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Pointers for Packing the Perfect Summer Picnic

Lifestyles - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 8:30am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - There are a few things that signify summer is in full swing: the sound of an ice cream truck driving down the street, catching lightning bugs on a warm night and outdoor picnics with your favorite fare. Between meal prep and setting up shop, packing the perfect picnic basket may seem like a chore, but it can be a walk in the park with a few quick tips.

Whether you're planning an outdoor outing for your whole family or just a party of two, you're sure to have a great time if you keep these pointers in mind:

* Forget the Forks: Portability is number one when it comes to a mess-free picnic. Save yourself the hassle of creating dishes that require multiple utensils and opt for simple sandwiches instead. For easy assembly and a fun twist, bring along delicious ingredients like lean protein, sharp cheeses and tangy condiments for a "build-your-own" bar. Guests will love testing their culinary chops with protein-packed options like Simply Delicious sandwich meats from Land O'Frost. Available in a wide selection of flavors, from black forest ham and slow-roasted beef to honey-roasted turkey breast, the entire line of Simply Delicious products contain no artificial flavors, by-products or added hormones.

* Reverse Your Thinking: Once you've identified your picnic destination, it can take a while to prep before you can chow down. Streamline setup by packing your basket in reverse order. Rather than placing food items on top, move them to the bottom of your basket, followed by serving items and a tablecloth to top it off. This will make it easy to grab what you need when you arrive. * Squeeze In Extra Savings: If you're planning to grill at your next picnic, save yourself the trouble of packing full-size condiments for burgers and hot dogs, and bring along portable packs. Save extra condiment packets from your favorite fast-food restaurants to add to your next picnic basket. Taking up almost no room, these are ideal for outdoor meals.

With these time-saving tips in mind, your summer picnics will be a breeze. For coupons and more information about Simply Delicious products from Land O'Frost, visit www.landofrost.com.

Natural Snacks Make Nutritious Meals

Lifestyles - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 8:28am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Three square meals a day are a thing of the past. Busy schedules, diverse dietary preferences and the flow of modern life necessitate more flexible and convenient meals. Luckily, snacking is in the midst of a revolution. Traditional snacks like chips and pretzels have given way to bigger, better and healthier options that deliver both convenience and nutrition in one tasty package. Whether clean-label, organic, vegan or nutrient-added, it's up to ingredient suppliers and manufacturers to develop products that meet all of these demands. That's certainly a tall order.

While there are no standard requirements for clean label snacks, naturally derived gums, hydrocolloids and colors are generally accepted in such applications and have become increasingly popular. You might see these ingredients listed as carrageenan, a soluble fiber from red seaweed, or cellulose gel, which is a refined plant fiber. In many foods and beverages, these ingredients improve shelf life and nutritional value without diminishing taste -- like giving drinkable low-fat yogurt that distinctive creamy consistency with every sip.

They also prove quite functional in products that meet strict dietary requirements, like gluten-free and vegetarian options. Hydrocolloids and gums like carrageenan, alginates and cellulose gel can be sustainably sourced from nature and are perfectly suited for vegetarian and vegan foods. Either by improving the flavor and fullness of meatless sausage or producing non-dairy ice cream with that definitive indulgence and delectability, these ingredients are making new snacking options both possible and palatable.

Reducing the number of ingredients in a recipe is one challenge and, more recently, adding ingredients has become another. We want foods and beverages with added value, but it's important to understand that introducing vitamins or nutrients to any product can significantly affect flavor and texture. Enriched, shelf-stable snacks that boast added protein need a stabilizer to maintain the quality of the product. Without the added ingredients like carrageenan, similar products might separate, taste chalky or be less effective than their claims imply.

Food companies are adapting their product formulations and rolling out new products to meet demand for healthy snacking solutions. Naturally derived ingredients that help reduce fat and sugar content but maintain product integrity are changing the way we snack. They deliver that indulgent experience we all appreciate. For more information on ingredients that give us a variety of snacks for a wide range of diets, please visit www.FoodScienceMatters.com.

