Posted in Gaming

NFL Week 2 Picks and Plays

Well, Week 1 went mostly according to plan. I won with the Colts/Saints Under, Green Bay, and Arizona after the line jumped to +3.5. I lost on Denver, St. Louis, and the Jets, but I also went 6-0 in my lean plays, and got a push on the Dolphins game. Since I played Arizona for 4 units this past week, I’m up a little bit on the year. I have never got such a fantastic 먹튀 in my play before now! 

This week, I’m looking at some of these lines and I’m seeing a number of good plays. Lots of double digit underdogs, and that’s always been a favorite of mine, although I’m not sure that there are that many decent plays in those games.

Let’s start with picking San Francisco to cover and probably win against the Rams. St. Louis lost the captain of their O-line last week against Carolina and looked very winded the second half of the game. They’re not in great shape, and despite having what should be one of the premier offenses in the NFL, their first team offense has only had 13 points in game one and the entire preseason. San Fransisco’s offense might not be great, but their defense is much improved, shown by the incredible coverage they had on the Cardinals receivers this past week. They should be able to extend that coverage to this game and take a lot of St. Louis’s weapons out of the game. And, as we all know, anyone can score on St. Louis’s pathetic excuse for a defense. This one should be easy. I’ll take San Fransisco at +3.5 for three units.

The New York Giants played valiantly last week and managed to put some points on the board, but that game cost them a lot of players, including their starting running back and quarterback. Their Defense was shredded last week by the Cowboys, but the Packers didn’t score an offensive touchdown last week. The Green Bay defense is very strong, and I have difficulty imagining this game going over. I also like the Packers to pull it out. I’ll play one unit on the Packers at +1, and one unit on Under 37.5

I like the Arizona Cardinals again this week, despite a fairly poor showing in San Fransisco. They had no passing game against a solid 49ers defense, and Seattle’s Defense should prove to be pretty easy to exploit. For the first time in a long time, the Cardinals seem to have an offensive line that can protect the quarterback, and quite honestly, I was impressed by how well the defense played. Seattle does have some upside, but I think this matchup may be more difficult than they are preparing for, especially with a tough schedule of Cincinnati, San Fransisco, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and St.Louis coming up next. This could be a great letdown spot. Lets take the Cards at +3 for one unit, but bet late in the week in case the spread goes higher.

New Orleans and Dallas look a little too easy with their respective small spreads, so I’ll pass on those, suspecting a trap game. I like Pittsburgh, but 10 points is a lot, especially against a team that played pretty well last week. In this week’s feature matchup, I’ll take the Chargers with 4 points, but I’m not going to bet it. I might make a play on Atlanta getting 10.5 points, which would be more of a play against Jacksonville than for the Falcons. I would also consider a play on the Redskins if the spread goes higher than +7 in their favor.

Posted in Gaming

What Happened to the Tournament of Champions?

Over the past three years, the World Series of Poker brought back to the poker world the sanctified Tournament of Champions. As this year’s event has now closed, there hasn’t been an announcement of even if one will be held for 2007. After crowing about the “Tournament of Champions” photo room at Caesars Palace last year, where the pictures of the three champions were displayed, Harrah’s this year, almost in the dark, has mentioned nothing regarding a TOC for 2007. The question is, why (and it may be as simple as you are thinking)?

Back in 2004, the Tournament of Champions was started as a simple, nine player sit and go that featured some of the greatest names in the game. At stake was a $1 million winner take all prize provided by Harrah’s and the players were invited to attend, which raised some controversy as to how they were selected. Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu (who lobbied hard for a position at the table), T. J. Cloutier, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chip Reese and newly minted World Champion Greg Raymer all came to the felt and fell victim to the final three that included Howard Lederer, Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke. Many of us still remember the bad beat administered by Annie on her brother Howard and then the meticulous mental torture that she put “The Poker Brat” through. The former psychology PhD was able to completely twist Hellmuth’s mental state at the felt heads up and, in the end, Annie Duke captured the million dollar prize and was crowned the first champion of the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions.

