A Bosh Family Cooking Tradition

June 28th  |  ,

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While our children are still young, we’re just getting started on building traditions. Part of that involves the kitchen—making and enjoying good food.

When I was growing up, my family would always cook Tex-Mex at my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve. The neighbors down the street would make authentic Mexican tamales to share with the whole gang, and we’d all eat and open presents.

Those memories have inspired me to start incorporating more food-related traditions into my own family, whether that means cooking or baking together, gathering around the table to eat a certain type of meal or creating special recipes that we make over and over again.

Holiday time can be tough with traveling and work obligations, but summertime is perfect for family barbeques and eating meals outdoors. I feel like we’re starting a tradition of sorts with grilling. It’s an easy way to cook and serve up a meal, and it’s a crowd-pleaser when it comes to the kids.

Our children love to cook, even if they’re doing something as simple as boiling water or stirring a bowl. It’s fun to get them interested in food and spend that time together. We actually make cupcakes at least once a week in our house. It’s sometimes the first thing we do at home after we get back from a trip, even if it’s only 10 a.m. My oldest daughter absolutely loves cupcakes, and now that we make them so often, the kids are starting to want to do it themselves without any help.

I appreciate food and enjoy learning about new recipes, flavors and techniques. To be able to pass that love of cooking along to my kids and make it something we all do as a family is even better. Family cooking traditions and those shared meals of my childhood are a part of who I am today. I can’t wait to create the same type of memories with my own family.

— photography by april belle photos —

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When I fell in love with music

June 14th  |  

Music and I have a bond, a relationship that’s grown and evolved over the years. There wasn’t really just one moment when I fell in love with it; it was something that started when I was young and then developed with each phase of my life.

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My earliest memories of music involve my parents. They’d listen to all that oldies style stuff—Motown, Al Green, Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Kool Moe Dee and Cameo. My dad also listened to music as a way to relax, especially as he headed home from work in the car. He’d tune in to “The Oasis,” a smooth jazz station in Dallas, which introduced me to musicians like Wes Montgomery, Sade and Kenny G. And his record collection was eclectic—everything from old school rap to rock and roll, Led Zeppelin and ACDC.

After my parents introduced me to their music, I started to expand my tastes and learn about different genres myself. Growing up, I listened to a lot of hip hop and R&B on the radio with my brother and friends. I’d say that’s kind of my musical foundation. The first album I bought with my own money was “Enter the Dru” by Dru Hill and it was a cassette! Then in the late 90s and early 2000s, I got into alternative music and some of those songs and bands from MTV and the movie soundtracks of the time. As I traveled, music revealed more about the culture of each new place. For example, in Toronto, soulful music with a reggae and Caribbean influence was everywhere, so I discovered a whole new genre while I was there.

My relationship with music then grew alongside my relationship with my wife, Adrienne. While we were dating, we’d send each other a “song of the day,” which usually clued us in to how the other person was feeling that particular day. I shared some of the hip hop and jazz I knew and loved, and she exposed me to a lot of pop and classic rock, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, White Stripes, Fleetwood Mac. She also loves 90s era alternative, so because I’d had a taste of that genre earlier on, we had some common ground too. Music was a conversation starter and a way to learn about each other’s backgrounds and interests.

More recently, I’ve become really interested in live music—concerts, festivals, other venues. Seeing performers and bands like ACDC, The Weeknd, Florence + the Machine, Drake and others and hearing their music live has given me a completely new approach to experiencing music. We recently went to Glastonbury, a huge multi-day music festival outside London, and got to see so many incredible performances—from Kanye West to The Who. We saw Steel Pulse live and they’re awesome! And I found out about an artist named Tricky out of England. The music is electronic mixed with hip hop, and even though there were only a few people in the crowd, it was a good show. 

