Saturday, December 23, 2017

Go e.l.f. your Shelf

What can I say....I’m just a girl surrounded by boys, who loves to get her hands on some great beauty products. Being outnumbered by 4 sons and a husband will seriously make you appreciate a little glam in your life. That being said, having a big fam has also taught me how to budget. Gone are the days where I can justify shelling out large sums of money at a the Mac counter. I love hunting for high quality beauty products that are at affordable prices.

A couple years ago I came across eyes, lips, and face.....or e.l.f. My love affair with e.l.f. started with their black Expert Liquid Liner, and my collection of their products has grown religiously over time.

I encourage you to put your own e.l.f. on your shelf this holiday season and add their products to your makeup collection. These are my top 10 absolute fave e.l.f. products right now:

1. Everyday Smoky Eyeshadow Palette. I am a HUGE fan of a smoky eye and use everyone of these colors.


2. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette. A great one for a more natural eye. Love this one in the spring and summer with a great bronzer for a beachy glow.

3. Expert Liquid Eyeliner. My first and absolute favorite elf product. Only a couple bucks and it seriously works. Always in my vanity.

4. Beautifully Bare Satin Lipstick. Love the formula and how it feels on your lips. There are many great colors to choose from. My favorite color is “Touch of Nude.” I like to wear a dark smoky eye regularly, and this color balances out a more dramatic eye.

5. Lip Lacquer in Natural. Love this on top of nude lipsticks. Rich red is also fabulous during the holidays. The lacquer gives your pucker that extra gloss/shine we all want and love.

6. Lip Exfoliator. My second favorite e.l.f. product by a very close margin. It basically preps your lips by exfoliating dry chapped skin. With vitamin E, shea butter, avocado, and other great hydrating ingredients, your lipstick will go on and look fabulous with this product.

7. Natural Lip Liner and Blending Brush. I use this color with all my nude lipsticks, and some of my other lip colors. It has a great little brush on the end which blends into your own lip color so you don’t see a harsh line like with other lip liners. It helps prolong your lip color and makes your lips look fuller.

8. 11 Piece Brush Collection. A great set of reasonably priced brushes that I use regularly. 2 of the brushes are great for creating a smoky eye. There is also a Fan brush which I absolutely love to apply a bronzer for a light beachy glow.

9. Baked Highlighter. I love to use the Moonlight Pearls highlighter on my brow bone to give an instant eye lift. It is a fantastic all-around facial highlighter.

10. Mineral Infused Mascara. LOVE this mascara. It is a fabulous dupe (cheaper copy of a high end item) to the the Better Than Sex Mascara by Two Faced Cosmetics. The Two Faced mascara is $23 while e.l.f.’s is only $3. 

It won’t be hard to find this “e.l.f.” You’ll find it on the shelf at most stores, such as Walmart or Target. Or if your children are as good of shopping buddies as mine are, sign up for their emails and get a free shipping code for products sent right to your door. Happy Holidays to you all! Here’s to looking fabulous in the new year!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


When I think about my life and what being married to a college football coach strikes me that there are quite a few ups and downs in this business. There are moves (9 times in 15 years for us to be exact), which lead to plenty of packing and unpacking. There is the experience of seeing beautiful new places for the first time, as well as time spent living in towns and cities that leave much to be desired. There is the excitement of seeing your husband’s hard work pay off in the form of a promotion or new job at a higher level.....and the disappointment of losing a job after a season gone wrong.  Even within the same season there are glorious Saturday evenings after a W, and miserable Saturday nights after a tough loss. Despite this craziness, I love being married to a football coach. One of my favorite parts of this business is meeting new #footballfamily. 

My football family encompasses more than just my sons, husband, and I. In fact, I've gathered new members every place we have lived. Through good times and bad, my football family has always stepped up and been there for me.

While we were at the University of Idaho, I had my second baby, and a coach’s wife (and dear friend to this day) came in the middle of the night to be with my 2 year old son while we went to the hospital. She was there for me when I was in the middle of  contractions—now that’s a football family at its best. 

