now blogging in the third dimension

Saucy has waited several months to share this exciting news with her loyal readers. Effective as of today, this blog will now be published with new Google 3D blogging technology.

If the images appear unusual, it's because this is one of several blogs chosen to test the latest advancements in advanced blog reading experience, developed at the Google Labs for Blogger and WordPress.

Archives will gradually be transposed into three dimensional imaging... but in the meantime all new posts will best be viewed with Google Goggles. Google Goggles provide blog readers with the ultimate interactive experience. It is estimated by Blogger that over 60% of blogs will be published using 3D technology by the end of this year.

If you don't have a set of 3D goggles to maximize your blog surfing experience, you can purchase them here. For a 50% discount (today only) enter promotional code 04-01-11. Note: the 3D glasses that you may have on hand from the movie theatre will not support this type of imaging.

But, Dear Reader, today is your lucky day! Saucy has an entire case of promotional pairs to share via giveaway! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win a set... good luck!

the cheerios {in action}

Here are the Cheerios, live in action this past Saturday!

melfort comets {first place}

Saucy is trying to upload a video of the Cheerios at the Provincial Championships this weekend. In the meantime, here's the team that got first place!

golden weekend {silver lining}

Daisy Duke, JWoww, Trooper, Beegie, McSteph

You're probably wondering how the Cheerios made out in their new uniforms at the Provincial Championships this weekend. Saucy needed a little decompression time before she could blog about it. Here's the story.

There was no school on Friday so the road trippers got an early start and were checked into the hotel by mid-afternoon. Saucy is pleased to report that every single one of them were well behaved and civilized in the hotel.

They swam and sat in the hot tub, enjoyed a pizza supper and loads of snacks. There was even some craft time, if you can imagine.

They were tucked in early for a 5:30 AM wakeup call on Saturday morning. Saucy wrote goodnight and good luck messages on foam cups and delivered them to the rooms with teabags of Sleepytime Tea.

Snookie, DJ Jazzy Anna, Captain Q

Good thing, as there was lots of prepping to do in the morning to be on the warmup mats at 7:28 AM!

Some people have quite a bit of energy at 7:00 AM.... you have no idea. And not enough coffee. They do not make enough hot black caffeinated beverages for mornings like this.

Captain Q, Fly Girl, The Tower, Monty, Spanky, Snookie

The girls were beyond excited to wear their new uniforms. They're soft and comfortable and very easy to move in, being yoga wear and all.

Soon enough, it was time to take to the performance mat. Guess what? There were no nerves or jitters. The Cheerios were giggling and laughing backstage with the other teams.

To say that they nailed their routine is an understatement. Between this performance and their previous competition, more difficult skills were introduced and they even got the new things just right. It could not have been better.

In this part, Snooks and Trooper run across a bridge of Cheerios into the waiting arms of bases who turn, face the front, and then "leap frog" them over another girl into the arms of more teammates. It's pretty cool the way it happens, all in just a few seconds.

And then... it was over. The girls could see from their coaches' reactions that they'd done well. They knew it. They were elated as they left the floor.

Saucy should really try to post a video here so you can see it, too.

Veto came to find everyone and he was proud... you could see it in his face. The girls were jumping up and down to get pictures with him.

JWoww, Beegie, Veto, Snookie, Loopy, The Devine Miss S

Everyone wanted in on the action! Veto with his adopted cheer daughters.

Also, to the blog readers who Saucy calls friends - a sincere thank you for going out of your way to support the Cheerios. Saucy was touched by your effort to attend and the team said they felt like celebrities! It was such a boost for them.... you were cheerleaders for cheerleaders!

After that performance, there was nothing to do but wait... and maybe celebrate and dance a little.

And here they are... the silver medals! Were the girls disappointed not to repeat as provincial champions this year? A little, sure. Of course they really wanted to win. That's why they went. They were however, the most gracious losers. They congratulated the winners as well as the third place team.

You know, they worked so hard for it. They don't get a fair share of gym time so they devoted their Christmas and midterm breaks to have a chance to practice without the hinderance of the ceiling in the cafeteria. Even in the gym, they don't have the proper mats and they roll out the old wrestling mat upside down to be safe. They're really dedicated like that.