Beyond that, I’m also learning more about electric music and great DJs. I got into electronic/trance music when I was going out a lot more and hanging with friends. I still enjoy it now—though I don’t have to be at a rave or a club to enjoy it—and I’m finding out about more DJs too. This genre and culture is newer to me, but I love that the world of music is so large and varied.

There’s always something new to discover. The lyrics, the melody, the harmony, the rhythm—it all works together to communicate something. If you just open yourself up to it, you too can fall in love.

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Great spots for an adventurous getaway

May 24th  |  ,

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For me and my family, travel always has to include some kind of adventure. To really take in a new place and explore all it has to offer, we have to get outside of our comfort zones a bit. Experiencing a different culture, environment, history, foods and wildlife makes traveling that much more fun.

When I reflect back on some of the spots we’ve visited, I can’t help but notice all of the opportunities for adventure. Some of these are experiences I’ve personally had, while others are simply cool things I’ve seen or heard about. As much as I’d like to try anything and everything, I also have to play it safe sometimes to prevent possible injuries and keep myself healthy.

In Italy, the varied landscape—with all its mountains, valleys, beaches, cliffs, islands—lends itself perfectly to any type of activity. Whether you enjoy swimming, boating or fishing, you’ll find an ideal spot to do just that. Or you could put on the scuba gear and check out the coral reefs and other sea life. And there are plenty of ancient ruins, beautiful architecture and historical places to tour. When you get hungry from all your adventures, Italy offers some awesome authentic food—so far, in my opinion, the best in the world. The bottom line: Italy is one of those destinations that can fulfill your vacation wishes no matter what they might be.

While visiting Sri Lanka, we stayed right in the midst of the jungle. Being a part of that environment gave us an up-close-and-personal view of the country. Speaking of “up close,” we also got a chance to feed baby elephants. These not-so-little guys were each the size of a massive truck and could guzzle five gallons of milk in about 15 seconds—definitely a memorable moment. Of course, we also enjoyed the adventure of climbing Lion Rock, which turned out to be the highlight of our trip.

Seeing different animals in their natural habitats is such a cool experience. On a safari in South Africa, we spotted all kinds—lions, hyenas, gorillas, rhinos, giraffes, even a rare sighting of a honey badger. The African elephants were huge, the size of a bus. And surprisingly, the hippos were the most dangerous animals we saw. Their mouths have the ability to crush basically anything, so they’re deadly.

The key to creating your own adventurous getaway is as simple as saying yes to any and every experience that comes your way. Take advantage of opportunities to try something new. Explore, experiment, branch out. No matter where you go, you can always find a way to incorporate a little taste of adventure.

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Why old-school games are still cool

May 12th  |  

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I recently bought a Ms. Pac-Man and a Galaga arcade machine. There’s something so nostalgic and fun about playing games I once enjoyed as a kid in the ’80s.

I remember how my dad would take us kids to the West End in Dallas, a historical district full of different tourist attractions, bars, two-stepping dance halls and arcades. We’d go every Friday when there was enough money to go. My goal was always to beat the high score, and I’d save up tokens to play certain games. Those happy days, just being a kid and having a good time, all come back to me when I play those games now as an adult.

My interest in owning some games myself started after I spent some time at Dwayne Wade’s house. We’re neighbors and he has a Ms. Pac-Man machine, so we like to get together and just kick back. Gabrielle Union even has this ongoing Ms. Pac-Man rivalry with a bunch of her friends—we’re always trying to beat each other’s high scores. It’s funny because even though you might be playing the game on your own, it can bring out some friendly competition and provide a fun challenge.

Old-school games seem to bring people together. Even if someone has never played before, the games from my childhood are usually pretty easy to catch onto. One of my friends, who I met back in high school, recently picked up some old PlayStation and Nintendo systems and games. Playing those types of games really makes me feel like a kid again. It’s a fun, low-key way to escape the adult world for a bit and bond with an old friend.