How American-Made Products Benefit Many

Lifestyles - Thu, 07/02/2015 - 8:24am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - "Made in America" matters; almost 80 percent of Americans would prefer to buy an American-made product instead of one made abroad, based on data from a national survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The findings appeared in an article in the February 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

In addition, more than 80 percent of the survey respondents cited keeping American jobs and maintaining America's strength in the global economy as reasons to support American-made products.

Henry Repeating Arms, maker of repeating firearms based on the design that was patented in 1860, is one example of a company that takes pride in its American roots and gives back to the country and communities.

The company's Guns for Great Causes program includes a range of activities that benefit individuals and organizations of all sizes.

Examples of how the company has made a difference include a donation of two Henry rifles to a Missouri high school fundraiser to send the school choir to perform at Carnegie Hall, as well as a donation of 100 Henry rifles custom embellished with the Kansas state flower to benefit a sick 4 year old girl from Sedan, Kan. Henry is the lead sponsor of the Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam 40th Anniversary to benefit The Journey Home Project program for veterans. It has made donations to many medical charities, including the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, the Roger Maris Cancer Center and the Ronald McDonald House. Within its industry, Henry supports the NRA, as well as many wildlife conservation and youth shooting sports organizations.

Henry Repeating Arms is one of many companies that support American troops via the USO and a multitude of charitable military organizations -- such as the Marine Corp Scholarship Fund, Operation Homefront and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Anthony Imperato, president of Henry Repeating Arms, has personally thanked many veterans for their service with a gift of a Henry Military Service Tribute Edition rifle.

Extraordinary customer service is a key foundation of the company's success. Henry's Extreme Customer Service policy means that all customer service issues are handled in-house by a staff operating with a mandate from Mr. Imperato to do whatever it takes to make certain the customer is satisfied. The policy includes an unlimited lifetime guarantee on products, and Mr. Imperato responds personally to customer emails seven days a week.

For more information on Henry's Guns for Great Causes program, visit www.henryrifles.com.

Alison Owen's NPF Journal - July 1

Bulldog Beat - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 7:27pm
Throughout the 2015 NPF season, former MSU pitcher and current graduate assistant Alison Owen will submit journal entries on her season as a member of the Akron Racers. Stay tuned to HailState.com for all of the entries.

Summer Q&A: Junior LHP Vance Tatum

Bulldog Beat - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 5:23pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the month of July, HailState.com will interview select Mississippi State baseball players competing across the country in summer leagues.

MSU Places Record 61 On SEC First-Year Honor Roll

Bulldog Beat - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 11:35am
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A historic 2014-15 year in the classroom has resulted in a record 61 Mississippi State student-athletes being named to the 2015 Southeastern Conference First-Year Academic Honor Roll.

Soccer To Host Women’s World Cup Final Watch Party

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 6:28pm
With the United States women's soccer team heading to the 2015 Women's World Cup Final after a victory over Germany on Tuesday, the Mississippi State soccer team will host a watch party on Sunday, July 5 at 6 p.m. CT.

Sixty-Seven Bulldogs Named to SEC Spring Honor Roll

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 6:07pm
Accolades continue to roll in for Mississippi State athletics following a stellar 2014-15 all-around performance as 67 student-athletes have been named to the Southeastern Conference's 2015 Spring Academic Honor Roll.

Less Than 2,200 Football Season Tickets Remain

Bulldog Beat - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 1:58pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State shattered a school record for football season ticket sales in May and the number continues to rise as over 48,000 have been purchased for the 2015 campaign in Davis Wade Stadium.

Minimizing the Mess: How to Keep a Clean Home With Kids

Lifestyles - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 1:40pm
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - No doubt about it, Americans like their "stuff."

We like to accumulate and surround ourselves with material things.

The late George Carlin summed it up when he quipped, "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff."

The problem is that stuff creates a mess, and most people also like to be neat and organized. Unfortunately, the two concepts do not necessarily align, which is why companies like The Container Store boast close to billion-dollar bottom lines.