When my husband has been on a staff that got fired, countless coaches’ wives reached out to me. Although it’s part of the profession, it’s never easy no matter how many times you've gone through it. Those wives continuously checked in just see how I was and to keep me in their thoughts and prayers. Those little moments when a fellow coach’s wife reaches out can mean the most. 

Even after my husband found a new coaching job, we were spending months apart, and that’s tough on a family. When I have been packing up homes with little kids running around, my #footballfamily has come to my rescue with packing paper or an extra moving box they had lying around. In all honesty...some of us coaches’ wives are truly afraid to get rid of those things. ๐Ÿ“ฆ ๐Ÿ“ฆ๐Ÿš›๐Ÿšš Seems like as soon as you get rid of them, you need them again!

My football family is always up for a long drive to to an away game. It is always wonderful to see old friends from past stops on the coaching carousel. Even if we are now rooting for different teams, it does not matter, we are part of the same football family.

Many coaches’ wives like myself don't have the luxury of having family close by to help watch our children. I've had coaches’ wives help out at a moments notice when a babysitter canceled. They just get it.

But it’s not just coaches’ wives in our football family. We’ve become close with families of players over the years. One of my favorite traditions was when we were at Minnesota State University and we would have the “5th Quarter” after our home games. It was great way to meet and get to know the families and friends of our players. To this day, we are still close with some of those families. 

The players.....let’s not forget about those boys. They’re almost like having more sons of our own......what can I say......4 just isn’t enough๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜‚. I hate when they get hurt, and I love seeing them succeed on and off the field. I know boys well....I feed them treats during game week....or an occasional meal at the house. It has always been an exciting day for our sons when the offensive line comes  over to the house for dinner. When one of them is successful enough to play football after better believe one of my sons will be asking for that jersey for Christmas that year. 

So I am forever loyal to my football family. The ones who have been dear friends even though our zip codes and team colors might not be the same. The ones who cheer your team on....well unless you’re playing them that week of course๐Ÿ˜‰! The ones who have been like an extended part of our own family. I am forever greatful for football....because it gave me my #footballfamily.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What's In My Bag On Game Day?

Like a team needs footballs, shoulder pads, and a good game plan.......a coach's wife must be prepared on gameday....especially if you have four babes (kiddos) like me! When it comes to gameday, "I go big or go home" (and as Vicki says on RHOC....I am not going home!) You'll typically find me on game day carting around my large football bag with my tribe๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ. Though I have been teased before that it's my "Mary Poppins" bag, having the proper essentials are a major ๐Ÿ”‘ when it gameday! Take a look at what's inside my bag:

1. Wet wipes/baby wipes: They are the Swiss Army knife of the parenting world. Trust'll use or not.

2. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. I am sorry but this mama does not want to miss one play in line at the concession stand--I want to watch the game! Plus....have you seen the prices at the stadium....I mentioned I have 4 kiddos....right??? ๐Ÿ’ต๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ธ I'll stash snacks any place I can to get them into the gotta love zippers. 

3. Binoculars. We bring them to every game. It's a way to get a closeup on daddy....he can be very entertaining when he gets fired up.

4. Activities. I have been known to pull out some crayons and an activity book to entertain a child through the years. I am not afraid to bring an iPad either. I can remember back when my oldest two sons were little, a portable DVD player came in pretty handy in desperate times. Let's face it...a 2-5 year old can get bored at a game. Because I actually want to watch the game......I bring out all the stops.

5. Cheer gear. Somehow I have ended up with an abundance of foam fingers, Pom-poms, and cowbells in my bag.....the Eck fam doesn't disappoint when it's time to make some noise on third down๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ›Ž.

6. My phone.....lets be clear on this. I only use it at the stadium to take pictures....all those game day moments and scoreboard pics are great memories.. Nothing drives me more crazy than seeing someone staring at their phone during an important part of the game. No....I don't care about any other scores right the game!!!!