In 2005, the rules were amended some to make it more of an actual poker tournament. This time around $2 million dollars was the prize and the final table would be able to partake in the largess. The field would also be larger as well; all the final table participants of the 2005 WSOP Championship Event would be entered as well as the individual winners of WSOP Circuit Events. The remainder of the field was filled out by a points system which resulted in the field being 116 players strong.

Controversy once again raised its head for this tournament as well. Pepsi, who sponsored the event and its prize pool, demanded that three players were added to the field. This was contrary to what had been stated per the qualifying guidelines that Harrah’s had set down but, to maintain the sponsorship, Harrah’s relented and three quarters of poker’s Mount Rushmore, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan, were added to the field. While Hellmuth was the only one to make the final table (finishing third), the tournament was more known for the phoenix-like ascension of Mike Matusow and his return to poker greatness after tremendous personal issues. Matusow was able to capture the title by defeating Hoyt Corkins and taking the $1 million first place prize, becoming the first man to win a million dollars in two different tournaments (he had also finished ninth at the 2005WSOP Championship Event for the other million dollar win).

2006 marked another change in the WSOP Tournament of Champions. There was the same $2 million prize pool and this time around–remembering the hubbub of the previous year–Harrah’s made it well known that they could add up to six players to the field. The final table from 2005 once again was admitted to the field as were the individual winners of the WSOP Circuit tournaments. Adding in the six “wild card” entries, the field totaled twenty seven players and was probably the best of the three TOC’s to this point.

Matusow was hell bent on repeating as the champion of the event and he did make it to the final three players, along with Daniel Negreanu (who had won a Circuit event) and Mike Sexton (a “wild card”). Over three hours of play, the triumvirate waged war before Matusow succumbed in third place. Negreanu and Sexton then went into a six hour heads up battle before Sexton was able to vanquish Negreanu. In winning the 2006 TOC, Sexton (who had created the original idea for a “tournament of champions” seven years previous) also showed the philanthropic nature of poker by donating half of his $1 million prize to several different charities.

As 2007, and this year’s World Series, has rolled along, there hasn’t been any mention of a Tournament of Champions for this year. What has become one of the more entertaining poker tournaments on ESPN is inexplicably not on the schedule and doesn’t look like it will be. This simple fact can be put down to one thing…a lack of a sponsor to put up the $2 million prize.

Pepsi was the sponsor of the last two TOC’s, after Harrah’s put on the first one with their funding. A highly placed source in the Harrah’s hierarchy has stated to this writer that the TOC is not being talked about because there isn’t a sponsor for it and, thus, no one to put up the prize pool. If this is the case, then it is a travesty that it isn’t being done.

Of course, its not that easy to find expensive sponsors for TOC after the not so great performance in the last few seasons but thankfully, Pepsi has indeed been a loyal friend in this regard as they are still relying on the tournament without looking for greener pastures and rightly so as this is no poker online where the cards determine your skills.

Harrah’s could easily put up the funding if a sponsor couldn’t be found to carry on what could potentially be a tremendous tradition for the game. ESPN has already demonstrated that a table filled with some of the biggest names in the game is palatable to the poker fans around the world and would probably snap it up in a heartbeat. And what better way to give something back to the players (in the form of a $2 million freeroll) and the fans but by continuing the TOC?

Invite the final tables from 2006 and 2007, the Circuit event winners from the past year and then throw in enough “wild cards” to balance it out to nine handed tables and the people will eat it up (especially if the entirety of the event is shown). Poker is steeped in tradition and history and for the WSOP Tournament of Champions to disappear would be one of the great disappointing developments in recent poker. There’s still time to change this and we have to hope that it will soon happen.

Posted in Entertainment Gaming

Kid Quest Arcade At The Mohegan Sun Casino In Uncasville, Connecticut

Most of the property at Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino is strictly for the Over 21 crowd, but when the parents are off gambling or having fun, there are a few options for the younger crowd. One of the most popular options is the Kid’s Quest arcade, located right in the Sky Casino section of Mohegan Sun.

Upon entering, you will walk through an impressive lighted gateway area that is curved and features glass over a lot of neon lights. This is just the beginning of the arcade experience, as many more lights and arcade noises fill the place.

The first thing you will see upon entering are a lot of kids using the ticket redemption machines. If you play the right machines, you will return there later with a lot of tickets to redeem.