I was really excited to bring a piece of my childhood into my home. As an adult, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to play, to be like a kid again. That’s why I love seeing my children have fun and be silly and discover new things. Through a couple of old arcade machines, I’m able to capture that carefree feeling and experience it again myself.

(photo by April Belle Photos)

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What I learned at my first job

May 3rd  |  

It was the summer of 2000. I was 16 and wanted some money in my pocket because my mom and dad had bills to pay. Like most teenagers, I was ready for some independence, so relying on my parents to give me money for my own leisure activities wasn’t very smart. I wanted to do the things I wanted to do.

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I applied for my very first job at Blockbuster Video. A week or so later, I found out that I got the job and started training. Over the course of my time there, I learned a lot—lessons that shaped my money mindset, my work ethic and my career outlook to this day:

1. Work is work

At the time, I thought working a full-time week was easy. I was wrong! I definitely underestimated how tedious and tiring a job can be. That first week on the job in training, I was exhausted.

2. How to handle strange comments

I guess it’s bizarre to see a 6-foot-9-inch kid working at a video store. Customers always thought I was standing on something when I worked the cash register or asked me if I was really that tall. I got used to it after a while. One important tip for interacting with people of above-average height: Refrain from tall jokes, especially “How’s the weather up there?” That one’s the worst!

3. The importance of saving

It wasn’t until I actually received my first paycheck that I got excited about working. I think my check was around $350 or $400, but it felt like way more than that. My father drove me to pick it up and told me that I had to deposit at least half of the money into my bank account before we went home. That hurt because I wanted to blow the whole thing at the mall. But it was a good lesson to learn. My dad also taught me about growing interest with bank accounts. I think mine only earned just over 1 percent, but understanding the concept of “interest” would help me out later. I ended up turning pro with that bank account still there.

4. People skills

I worked at Blockbuster for about four months in total. I learned quite a bit working in a customer service position. It was tough, but I learned how to deal with different people—managers, customers, other employees. And I found out that a lot of guys lie about their late fees.

5. The value of your own money

I saved up my money all summer for my back-to-school shopping. I thought it was going to be the best year ever fashion-wise! But I discovered that clothes are a lot cheaper when you’re not spending your own money. I pretty much spent my entire savings in one afternoon of shopping. That experience—seeing how quickly my hard-earned dollars could be spent—helped build a foundation for my money mindset from that point on.

6. When to move on

I continued working part-time during the school year until I got tired of missing our football games. All the college kids who had been working during the summer had left, and I didn’t really like working with any of the other guys or managers. I had to stop. Working from 6 pm until close every night was too much with my school commitments, and the word “close” never meant the same thing. Sometimes we’d finish at 12:30 am and sometimes 2 am. Frankly, it sucked.

7. It’s more than a paycheck

Despite the long hours and rude customers, my first job was ultimately a good experience for me. It taught me about what it takes to work somewhere and the value of money, especially when you earn it yourself. It also showed me that a great job is much more than a paycheck. Sure, sometimes you just have to earn money and make a living. But having passion for what you’re doing, belief in your team and the business, and dedication to your bigger goals—that’s the stuff that makes a job meaningful.

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How to start a sneaker collection

April 26th  |  

Because I’m an athlete, it might seem obvious that I like sneakers. I wear them a lot, both on the court and off. But my love of this cool and comfortable shoe runs a little deeper.

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I wouldn’t say I’m a hard-core collector; I just collect the ones I like. The thing is, owning these shoes was something I dreamed about as a kid. Growing up, I couldn’t afford sneakers like the ones I have now. We’d get one pair at the beginning of each school year and then wear them into the ground. I remember getting the Eastbay catalog at school. We’d flip through the pages and fantasize over all the new, cool shoes.

Those dreams turned into a real interest of mine. When I started in the NBA, I experienced an influx of sneakers. And as a Nike athlete, I often get to try out the latest styles. In honor of my childhood fantasies, I tracked down some old-school pairs—those from the mid-1990s, Penny Hardaway ones and other classics.

