I used to get pushed around when I first started racing until I was told to overtake left, right over or even underneath. The point was to get passed and not to take any nonsense from the anyone. Today other competitors know, if they push me, I push them back. They must not mess with me. Some boys/men can’t take it to get beaten by a girl, but some look at me as another competitor, which is cool.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from racing?

There are so many, which makes this sport a real life changing experience! I think the biggest one would be dedication. The preparation that goes into the engine and chassis before the race is so important as this is the starting ground to the weekend’s race. A lot of long hours are spent on getting this right. I try to train at least 4 days a week, mostly on core muscles. Studying of the Kart’s handling and engine performance never stops as every corner needs to be analyzed to get the best combination for a specific track.

What have you learned about teamwork?

Team work is what completes the racing driver I think. I think the most important people behind the driver are the Kart and Engine Engineer. The driver needs to work with the Kart and engine engineer in order to get the kart on pace. The people who help put the tent up and clean the kart and change tyres are also important as they make mine and my engineer’s work load a bit less and thus we can concentrate on out jobs. Team work is essential with the team mate as we follow each other to study who is quicker at what position on the track and we discuss the different set up we each have. The media person is one of the most important to work with as she/he markets me.

What drives you to compete?

I love the speed, the complexity of the set up, engine tuning and race strategy. I love competition and the more there is the more that is game on for me. Sometimes the butterflies get almost unbearable before some of the races as I get so exited to give it my all and try and win, but I would not change it for anything. It is living life to the full for me. To be able to stand on the podium at the end is the cherry on the cake.
2007 MSA Awards - Fabienne receiving her National Colours pic 2

What do you aspire to become?

My dream is to race a Formula 1 car. I love the speed; the technical complexity of setting up the car to the race strategy to doing what I do best and that is driving the car to its maximum potential and winning! It is the pinnacle of racing for me.

What tip would you like to give people out there?

Once you have found something that turns your tummy upside down, gives you the thrill of your life and you can’t stop thinking about it, hold on to it. Do not give up on your dream. There is a will, there is a way! God will have his hand over you. Trust and have faith in him. And remember, practice makes perfect. :)

Who’s your fave athlete, both male and female?

My favourite male athletes are Michael Schumacher and Lance Armstrong. My favourite female athletes are Danica Patrick, Venus and Serena Williams.

What’s the girliest thing you like to do? (Pretty Tough signature question)

I think the girliest thing I like to do would be getting all dressed up in a evening dress for an award dinner, looking glamorous.

Thanks, Fabienne for the fabulous and in-depth interview. I absolutely love your tip! So true. :)

If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed for a Sporty Saturday Spotlight, email Keri Mikulski at kerimikulski(at)gmail(dot)com.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Book Review Club: The Naughty List

Happy November! I hope everyone is enjoying gorgeous cool autumn weather and gearing up for the holiday season.

The first Wednesday of the month means another edition of The Book Review Club hosted by Barrie Summy, author of the I So Don't Do Mysteries series. Today, I'm featuring the sensational Suzanne Young, author of the THE NAUGHTY LIST (YA, 14 and up) series.


Here’s the back cover of THE NAUGHTY LIST (courtesy of Amazon):

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

Suzanne Young’s debut, THE NAUGHTY LIST is amazing. Packed with high school scandal, page turning suspense, romance, and girl power, THE NAUGHTY LIST is sure to be a smash with teens and/or anyone who loves the YA genre. Young’s main character, Tessa, is absolutely adorable, extremely likable, and hilarious. I have no doubt THE NAUGHTY LIST will be climbing the best sellers lists this February, along with SOS’s popping up in high schools across the country.

Okay, I’ll stop bubbling all over this book. But, it’s seriously THAT good. Here’s the adorable Suzanne Young to fill you in on the rest.

suzanne young

1. I would have totally hired SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens) and saved myself a ton of heartbreak in high school. :) How did you come up with the idea for the SOS?

The original idea came from an unlikely place—Ninja Cheerleaders. And when the first line was, “My pom poms hit the wood floor with a double thwack,” I knew that I wasn’t going to write a serious book. First I considered them just handling high school “justice”, but I didn’t care enough. Stealing school supplies? Lame. But then I realized, what was the biggest deal when I was in high school??? Cheating boyfriend. Bam. SOS was born. lol

2. Tessa is adorable. I love her little sayings – Strawberry Smoothie, Oh Applesauce... Is she based on anyone you know?

Unfortunately not. I think I’d enjoy hanging out with Tessa though. She’d definitely cheer me up. And when I realized her perky perfectness, I thought to myself—no way she’d swear. And the more I wrote, the more silly her phrases became.

3. What is your writing schedule like? Do you write during the day, afternoon, or evening? Are you a panster or outliner?

My writing schedule totally varies. I’m an all or nothing type of person. I tend to write my books all at once or I sit and stare at the page. So usually when I write I have to take a couple of days near the end and go to a hotel for some isolation. I know. I’m weird. As far as outlining goes, I’m no good. I do write query letters before I start writing though to keep me on track.

4. When does THE NAUGHTY LIST drop? Can you tell us a little about the sequel – SO MANY BOYS?

The Naughty List will be released on February 4th, 2010 (yay!). The sequel SO MANY BOYS comes out June 4th, 2010 and follows the squad into their latest catastrophe. A copykitten.

5. If you could have dinner with any five people (dead or alive) who would you pick?

Oh, wow. Tough question. First, I’d love to see my grandmother again. She passed away a few years ago and I still miss her tremendously. Who could join us?? Hm… How about Zach Braff, James Dean, Kurt Cobain and maybe Meg Cabot.

Thanks, Suzanne!!

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the club here.

Happy Wednesday!

Disclosure: Suzanne’s book arrived on my doorstep courtesy of Razorbill and my amazing editor. I often receive ARCs and/or books for reviews (most of the time due to my Chick Lit column for South Jersey Mom magazine and sometimes because I’m an author and other times because I beg). However, I do not blog about every book I receive, only the ones I absolutely adore or feel the need to recommend to fans of sporty lit.