Perhaps the thing that really smarted were the scoresheets. They performed their best of the entire season and they received their lowest scores. The judges comments were mostly negative, leaving them a touch deflated. As a coach, Saucy likes as much constructive criticism as a judge can dish out, so she knows what she needs to fix. But at the very last event of the season, when the team won't have any opportunity to improve - this is it - sometimes its just best left on a positive note.

Oh, but wait... it was!

Saucy, Mustang Sally

During the evening session, the Cheerios were recognized with the Spirit Award, acknowledging their enthusiasm, good sportsmanship and team conduct... out of all the teams in all divisions, they had exemplary behaviour. And guess what? They were more than thrilled to get that award. They took photos of it, they hoisted it above their heads and they said, "This means more to us than winning! Now we have a silver medal and the Spirit Award, this is amazing!"

Manny the Mascot, JWoww (Safety first!)

And with that, it was time to celebrate. Everyone was off to Chuck E Cheese. Nobody's too old for Chuck E Cheese.

Loopy, Snookie, Chuck E, Lashes

Lashes, JWoww, Loopy, Snookie

Monty, The Tower, Beegie

After everyone was full of pizza, wings and cheese sticks, it was time to return to the hotel to celebrate three team birthdays!

Saucy had made a special cake for the occasion: a teddy bear wearing the new team duds. So, there were crowns and cake and cupcakes at the stroke of midnight. And then it was over. The excitement died down and the girls felt good about the outcome, they stayed up a little later and the next morning everyone made their way home.

Saucy is... exhausted. She hasn't even unpacked completely yet. Why does she do this to herself?

This is why she does it. And it's all worth it.

Team windup is on Friday night and Saucy has a few things planned. She'll try to check in with you a bit here this week but she can't really spoil any of the surprises that she will be working on. She's counted on her fingers how many hours between now and then... and she might not be able to pull off what she wants to do, but she's giving it her best shot. She'll keep you posted. After all, windup is one of the most important parts of the season. It helps the kids understand how far they've come and what they've accomplished. That it's all worth it.

To find out about last year's windup, click here.

cities {photos by jwoww}

Jwoww is pretty much the official team photographer now. Saucy doesn't even pack a camera anymore because her photos pale in comparison and besides, Jwoww has herself firmly planted behind the lens, documenting every minute of silliness.

Such as Snookie contemplating the tiny Pop Tart on a stick she was facing. Notice, Saucy had them sit in a circle around a trash bin and they threw the wrapping in there as soon as they ate. She told them to imagine it was like a campfire. But tidier.

McSteph cuddled up with Manny, the team mascot.

From left to right: Beegie, Loopy, Fly Girl, Snookie, Daisy Duke, Q (the captain, Quinn... just like on Glee but much, much, much nicer)...

... until she squares off with Fly Girl and a can of hairspray.

Time to warm up! Everybody stretch!

Trooper warms up her jumps.

Lashes warms up her scorpion... with a little attitude on the side. Nice work!

During the performances, the competing schools bring it. Jwoww catches most of the action until she passes the camera into the stands before the Cheerios take the mat.

Check it out... this is a brand new team in the city. This was their first time competing. Pretty awesome, hey?

The Cheerios were the last ones to take the floor... they rocked it. Saucy and Mustang Sally made several changes to the routine the day before this competition and nobody forgot them. They just tackled it like pros and did what they needed to do.

The next time you see pictures like this, it will be after the Provincial Championships on Saturday. Do you want to see the Cheerios in their brand new competition uniforms and bows? You'll just have to wait.

the power of pop tarts

It has been well documented that Pop Tart Tuesday is a revered and time honoured tradition for the Cheerios. It was a pleasant coincidence that the city cheerleading championships were scheduled for this very Tuesday. The one. The only. Pop Tart Tuesday.

However, Saucy was puzzled as to how she would transport boxes of Pop Tarts and her toaster with her to the competition site. It seemed a little fraught with problems. Until she decided to do this:

If Bakerella can put a ball of cheesecake on a stick, then surely, Saucy reasoned... a bite sized Pop Tart would do the trick.

They would be baked and bundled and presented to the team during roundup - you know, the pep talk portion of the evening. One simple bite of toaster pastry goodness.

Without a toaster... but whatever. Close enough. It would have to do.