My all-time favorite pair of shoes has to be the black and red Air Jordan 11s. I wanted a pair so bad when I was a kid. Anything Jordan touched was gold, and those were the first official shoes he wore after coming out of retirement for a whole season. People went crazy! I know I did. My other favorites were the Air Penny 2s—black, white and blue. Those are the only ones that I don’t have, but I’m still on the lookout! And then there are the Air Max 91s and Air Max 95s. I always collect shoes that give me a feeling, whether it’s a nostalgic one or just that good feeling you get when wearing a dope pair of shoes.

Some collectors like to keep their sneakers in the box as collectibles, but I like to store mine in my closet and just wear them like normal shoes. I feel like they have a purpose, a cool look and comfortable feel, so I might as well enjoy them. Maybe it’s the kid in me coming through…

As for where to pick up new pairs, I’d check out sneaker stores, like Flight Club in New York and Los Angeles, among others. Most major cities have at least one hot spot, and I feel like I’m always discovering new stores and sources. Although I haven’t been yet, there’s also a Sneaker Con held every month or so in different cities, where people can buy, sell and trade shoes of all kinds—from running and basketball sneakers to skateboard and everyday “kick around” ones.

If you’re looking to build your own collection, start with what you love. Take your time, learn about different types, check out the stores and sites, and discover what you really like. Over time, you’ll grow your collection—and hopefully not spend too much in the process!

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Bosh Family World Tour :: Morocco

April 21st  |  

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Take an inside look at one of our past Bosh family trips to Morocco. We got to experience rugs being created, various Moroccan markets, camel trekking in the desert, and belly dancers. We soaked up the culture, the heat, and as many moments as possible.

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My memories of Kobe Bryant

April 18th  |  

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Kobe played his last NBA game this past Wednesday, and I couldn’t let that occasion go by without writing something about it. To be able to compete and share the court with a great player like Kobe Bryant has been an honor for me. He’s a big part of many of my basketball memories—iconic moments, classic games and heated rivalries.

I remember when he was with the Lakers when I was a kid. I wasn’t a guard, but his success in the NBA was a huge inspiration to me. I got to hear him speak when I participated in ABCD camp in Teaneck, New Jersey in 2001. At the time, most of what he said went over my head, and to be honest, I soon forgot the actual content of his talk. I was just so happy to see someone who was successful in the league speaking in person. I wanted to be in the NBA. I wanted to be successful just like he was. I wanted to play in the Finals and win championships like he was doing at the time, and it motivated me to work harder.

I remember playing against the Lakers for the first time in my career. Honestly, I was a little starstruck. To experience Kobe’s aura up close and share the court with him felt like a major accomplishment. I remember when I had the opportunity to be on the U.S. National team in 2008. That was another dream of mine—to get a chance to win a gold medal and to be able to call the best players in the world my teammates, even if it was only for a short time.

On the first practice day with that team, I went down to get breakfast before we took the bus over to the gym. There I was, thinking I was pretty early and feeling good about myself and Kobe’s already there. He gets up, says hello and walks out to get ready for practice. The most interesting thing I noticed was that he had ice bags on his knees. I later found out that he’d already gotten his workout in and was pretty much waiting for our practice to start. Mind you, this was less than two weeks after the Lakers lost in the Finals to the Celtics, and there he was, working out and practicing like a maniac. He had every reason to rest up and just focus on being healthy for the Olympics. But every day in practice, he brought it. Every day, he was trying to be the best among the best.

We went to the village to hang out a few times while the Olympic Games were going on, and I remember everybody walking through the arcade that they’d set up for the athletes. There were a bunch of games, but in particular, they had those mini pop-a-shot basketball games that you can find in just about every arcade in the world. Kobe and Michael Redd started playing, and things got competitive. After a few games, I got tired of watching, so I left to meet up with some friends. I had to have been gone for a couple of hours. When it was almost time to head back to the hotel, I stopped by the arcade again and those guys were still playing! Both of them were in a full sweat with a focus like it was a real game. That was pretty funny to me because I’d always heard about how competitive Kobe was and in that moment, I got to witness it for myself.