And when you have kids? Fugehdaboutit. The potential for messiness multiplies tenfold.

For those wannabe organized families who would like to declutter (or at least keep the detritus at bay), look no further than the tips below:

* Buy bins. These plastic tubs can be a godsend for parents whose kids either refuse to throw (or give) anything away, or who want to try and teach their kids to organize their things at an early age. It keeps the mess to a minimum and makes cleaning simple for both parents and children.

* Cue the cubbies. These three-drawer organizers can be stored in the closet, don't take up much room and allow kids to store odds and ends that might otherwise be everywhere but their bedroom.

* Have an in box. A parent of any school-age child knows the amount of paperwork that comes home is obscene and overwhelming. To that end, having one place for all incoming papers is paramount.

* Use hangers and hooks. These minimally priced inventions that hang on the backs of doors helps keep towels, scarves, coats and other items off the floor. Similarly, a shoe rack that hangs in the closet can also be a great organization tool for little ones.

* Consider a portable spittoon. For smokeless tobacco users, a portable spittoon can mean the difference between a permanent, albeit accidental, stain and keeping a potential mess contained.

To that end, companies like FLASR, creators of smokeless tobacco accessory products, can help. FLASR's portable spittoons are an easy-to-use solution that prevents unwanted spills and leaks that often accompany spit cups and bottles. The FLASR flask, for instance, has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, even if curious little hands get a hold of it. In addition, the new 4-ounce FLASR pocket-sized spittoon is designed to allow users to open and shut it with just one hand, making it an ideal solution for everyday use.

For more information, visit www.flasr.com.

Sosebee ready to rock Roundup

Twisted Rodeo - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 12:08pm
Rodeo clown Cody Sosebee performs during a recent rodeo. Sosebee has been recognized as one of the top barrelmen and entertainers in rodeo for several years, and he will bring his to the 2015 Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

Rodeo clown Cody Sosebee performs during a recent rodeo. Sosebee has been recognized as one of the top barrelmen and entertainers in rodeo for several years, and he will bring his to the 2015 Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo. (TODD BREWER PHOTO)

DODGE CITY, Kan. – There are only a handful of accomplishments funnyman Cody Sosebee hasn’t achieved in a strong rodeo career.

He’s been nominated five times as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Clown of the Year, including each of the past four seasons. He’s worked many of the top events in the sport’s history and has been recognized as a premier entertainer. But he’s never worked the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

That changes in 2015. For the first time in the event’s ProRodeo-Hall-of-Fame history, the Arkansas man will be a featured player in the six nights of world-class rodeo action, with the Xtreme Bulls planned for 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, and five incredible rodeo performances set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 29-Sunday, Aug. 2, at Roundup Arena.

“I’m excited about going there as I’ve ever been about working any rodeo,” Sosebee said. “I’ve passed that rodeo arena every year when I leave my home for Cheyenne (Wyo.), and I’ve always wanted to be there.

“It’s one of the most historic Western towns and one of the most recognized rodeos in the country. It’s a tradition rich place, and I’ve been a lot of great places in my career. This is like a feather in your hat when you work an event like Dodge City.”

It’s an honor to work the elite events in the sport. Not only has he worked Cheyenne, Sosebee also has been a primary entertainer at the River City Rodeo in Omaha, Neb., and the Calgary (Alberta) Stampede.

“When a committee of the stature of Dodge City asks you to come work their rodeo, it’s like Michael Jordan asking if you want to play a game of basketball,” he said. “You get to work with an A team of personnel and an A team list of stock. Anytime you get to work with people who excel in their field, it only makes me that much better.”

In addition to his clowning nomination, the former competitor also has been nominated for the PRCA Comedy Act of the Year two of the past three seasons. But there’s much more to Sosebee than meets the eye. Over his lifetime, he’s competed in nearly every rodeo event possible and was at the top of his game in bareback riding.

It’s part of the life growing up in a family that was heavily involved in rodeo. His father was a pickup man, so Sosebee has been part of the sport as long as he can remember.