Next to the ticket redemption machines are about six or seven puppets machines. Most of these machines feature name-brand characters like Looney Tunes, Simpsons, Family Guy, and Scooby Doo. The prices range from one to two tokens and it is up to you to use your crane skills to get the prize.

Before you waste all of your tokens on the Stewy Doll that you cannot seem to get a grasp on, head on over to the middle section of the arcade to try and win some tickets. There are many different ticket games, and tickets can be won in singles, dozens, and even hundreds from just one token.

One of the more popular ticket games is the Wheel of Fortune. It is based on the popular game show and even features sound and voices from the show. To play, you insert a token and place your hand over a big red button. A light will spin around the Wheel of Fortune wheel, going over many spots like 1 Ticket, 2 Tickets, 3 Tickets, and up to 8 Tickets. The spot that you want to land on the most is the Spin spot. When you land on this spot, the center wheel spins, giving you a chance to win from 25 to 500 tickets.

If you are not interested in winning tickets, then there are many games that are just purley for entertainment. There are about eight to ten driver’s seats ready to be filled in the Kid’s Quest arcade, from many different racing games like Fast and the Furious to Cruisn’ USA. All of these arcades are multi-player and offer single player options as well.

Another popular seated game there is the Jurassic Park game. Featuring joystick guns, it is up to you alone, or with a friend, to defeat the dinosaurs and escape Jurassic Park. You have to blast your through Raptors, T-Rex’s, and other animals in multiple levels. Other interactive rides there include the Star Wars Ride and a Wave Runner ride.

While the usual people who have kind of reached adolescence will prefer playing judi online over any of the above games, there are still many who have not lost the enthusiasm for bringing back childhood memories and trying their hand out on the joystick again as T-Rex and Jurassic Park are evergreen and have not lost their sheen even after so many years, especially for the 90s generation.

Tickets can be redeemed for many prizes, like something as small as a piece of candy, to something as big as a DVD Player. You can even save your ticket slips and bring them back the next time to save up.

There is a lot to offer at the Kid’s Quest Arcade, and while the parents are busy, your kids can remain busy as well, playing a ton of different arcade games.

Posted in Gaming

My Favorite Casinos On The Mississippi Gulf Coast

I am a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and was just getting out of high school when the first casinos opened down here. Since then, Katrina has relocated several of them and the economy put a couple more out of business, but our tourism industry still thrives due in large part to our wide variety of casino offerings. Rather than run down every single casino on the coast, I am going to mention several of my personal favorites and why I like going there. I was always skilled at playing suits roulette online and I never had a hard time trying my hand at it. 

My favorite casino in Biloxi is the Boomtown simply because I have had the best luck there. Of all the casinos on the coast, I have won more often while playing slot machines there than anywhere else. In case you are wondering, I like to play the Double Diamond or Triple Diamond machines. Boomtown also has one of the best buffets, plus they have an amazing steak restaurant. I also like that they have an open parking lot instead of a garage, so it’s easy and quick to get in and out of there. You can find out more about the Boomtown at www.BoomtownBiloxi.com.

If you are going to a casino strictly to eat, I think the buffet at the Island View in Gulfport is the best. Because it is close to my work, I eat there at least once or twice a month. They have the biggest shrimp I’ve seen on any casino buffet, plus they have a huge variety of dishes ranging from flank steak to pastas and even pizza. They also have a killer dessert area, andI always get some of the bread pudding. The Island View has open parking as well as a garage. You can find out more about the Island View at www.IslandViewCasino.com.

Another favorite of mine is the IP Casino in Biloxi. It’s right next door to the Boomtown and they have some of best promotions available, plus their entertainment schedule boasts an impressive number of musicians and comedians. The IP Casino has a decent buffet, but the real treat there is an Asian fusion place called Tien that features hibachi, sushi, and much more. It’s pricey, but very good. At one time, the IP also had a movie theater upstairs, but it went away a few years ago. Unfortunately, none of the casinos down here have any more family-friendly stuff to do besides eat. You can find out more about the IP at www.IPBiloxi.com.

The Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi is also a fun place to visit because it has a lot of things to do besides just gamble. They features a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for those folks who can afford to spend a couple hundred bucks on some steaks, plus there is a the Hard Rock Café and a few other restaurants to enjoy. Their casino buffet is pretty average, but it does feature steak. The Hard Rock also has several clubs and plenty of well known musical acts come to play there, so there are many reasons to visit. You can also take the time to walk around the inside and look at all the guitars and music memorabilia they have collected. You can find out more at www.HardRockBiloxi.com.

There are plenty more casinos along the Mississippi gulf coast, but the Boomtown, Island View, IP, and Hard Rock are my personal favorites. The Beau Rivage is also another good one for being much nicer inside than the others, but I have had such poor luck on their slot machines that I quit going back.

 

Posted in Entertainment Gaming

All about Excalibur Hotel and Casino in brief!

Las Vegas, Nevada otherwise known as home to the famous “Sin City” has many attractions and entertainment. A place that has been a tourist attraction for many many years, offers a variety of things to do for peopple of all ages and all walks of life. The Las Vegas Blvd, also known as the Las Vegas Strip is the most popular street in all of Las Vegas, Nevada. The Strip is also home to the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino is a great place that offers endless fun and entertainment. It is a great hotel and casion to plan as your vacation spot especially if you have children. Unlike any other hotel on the strip the Excalibur hotel offers something for the whole family. I have spent my summers at the Excalibur Hotel since I was a kid and now it is a place where I take my children.

Hotel Accomodations

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino is located at the top of the strip right next to the Luxor Hotel. The Excalibur Hotel is a large castle and its theme is mideval times. The Excalibur Hotel has two towers to accomidate its guest with 2,000 newly remodeld rooms that include 50″ plasma screen t.v’s and contemporary furnishings. Pricing for the Excalibur Hotel can range widely from $31 a night to $231 on special engagements and holildays.

Entertainment and Dining

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino offers a wide variety of entertainment and dining. There are 2 lounges at Excalibur that offer a cozy place to sit relax and enjoy a drink or get your dance on. Minstrel’s Lounge and Excalibur Lounge. One is located upstairs across from the round table buffet and the other just off the casino floor near tower I. Excalibur’s casino covers gaming at every end, from slot machines to table games to the sporting book all of your gambling needs will be met. There is a pool area, which has been renovated about 3 times since I was young. It now offers fire pits, a sun deck, 3 pools, a relaxation pool and poolside cabanas. One pool offers 2 beautiful waterfalls and 2 waterslides. The cabanas are available for adults 18 and over and for a rental rate. Cabanas offer plasma screen tv’s in them as well as refrigerator. Pool is open from 8am to 8pm. The excalibur also offers a state of the art fitness center as well as a day spa. The home to the strips largest arcade, the Excalibur Hotel and Casino has endless games for kids plus the famous spongebob bikini bottom magic motion rides; a simulated roller coaster in 3D.

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino has a large variety to choose from when it comes to dining, to choose according to the hospitality of https://dominoqiuqiu.co.id, which provides the similar experience of gambling with their slot machines. The village food court includes Mc Donalds, Pizza Hut, Quiznos Subs, Krispie Kreme, and a Cold Stone Creamery open 24 hours. Other places to dine at Excalibur include the Round Table Buffet, which has a vast variety of food from all cultures, the Manchu Wok a chinese bistro, Regal Risturante Itialiano, Sherwood Forest Cafe, Camelots steak house, and if your up for a raunchy good time Dick’s Last Resort.

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino offers a small avenue of shopping in a walk way leading out to the Luxor Hotel. Stores carrying all things from postcards and gifts to clothing and shoes. They also have a beautiful wedding chapel with reasonable wedding packages. There are two different chapels depending on the size of the wedding and Banquet rooms for receptions.

Weather it’s your first time out to Las Vegas, Nevada or you are a Vegas pro, I recommend the Excalibur Hotel and Casino totally give it 5 stars!