7. If it's cold...handwarmers. When it comes to watching football in the fall, South Dakota is never going to be confused with Southern California. Being a Wisconsin native, I know how to come prepared for those chilly games. Just shake and throw them in your mittens...they'll last for the entire game and keep your hands warmer than your mittens alone. 

8. Cosmetic bag. Let's not forget my blog is called Beauty, Babes, & Ball. I keep a few beauty items in my bag to freshen up after the game. After a big Win, I don't want to miss an opportunity to get that great family pic under our scoreboard. A lipstick/gloss, bronzer/powder, brush, and hairspray. Just the absolute staples๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.

9. Gum or mints. You need to have something to freshen things up so you can kiss your coach after the game. They have worked hard all week to get a Win.......and let's face've worked hard too.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿˆ.

10. Oh yes....a biggie....don't forget your tickets!!! Not something I like to admit, but yes, it has happened to me๐ŸŽŸ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♀️๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผ‍♀️

Just like takes a lot for us to prepare for game day. So I'd love to hear from you.....what's in your bag on game day ladies?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Getting Off The Schneid

One great perk of your husband being a D-1 football coach is the annual wives' trip. It is one game per year where every wife on the staff gets to travel with the team to the game. Fly the charter, stay in the team hotel, take the bus to the stadium.....the whole 9 yards. (Why do they say the whole 9 yards anyway??? Everyone knows we need 10 for a first down๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♀️๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ”Ÿ) Going into the this season, I have been fortunate enough to go on 6 wives trips in the 15 seasons that I have been married to the game. Some schools my husband coached at did not have a wives' trip (8 hour D-2 bus rides were not too glamorous anyway!), while others I missed with a baby at home or when was too pregnant to know....typical #bigfamilyprobs๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿผ.

I have always looked at the wives' trip as a break from the chaos that comes with having four boys. While it is a short getaway, it is nice to not be pulled in four different directions for even one night....and I love going to a game where I am not ravaging through my bag frantically for fruit snacks...worried I am missing an important play in the game. It is tough for me to get out of Mom mode though....I usually start missing them before I even board the plane!

This year, I wasn't sure if I should even be allowed to travel with the team due to a little secret my husband referred to as "my record." Now I am a good girl....there is no police record that would keep me from getting through TSA ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿป✈️๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♀️๐Ÿ˜‚. We are talking about "my record" on wives trips....Let's just put it out there....I had NEVER experienced an actual Win on a wives' trip before.....that's right I was literally 0-6 in the six wives' trips I went on. Was I an unlucky coach's wife??? In all's not exactly easy playing at Florida State and Iowa where the 2003 and 2010 wives' trips losses we're encountered....but you would think the boys would find a way to win once in 6 tries!! Of all my experiences as a coaches' wife....I have to say there is nothing worse than traveling back with a team after a loss. There is so much disappointment in the air when that entire week of preparation and hard work just wasn't enough.

This season at South Dakota State, our wives' trip was to Bozeman, MT, for our game at Montana State University. My husband coached at Montana State right before we came to SDSU, and my youngest babe, Maverick, was born there. His middle name is Montana. Suffice to say...Bozeman is a very special and beautiful place to me....when I heard it was this year's wives' trip, I was on the phone getting that sitter lined up!๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ“ฒ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผ✅

Unfortunately, our time in Bozeman was brief, as the head coach my husband worked for was fired right after the first season we moved there. He was the school's all-time winningest coach, but a 5-6 season (his first losing season, mind you) did him in. The new coach did not retain my husband on the staff, so we were on the move again. While it's tough to go through that when you were only there for one year....that's sometimes just part of the deal being married to a coach๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฐ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿˆ

So while I was thrilled to be going back, I was also hungrier than ever for our team to get the "W" after all we had been through there. I think some coaches wives will get one likes the feeling of not being retained on a new staff. It's just part of the business....yes....but it doesn't always leave the greatest taste in your mouth. I've always had a little bit of a grieving period after we were let go from a school.