“I got into clowning by accident by filling in for guys,” said Sosebee, who also owns a barbecue restaurant in his hometown of Charleston, Ark., just 25 miles east of Fort Smith, Ark. “I didn’t know where I was going to go with my rodeo career when I quit riding barebacks, and it turned into a good living. I get to see the world.

“I live in a community with one four-way stop, and I get to go to Dodge City, Kansas, and a lot of other great places where as soon as you pull into town, you are considered a rock star for a week.”

A born competitor, the clown has made the adjustments he needed to get the true fix after a lifetime of being part of the contest.

“I’ve always been a competitor in anything I did, from football to basketball to when I was in freestyle bullfighting,” he said. “I miss putting my hand in the riggin’ and nodding my head to be 80 points to win the rodeo, but I’m a realist. I’m 43 years old. While most of the guys I rodeoed with have slowed down and have found jobs, I get to be in the arena and get to make a living in rodeo doing something I love.”

Sosebee also plays to his strengths. Bigger than many in the game, he showcases a true athleticism that is rarely seen among men of his stature. It’s comedy at the purest level.

“Having the ability to laugh at myself is probably my biggest strength,” he said. “I don’t take anything too serious. When I’m watching a comedian, the funniest thing I see is when they’re honestly open and having a good time. I want the fans to see that I’m a real person and I’m having fun, and they can have fun with me.”

That’s why Sosebee has excelled as one of the premier rodeo clowns in the game. That’s why the volunteer committee is bringing him to town. It’s another key reason Dodge City Roundup Rodeo is always at the top of the game.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Harrison Captures Tallahassee ITA Summer Circuit Singles Title

Bulldog Beat - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 7:30pm
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After transferring to Mississippi State last week, Madison Harrison already has her Bulldog career off and running. Taking part in the 2015 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Summer Circuit, Harrison captured the Tallahassee Open singles title on Monday.

New Mexicans ready for Cowboy Christmas

Twisted Rodeo - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 2:17pm

Ram pickups pulling elaborate horse trailers and toting world-class ropers and steer wrestlers have left Pecos, Texas, and Reno, Nev., and are making their ways to locales all across North America.

They’re meeting other rigs and customized vans toting bull riders, saddle bronc riders and bareback riders.

Taos Muncy

Taos Muncy

This is Cowboy Christmas, the busiest time of the ProRodeo season. It features numerous rodeos located all across the United States and Canada, and each stop offers something for every contestant who makes a living in the sport.

The major stops include Prescott, Ariz.; Window Rock, Ariz.; Cody, Wyo.; Greeley, Colo.; Springdale, Ark.; Molalla, Ore.; St. Paul, Ore.; Livingston, Mont.; and Red Lodge, Mont., just to name a few. The commonality between them is the enticement of large paydays and many miles in between.

“The Fourth is really tough because you’re going on little to no sleep and spend most of your time getting from one place to another,” said Taos Muncy, a two-time world champion saddle bronc rider and one of the key members of the Tate Branch Auto Group team of ProRodeo cowboys. “A lot of things can happen, good and bad. I’ve had terrible Fourths where I’ve won nothing. That’s real humbling.”

Jake Cooper

Jake Cooper

As a roughstock cowboy, Muncy and his traveling posse don’t have to haul their own horses. The timed-event cowboys do. No matter the traveling arrangements, the logistics of getting from one place to another can be nightmarish.

It’s something all cowboys must face, including others on the “Riding for the Brand” team: tie-down roping brothers Clif and Clint Cooper and their legendary father, Roy Cooper; steer roper Marty Jones; and team roping twins Jake and Jim Ross Cooper. All have ties to southeastern New Mexico, just like the Tate Branch Auto Group, which has dealerships in Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs.

Jim Ross Cooper

Jim Ross Cooper

Though New Mexico is always home, the Tate Branch Auto Group Cowboys will spend the next few weeks on the rodeo trail. They all rodeo for a living and need every dollar they can win, but there’s much more to it. Dollars equal championship points, and the contestant in each event with the most earnings at the conclusion of the season wins the world champion’s gold buckle.