Posted in Gaming Guide

Seeing How Poker Resembles Life In Many Ways

I know poker is just a game and you can fold up the cards and go home any time you’re ready, but it is fascinating how this game resembles life and every day struggles we all seem to have. There are many ways which poker shares with real life. I know in the short term in both poker and life, luck plays a big factor. In the long term, however, luck is not a factor in either one and seems to somehow even out. You get an unbelievable bad run of luck just to have an unbelievable good run of luck come right around the corner. When you’re in the middle of a bad run, you swear there has never been anything like it before and you are in a state of disbelief. It seems like when you’re in the middle of a good run this is the way it should be and maybe somehow you deserve the luck that is coming your way. Maybe you’re smarter or just a little more deserving than your opponents.

In life, we seem to do the same thing. When things are going well, we somehow take it for granted that this is the norm and this is the way it is supposed to be. When the bad times come and they will, you just can’t believe it and feel maybe you’re being punished for some wrong doings. You feel like god has his thumb on you and won’t let you up. These bad runs finally go away and you’re blowing and going again, somehow forgetting how ugly the bad streak was. This cycle goes over and over.

It’s funny how the true personality of a person comes out in a poker game. If they are conservative and a little afraid of the future, they will most likely play cards like that. They probably won’t risk much on anything but the best of hands. They are what poker players call tight and they are very exploitable by the bluff. There is always a doubt in their minds that maybe their hands just isn’t quite good enough to win and good poker players can exploit this doubt. You run across this type of person every day.

The aggressive or maniac player is usually loud and needs to be the center of attention. They usually jump in a situation before really thinking it through. This is the way they play poker. They are very exploitable by letting them have the lead and simply allowing them to hang themselves. Patience and calmness need to be used when battling such an opponent. This is true in poker as well as life.

The most difficult player to play is the player who can change his or her game as the situation dictates. This type of player is usually quiet and observant of everything at the table. He gives his brain all the information possible to make the correct decision. He adjusts his play according to the situation. He knows the math and this gives him the confidence to make the correct decision even if he loses. These players are the most successful in poker and in life. They gather all the facts, make a thorough analysis of the information, arrive at a decision and implement the action this decision calls for, and finally disconnecting emotionally from the outcome.

People who can read the personality or psyche of another person and make a decision based on this read are always the best poker players. Many are just average card players, but this one ability makes them great. The same thing applys in life.

Posted in Gaming Guide

Texas Hold’Em Strategy: How To Play Pocket Jacks

Texas Hold’em is a game that is very basic in appearance. To the outsider, it seems fairly simple. Look at your two face cards, look at the cards dealt, and bet. The game is, however, much more complicated than that. It is a strategy and knowledge of the game that allows people to make a living playing. If it were simply a card game luck would be more of a factor.

We shall take a look at a hand and situation that may arise in your game. For example, say you are dealt with two jacks, or as they are called, the hooks. This is quite possibly the hardest hand to play correctly. For the sake of this article, you are currently seated on the button in a six-person game. The person first to act folds, the next one calls, then another fold and the action is to you. We will start with the first person to act, the caller. He could have a variety of hands all the way from a small pocket pair to a monster like KK that he wants to trap someone with. With the first option, a weak hand, you would want to raise here and force them to pay more to see the flop. If you raise here and any of the remaining players reraise you, then you have a tough decision to make. If you just call you will have very little information as to what your opponents have and will be letting them all see a cheaper flop. So you decide to raise.

Since all the players might not be available all the time, in such cases, you can paly Poker online. This way you get to improve your gameplay as you enjoy a round of pocket jacks with online players. You have the option to play for free and if you are a pro in the game then you can even earn some money with online tournaments and matches as well.

The small blindfold, the big blind calls and so does the initial caller. Now what? The flop comes 5 9 Q two hearts and a club. The big blind checks and the initial caller bets. The amounts of all the bets have been omitted to simplify this example. We will explore that in other examples. The action is now on you. Since you have two opponents and one has currently bet, your decision is crucial. You need to try and put your opponent on a hand before you proceed. As we said before he could have a variety of hands from a small pocket pair all the way to a monster he is slowplaying. Off the bat, we will rule out a monster hand because it is likely that he would have reraised you preflop to get more money into the pot once you showed strength. That is good and bad news. Here is why. Obviously it is good news because he probably does not have a hand like KK or AA and bad news because he may have flopped a set or if he is playing a medium-range hand like KQ and he has top pair with an excellent kicker. Either way, it is trouble. Calling a bet will only put more money into the pot and it is just delaying your decision. It is a clear raise or folds situation. So you decide to fold.