After this last grieving is over. I can now proudly say, this coach's wife is thrilled to have experienced my first "W" on a wives trip. My unlucky streak is officially over!!! We won 31-27! It was down to the very last play....but we won. A win is a win, and this is one that really felt good on so many different levels. Proud of our team....both players and coaches for battling till the end. So very blessed to be a Jackrabbit....GO JACKS!!๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿˆ

Monday, August 28, 2017


I know I am not the only coach's wife or super fan out there that has their own weekly rituals. Let us not forget that great Bud Light ad to the song "Very Superstitious".....It is only weird if it doesn't work......right๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ. We all have our own system to prepare for game day.

Despite the craziness of taking care of my four boys and working a full-time job, there are just some things I must get done for game day. Some may say I am overly superstitious....or that maybe I try too hard. I say do not mess with a good thing....aka......#DontMessWithTheJuJu

If we Win...I usually factor in everything that has happened the previous week. If I washed my better believe I am going to be washing it again. Don't think I'll be forgetting my team car flags either (my sons will vouch for me on that one.) I've been known to drive right back home if I do. If we tailgated last week....more than than likely we'll be doing it again. Nails painted in team colors for last Saturday's win....yup....I'll be keeping the same game day color scheme for the next one๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿผ✔️.

If we lose....(I hate even thinking about that....I mean let's not even put that out in the universe....right?!???)....but if we do...don't think you'll be seeing me in anything I wore for that game the rest of the's just bad luck๐Ÿ‘–๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿผ.

I remember when my husband coached at Colorado, I made peanut butter cookies for my husband's players before every game. When we lost halfway through season....guess who needed to come up with a new recipe๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿช.

Other coaches wives on staffs we had worked on have been known to hit the concessions/restroom when things weren't looking great in the hopes that it would help turn the game around. I remember we'd keep sending them back down when we thought it was actually working๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŒญ๐Ÿšฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.

So our football season officially starts this Thursday night. I will say, I have complete faith that our coaches have come up with an amazing game plan for the opening game.....and we have a bunch of very good players to execute the plan. I just like to believe that "my system" might also help light up a big fat "WIN" on our scoreboard Thursday night. 

So best of luck to all those coaches' wives and great fans out there who also have their own rituals to help with a winning season. isn't weird if it works. Go Jacks๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿˆ!!

PS......I'd  love to know your traditions as coaches' wives or super fans to be game day ready......

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, August 10, 2017

10 Things You Might Say if You're a Mom of Boys....

If you are a mom of boys you can probably relate to saying most if not all of this list....

1. WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!? Usually said when someone is crying, screaming in pain, or you just heard the sound of something breaking๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ค๐ŸฅŠ

2. Who clogged the toilet? I swear there must be legos trapped in that thing....why does this always happen in their bathroom?!?!?!๐Ÿšฝ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผ‍♀️

3. Did you wash your hands? For some reason boys need CONSTANT reminders๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♂️๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿผ‍♀️✋๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคš๐Ÿผ

4. What's for dinner? Are you kidding me.....we just had breakfast. Boys eat A LOT!!!!❓๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผ‍♂️

5. Keep it in the potty. I am like the toilet Nazi at my house....sorry NO ONE likes cleaning filthy/smelly toilets๐Ÿšฝ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿผ

6. Don't say poop at the table!!!!! I do not get it.....why do boys like potty talk? I can not stand that word! Anything to do with bathroom talk makes them all roll on the floor laughing hysterically๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿฝ

7. BOYYYYS!!! Lets just say there is quite a few selective listeners in the house. I think Snapchat seems to make their ears less likely to hear their mom calling them๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ“ฑ

8. Be careful!!!! I say this regularly. This summer, one son alone has had to get three sets of x-rays...... there is truly never a dull moment with boys. They keep me on my toes....or in Urgent care๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป

9. WHO DID THIS????? A bump in the wall...wrappers on the name it. The mysterious part about it one ever knows how it happened ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผ‍♂️๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿผ‍♀️

10. No baseball in the house!!! For some reason they have to be reminded of this frequently......when they forget, it is usually followed by #1.......WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?⚾️๐Ÿ˜ณ

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

And Just like that football season begins......