And they're freaking adorable. The team thought so. Just look at those.

Saucy sat on this idea for a few weeks and even found a couple of homemade Pop Tart recipes online but they were more pastry based, and Pop Tarts (although labeled toaster pastry) are more like a dry, crumbly cookie. Most people who attempt homemade Pop Tarts are trying to improve the flavour.

Saucy, on the other hand, would have been happy with some sort of magical shrinking machine. She just wanted tiny, recognizable, similar tasting treats. She ended up winging it with an online recipe that she changed so it was less flaky, more shortbread like in its consistency. This would ensure that the little fellas didn't break apart when held upright on their sticks. Here's what she ended up with:

3 sticks (one and a half cups) butter at room temperature
1/3 cup plus one tablespoon milk
1 egg yolk (reserve white for brushing)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/2 cups flour

In food processor, pulse together butter, milk, egg yolk, sugar and salt until roughly blended. Add flour and pulse until it starts to come together. Form into two discs, wrap in plastic and chill (no time to chill today, Saucy just rolled and cut).

In the end, the ones that looked the cutest were the ones that were rolled a little thinner. This is a very sturdy dough - don't be afraid to roll it to 1/8" thin. Cut into bite-sized rectangles by slicing with a ruler as your guide for uniformity.

Before squeezing some nice raspberry preserves from a pastry bag onto the bottom piece, brush with a little beaten egg white and press the lollipop stick into the base cookie. Squeeze around the middle of your little pastry and leave room to press the top part on.

You'll want to press the top piece on snugly by fingering it all the way around the edges. That way, it won't pop apart or lose preserves.

Bake at 350 degrees for 14 - 15 minutes... they should be cooked but not overly browned. If you like your Pop Tarts to look toasted, let them brown longer. You can also brush the cookie with egg white before baking to help with browning.

The frosting was a simple mixture of milk with confectioner's sugar. Start with about a teaspoon of milk and add enough powdered sugar until you like the consistency. It should be slightly runny. To this mixture Saucy also added about a half teaspoon of the raspberry preserves that had been run through the sieve to remove seeds - it gave the frosting a nice pink shade and a little shot of extra flavour. When frosted, they look adorably cute... like a mini Pop Tart should.

Because, like Cheerios, mini Pop Tarts served on a stick are outrageously, adorably cute.

Like Cheerios, they like to arrange themselves in pretty patterns too.

Oh, and how did the Cheerios do tonight, you ask? Those were some mighty powerful Pop Tarts. Of the teams in their division, they scored the highest. They leave on Friday for the Provincial Championships, fueled by determination, confidence and teeny tiny pastry.

feels like first

The Cheerios had their first competition of the season on Saturday and did very, very well. They placed second in their division!

After all that fretting, they were ready - and they did what they needed to do.

Of course, before taking the floor there was quite a bit of primping and curling to be done.

Some of the Cheerios have a ton of hair! They need to work together as a team just to get it all curled up.

Everyone needed an application of green eyeshadow. That sounds horrible, doesn't it? Let's add some yellow, also.

Before you knew it they were ready and warmed up, thanks to some helpful mothers who helped with eyeliner and attaching bows... the new bows the girls made on Friday after they left the gym. A few of them sat around Saucy's dining room table and tied up a whole new set of simple top bows. Then they hit the mats on Friday night for another run through.

They decided not to wear their new korker bows because the new uniforms haven't arrived yet. Hopefully they'll be here on time for the city championships on Tuesday night, otherwise they'll have to wait until the weekend to unveil their complete new look.

Eventually, they took the floor! These aren't Saucy's pictures, they're parent shots... but they're good.

The show n' go's went up on time and stayed up. They pop a girl up high, drop her down to waist level and then pop her up again to torch, liberty and arabesque poses and drop her down again.

Everything else was pretty good... they had more room than they're used to at practice so the tumbling was a little crowded.

Generally, Mustang Sally and Saucy were pleased and proud with the whole thing, considering it was their first time in front of an audience and it was a huge crowd with live internet streaming. So really, the entire world could have been watching. We didn't tell them that.

Now, we need to make a few changes. We've scoped out the competition and we know where our weaknesses are. We're going to change this pose at the end of the routine and a few little things... and as the song says, that's that... what do you want from me?