This is not a bad play. The big blindfolds and the bettor shows his hand. He is holding QJ which is in the range we decided and has you dominated. Not only does he have an overpair he also has one of your outs and you would be drawing nearly dead. This was an example of how playing jacks can be a very difficult task. Perhaps the only way to avoid this is to raise more preflop. That way if someone plays back at you then you can make a crucial decision earlier.

It is decisions like these that make Texas Hold’em one of the most complex and exciting games to play. It is not at all cut and dry and no two situations are the same. There is a lot to take into account when playing each hand. Hopefully, this example was able to give you an opportunity to look at a hand from a different perspective.

Posted in Guide

Throw A Curious George Birthday Party

Boys and girls from age 1-6 love that silly, colorful, and ever so inquisitive Curious George. For this reason, Curious George birthday parties are a big hit year after year. Creating a Curious George birthday party is quite simple to pull off without spending a lot of money or time. Here, you will find ways to decorate, create Curious George cupcakes, and some good Curious George themed games to make the most of your Curious George birthday party bash. It is like throwing a casino night party. Over the years, casino night has become one of the premier events. So if you want to have a curious George birthday party, it is definitely a good idea.

Curious George Birthday Party Decorations

Curious George is most often associated with bright primary colors: yellow, blue, red, and green in particular. Purchasing streamers and balloons in these common colors is often less expensive than buying all decorations that have the Curious George logo on them. To stick with the Curious George birthday party theme, however, you might want a few items that have that cute little monkey’s face on it. Fortunately, party supply stores almost always have ample supply of everything from inexpensive table cloths, to party favors, invitations, and decorations of all kinds. Just a few inexpensive touches that have Curious George on them is plenty for guests to realize that they are attending a Curious George birthday party.

Curious George Birthday Party Invitations

If you decide not to purchase Curious George birthday party invitations, you can easily make them from home. Simply visit the Curious George site on PBS.org and print out invitations there. Another great resource for printing more generic monkey invitations is kids-birthday-party-guide.com. You can create invitations as simple as printing them out on cardstock or as complicated as printing them on stickers to transfer onto a magnet. Either way, your Curious George birthday party invitations are going to be a hit.

Curious George Birthday Party Games

Before guests arrive, blow up balloons, particularly ones that are yellow, blue, red, and green. Cover the entire floor with the balloons so that guests walk in to a balloon-filled home. Even the youngest children will keep coming back to play with the balloons throughout the Curious George brithday party. Be watchful around small children and balloons, however, as they become a choking hazard if they pop.

For older kids, buy packages of large marshmallows and provide toothpicks. For a Curious George birthday party game that will keep them occupied for quite some time, have the kids create a bridge using the supplies, just like Curious George did in the episode A Bridge to Farm. Have children see how long they can make the bridge, or have them build towers or people using supplies. Older children will also enjoy going outside and gathering up leaves and sticks they find and examine them once inside, like Curious George did in the episode All New Hundley. More games related to episodes of Curious George can be found at this site.

Enlarge and print out a picture of Curious George to use as a “pin the tail on the donkey” type of Curious George birthday party game. Use yellow construction paper to cut out The Man In the Yellow Hat’s hat, or cut out circles and hang yarn from them to look like balloons. Create one for each child, and on the back of each place tape that will stick to the picture of Curious George. Blindfold the child and see who can get closest to George’s head (if you’re using a yellow hat) or his hands (if you’re using balloons).

Another simple form of entertainment is to put on the Curious George Movie or play Curious George shows. Both of these can be rented if you don’t already own them, and are a great way to have a calm-down time during your child’s Curious George birthday party.

Curious George Birthday Party Food

Serve bananas or banana chips, since Curious George is, after all, a monkey. As a matter of fact, anything banana shaped or brightly colored will serve as excellent Curious George birthday party food. Jello Jigglers cut into balloons or banana shapes, sandwiches cut into circles, squares, etc. will all do the trick. For drinks, red punch will suffice, especially since it goes along with the Curious George birthday party color theme. Burgers, pizza, and chips are always great party standbys as well.