Summer is literally flashing before my eyes. June was largely made up of me living in my vehicle driving my tribe around to activities and summer camps⚾️๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ€⚽️๐Ÿคน๐Ÿผ‍♀️.

When July 1st hit, we loaded up the Suburban for a little three day getaway. We celebrated that summer football camps were finally over and enjoyed some family time before Daddy starts practice in late July. 

If July seems early, let me explain.....most college football wives have a shorter amount of time together as a family this summer. Due to some new NCAA rules, our players will report on July 25th this year, 9 days earlier than last year when they reported on August 3rd๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ“†๐Ÿˆ.

Don't get me wrong....I am itching a little for the football season. Lugging my kiddos to games, tailgating, the anticipation of every snap of the ball, and the excitement of a Win. I can almost here my son telling me to settle down๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผ. I mean come on.....why doesn't everyone stand up on third down????๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿˆ

With Fall camp right around the corner, it is a reminder that another summer is coming to an end. Which, in all honesty, makes me a little emotional. My children are another year older and going on to the next grade level....there are only so many summers all together as a family left๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿก๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ☀️.

So I have to remind myself....slow down mama. Enjoy won't get this time back. I am soon to be a "football widow" once again, but I will do my very best to make the most of these remaining weeks of summer. While my husband is preparing his boys for the next season....I will be preparing our boys for the next school year.....but making sure we have fun along the way๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Coach's Wife During Summer Football Camps

Summer is officially here, and most people outside of this football world probably think my husband has some time off right now. Wrong!!! Summer camps are in full swing. What does that mean to a coach's wife.....

Bye bye husband. Days can literally go by without seeing each other for more than a few minutes. Why? Camp starts early in the morning with hundreds of players from all over coming to be coached up at the university. If it is a team camp, it also ends late at night because the college coaches hang out with the high school coaches at night so they have a good time, and want to keep bringing the team back to the camp year after year. This year my husband is working 19 days of camp in the month of June. We are currently in the middle of a streak of 15 straight days of camp!

Coaches wives literally run the entire show at home and with our families during the "camp season." Much like in the football season.....there is no "extra set of hands." The house, driving kids to summer activities, meals, bath time, books, tucking in, mowing the lawn, anything breaks (fix it), toddler meltdowns (she's on her own)....and the list goes on. I decided yesterday to get the tools out myself and teach our son to finally ride a bike with out training wheels. You name a household task......a coach's wife is probably handling it during camp.

There are also plenty of camps in the summer where our husbands have to travel to evaluate and coach players.....some usually right around Father's Day. This year we celebrated Daddy right around 10pm because he was away at 2 camps that weekend. We could not stay up that late either, because we had our team camp starting at our facilities that very next morning. We still made the most out of the time we got with him. Coaches' wives and kiddos learn to be very understanding and patient. 

Some nights during camp we make our way to the stadium to eat with the campers and our matter what's on the menu. Tonight I loaded up four boys and a portable high chair....just to get an hour with him. Seeing those boys running and laughing on the field with their Daddy makes it all worth it.

When that small window of vacation time in the beginning of July rolls around (I am literally counting down the days), we try to make up for lost time-sometimes only being able to get away for a few days. This also may help you understand when that coaches wife you know is suddenly not available. Her husband is back....Daddy is around again....she is making the most of their time together. Because let's not forget.....fall camp is just weeks away, and somehow the players report on July 25th this year (but that's another blog entry in itself!)