Oftentimes, timed-event hands will have more than one rig on the road during the hectic portion of the season to make sure they capitalize on as many opportunities as possible. That also showcases their talent in riding more than one horse at a time. But having more than one customized vehicle on the road is also helpful to Muncy and his traveling crew.

Clint Cooper

Clint Cooper

Right now, for example, he is in the van owned by traveling partner Tyrel Larsen, while Muncy’s is in northern Colorado. They’ll fly around to several places before returning to Greeley for the Stampede, then moving on to other rodeos.

“For me, the heavy part of the summer run is from the end of June to the end of July,” he said. “I’ll go straight through the next few weeks then on to Calgary (Alberta). I’ll be going every single day from now until the 13th of July, getting on one to two broncs a day.”

That’s just how hectic things can get over a short period of time. When it works out, it’s phenomenal. Muncy has won more than $30,000 over a few days centered around the Fourth of July holiday.

Clif Cooper

Clif Cooper

The Corona, N.M., cowboy has been among the top five in the world standings for much of the 2015 season. A recent dry spell has given him even more incentive to make things happen over the next few days.

“Everything was going really good until last weekend,” said Muncy, who won the college title in 2007, then followed that with world titles in 2007 and 2011. “I went to four rodeos and just had a lot of bad luck. It was just one of those weekends, but those things can turn around. When you’re on fire, you better keep entering and go with the flow. It can turn around quick. You’ve got to be able to handle the highs and the lows.”

That’s the way the rodeo rolls. It’s why the Tate Branch Auto Group cowboys lean on the support they get from the dealerships and the rest of the team involved.

“You just have to stay positive and go with the flow,” Muncy said. “Sometimes you have to show up late and get on, but when you get there, you try hard and give it your best. That’s all you can ask.”

That’s how more gold buckles are crafted.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

MSU Track & Field Athletes Compete World Wide

Bulldog Beat - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 1:40pm
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Both Mississippi State track and field teams made history this season with the women's team ending with the highest school finish in history at the NCAA Championship and the men with the highest finish since 1923

How to Handle the Potential Pitfalls of Dating

Lifestyles - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 9:15am
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Dating is hard these days. Never mind the whole getting-to-know you thing, the Internet has created a world where every foible, every flaw, every thing (literally and figuratively) is on display for all the world, including potential dating partners, to see.

"Surviving any worst-case scenario comes down to not panicking, having a plan and ultimately being prepared," David Borgenicht, author of The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Sur-vival Handbook: Dating & Sex, told the Chicago Tribune in an interview. "And this applies to the realm of dating."

That is why it's best to be prepared for any dating scene so you don't find yourself wondering whether leaving-by-the-bathroom-window is actually an option.

The following tips will help you avoid the minefield of dating.

* You spill wine all over the table, on yourself, or on your date. At best, you and your date can laugh it off. And if you like one another, it's an easy way to ask them out for a second one --to a dry cleaners where you'll foot the bill. At worst, if the sparks aren't there, you have an easy out.

* You're running late. It happens -- traffic, work runs over, mistiming on how long it takes to get ready -- and all of a sudden you've kept your date waiting. In this case, take a few minutes to send a text message or a quick call and let them know you've run into a snag, but will be there as soon as possible. Better yet, giving them a timeframe. One caveat: try to keep it light. If you sound stressed about being late, they'll be stressed about waiting.

* You're a smokeless tobacco user. For smokeless tobacco users, the thought of taking a spit cup or bottle on a date is horrific, and of course, an absolute no-no. So, what to do? You might want to consider a portable spittoon made by FLASR, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in creating smokeless tobacco accessories.

To avoid the messiness that can go along with using smokeless tobacco, the FLASR flask has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, thus eliminating the risk of spills and leaks often found with cups and bottles. In addition, the small size of the FLASR flask allows users to enjoy smokeless tobacco unobtrusively while in public.

For more information, visit www.flasr.com.

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