Simple Cupcakes for your Curious George Birthday Party

When I put together my son’s Curious George birthday party, I perused the internet for easy, but cute Curious George cupcakes. I found this site and decided that I could do mine even better, even cuter, and even simpler. So, I started with chocolate cake mix and made individual cupcakes. Once they were cooled, I coated them with brown frosting. Then, I used a Nilla wafer and pushed it in slightly underneath the frosting, but above the cupcake to create the appearance of a nose. I used M Ms; for the eyes and black icing gel to create eyeballs looking in all directions. I used the same black icing gel to create two small dots on the top of the wafer to give a nostril effect. Using red icing gel, I made different mouth expressions to finish off my Curious George cupcakes. I didn’t bother creating ears, because I couldn’t get the wafers to break in half easily, and they turned out great just the same. The best part was that if I messed up on the mouth or any part of the Curious George cupcake face, I could easily take the wafer or the M M; out and try again without having to spend a ton of extra time fixing it. The monkey cupcakes were a big hit for our Curious George birthday party.

If you need more ideas, PBS.org is a wonderful resource for decorations, games, invitations and more. When putting together a Curious George birthday party, remember that the children attending are likely going to be fairly young. Don’t worry about making every little aspect perfect, because chances are, it will be destroyed or overlooked before the day is done. Enjoy, and have fun at your child’s Curious George birthday party!

Posted in Entertainment

3 Fun Activities for a ‘Tween/Teen Party or Sleep Over

Looking for some fun and unique activities to do at your young teen or ‘tween’s birthday party? Try these three activities and your party guests will have fun all evening! Obviously, a party such as this one cannot have the fun features of a casino night Denver but these ideas will make it just as much fun. 

Night Shirt

Sleep overs are fun with blankets and pillows spread over the floor. Have each guest design their own t-shirt they can sleep in now and wear later. It’s a project and party favor in one. Our local t-shirt warehouse store sells them for 4 for $10. Guests may bring some leaves with them or the group could go on a short walk around to find some interesting leaves and plant clippings. The leaves are then laid down on the front of the shirt. Various colors of water-paint mixture are misted over the shirts. When the leaf is lifted away, the shirt has a coloful spritzed design, but is still white under the leaf. Letters could also be used to spell a guest’s first name. The shirts are then left to dry or thrown inside out in the dryer for 15 minutes and can be worn immediately.

Materials Needed

one plain white t-shirt for each guest

several spray bottles filled with two tablespoons fabric, acrylic, or tempera paint per 2 cups of water, shake to mix-or 3 cups of strong tea, coffee, or beet juice

fern leaves, card board cut out shapes or other

Henna and Temporary Tattoo Station

I found a kit for henna tattoos and several packets of various temporary tattoos at my local beauty supply store. My daughter was a t’ween when she asked for another sleep over. I knew they couldn’t watch t.v. all night, so I thought they might have fun decorating each other with pretty butterfly and flower designs. This turned out to be the hit of the party. I was shocked when they were kept busy and calm for hours decorating and being decorated with colorful mini works of art.

I let the parents of our guests know that they will have the opportunity to apply temporary or henna tattoos in case they had any allergies.

Cup Cake Decorating

It was about 2 hours before the party when I realized I had forgotten to order a cake. I don’t know how it happened but it did! I did not panic, but scoured my pantry instead. There I found a cake mix and was able to bake off a couple of dozen cupcakes. I set the cooled cupcakes out on the table with several different tubs of frosting, plastic knives, plates, opened a few bags of small candies, and various sprinkles. The kids talked, laughed, ate, and had a incredible time creating their own wonderfully decorated individual ‘cakes.’

The party with the t-shirts, tattoos, and cup cakes was the talk of neighborhood. Years later, I ran into one of the guests and who was still wearing the t-shirt she made. She told me that was the best sleep over she ever went to!

Posted in Sports

5 Ways to Fix the NCAA Tournament

As I sit here watching the Sunday games of the NCAA tournament and i reflect on the first five days of this years tournament i can’t help but wonder how much better this tournament would be if the NCAA fixed a few of the flaws this event has. I’ve been a College Basketball fan since about the age of 12, Go Tarheels!, and i have always enjoyed March Madness the way the NCAA has presented it. Who doesn’t love no-name kids from the smallest colleges around hitting end of the game buzzer beaters to upend big name schools in a tournament designed for big name schools to win, anyone have a clue where Bryce Drew is these days?. Outside of a couple rivalry games in February and a few beginning of the season tournaments, the regular season has become increasingly meaningless. Why does the Conference champion have to prove itself again in a conference tournament?. This is one of 5 areas of the tournament that i will give my opinions on how to fix.

  1. Make the regular season mean something by at least giving the conference champion an automatic bid.

I have never understood why the champion has to prove themselves twice!!. If the best team in a lower tier conference has an overall record of 26-5, a 13-1 conference record and then gets beat in the championship game of their conference tournament that team no longer has a shot at an at-large selection because 14-18 University got hot for four or five days. This is not selecting the best 68 teams to participate in the tournament like the committee likes to tell us. What the NCAA should do is award the regular season champion with an automatic bid to the tournament and if another team proceeds to win the conference tournament, then that team may be a possible at-large selection. Thus we are insured the beat team from that conference gets to play in the big tournament and the team that gets hot can sit and wait if the committee deems them tournament worthy. With this process the regular season would mean something and we would actually get the best 68 teams in the field.

  1. Make the final 8 “bubble” teams play each other for the right to get into the field of 64.

Another process i have never understood since the NCAA expanded to 65 and now 68 teams. Why does a team who proved itself by winning their conference tournament now be relegated to play in the “play-in” game?. Bubble teams are called bubble teams because they have not done enough in the regular season to be considered a definite at large selection. The NCAA should take a page out of the ESPN created Bracket Buster weekend ( created for smaller schools to add a signature win to their resume) and now make the final 8 bubble teams play each other to which the winners of these games are added as the final 4 teams in the field, more on this one below. This seems like the biggest no-brainer of all the quirks with this tournament.

  1. Create intriguing storyline matchups purposely.

I have heard many an expert say the committee pays no attention to possible storylines for matchups, why is that? wouldn’t it make sense to add even more of a reason to give people to watch your event? Not that everyone would care about every possible storyline the committee could create but wouldn’t it be nice if Steve Lavin of past UCLA coaching fame could now take his St. Johns team into the tournament and possibly face UCLA in a 7-10 first round match or give these teams an even bigger incentive to win their first round game with a possible second round matchup? There are a plethora of opportunities for this including..

  1. Get rid of the rule that same conference teams cannot meet until the second round.

Who’s terrible idea is this? Lets say in a down year ( i know it doesnt happen much for either team) that Duke and North Carolina have midlevel seasons by their standards, why wouldn’t the NCAA match them up in an 8-9 first round matchup for even more intrigue!!. UCONN vs Syracuse to go to move on to the 2nd round? or how about Tom Izzo vs Thad Matta to advance out of the first round? possibilities are endless and this would go with #3 of creating intriguing storylines/matchups/rivalries…and finally

  1. Retool the whole bracket to eliminate the 1 vs 16 and 2 vs 15 matchups.

Yeah a 15 seed has won four times in this format, but not since 2001 and a 16 seed has never won against a number 1 seed, with only a small handful of those games that could be considered competitive. Give the #1 seeds a bye into the round of 32 automatically and play the remaining 64 teams first. This way we can eliminate the never competitive, always boring after 3 minutes of play 1 vs 16 matchup. To make this work they could still take the final 8 bubble teams and pit them against each other in an opening round format with the winners becoming part of the 60 field, minus the four #1 seeds. The winning bubble teams become the 16 or 15 seeds, and i believe this would make the games more competitive and more enjoyable for all to watch.

Would these 5 changes work? maybe, maybe not, but i think anything besides what we have now could make the tournament as a whole more enjoyable for the college basketball loving fan in all of us.

Just try out these new changes for a change and I am sure things will change for the better as long as you do so regularly with occasional visites to 토토사이트 to warm things up a bit with your buddies will make practice sessions far more enjoyable and entertaining.