Kobe is the type of player that comes along once in a generation. He’s an icon for what he did on the court. A champion and true competitor, he delivered again and again on the world’s biggest stage. We watched his accomplishments and failures, and there’s no doubt he’s one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game.

It’s hard to believe that he’s retiring from basketball, but his impact and inspiration will be felt for generations to come. Thank you for everything you’ve done, Kobe! The game won’t be the same without you.

photo via: Daniel Shirley, USA Today Sports

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My approach to apps, websites and social media

April 7th  |  

I like to think of myself as a technology enthusiast. Technology truly fascinates me. Staying up-to-date and checking out the latest, greatest gadgets, electronics and gear is a passion of mine.

Websites are one of my channels of choice for staying updated on the specific things I’m interested in—news, technology, fashion, culture. I have a few news sites I check regularly and some tech sites with all the information, interviews and new product reviews I need. You’ll usually find lifehacker.com, engadget.com and GQ.com in my browser history.

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As for social media, I like to scroll through Twitter during breakfast. It’s a quick, easy way to catch up on news, trends, tech, friends and other people I’m interested in. I also use Instagram for entertainment and to share snapshots of my day-to-day life. Facebook is great for keeping up with family and taking in longer news updates. What’s nice with all these platforms is that you can pick and choose who you want to follow, which means your feeds are custom to your interests.

At first I thought I wasn’t that into apps, but when I thought about it more, I realized I use them all the time. They’ve become such an integral part of life, something I use on a daily basis, that I almost didn’t realize how many I tap into regularly.

Some of my favorite apps help me stay updated, organized and in touch. For example, I use Pinterest for recipes, fashion inspiration, party planning (my wife and I like to share ideas with each other that way) and interior design (it’s especially come in handy as we’re in the process of building a new house).

WhatsApp and Line are two different apps that let me keep in touch with people internationally. I can send texts, photos and videos and make calls on Wi-Fi for free, so I don’t have to use minutes or data to catch up with friends in other countries or while I’m traveling overseas.

I recently got into Snapchat, thanks to Dwayne Wade. He’s the first friend I knew who had the app. It’s been a fun way to share goofy videos, show what I’m up to and just laugh at myself a bit. I’m also always checking the NBA Game Time app for live stats, scores and all the play-by-play action. And living in Miami, there are plenty of times I’ve come across Spanish words I don’t know, so I have a translator app to easily look them up and learn some new vocabulary.

My phone holds all my music, so that part gets a lot of use. I use Notes and Reminders to keep track of things I need to do and to write out anything I have on my mind. It’s an accessible spot to let out my thoughts, especially during the season if I’m feeling tired or frustrated. A short note gives me a chance to express myself and not hold things in. And I can send it to my wife so she can see how I’m feeling and we can talk about it.

We all have busy lives, and while technology has the potential to make our lives easier, it can also take a lot of time and effort to keep up with everything. There’s an infinite pool of information out there, so my approach is to focus on what I like and let the rest go.

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Best Beers for a Barbecue

March 29th  |  

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When it’s hot outside, I’m all about refreshing, light brews. If you’re like me, you want a beverage that’s crisp and cold, maybe even something with a touch of citrus fruit like lemon, orange or grapefruit. Beers like that are the perfect complement to barbecued meat and fresh summer vegetables.

I understand that it can be tough to get people to sample new beers outside of their comfort zone. I have friends who stick with the beers they know—and that’s it. But I’m slowly getting them to try different kinds because there are so many! There’s nothing better than grabbing a cold one with friends while throwing some food on the grill.

Just be careful if you’re eating and drinking outside. After all, when you’re thirsty and the sun is beating down on you, there’s a good chance you’re going to drink more than one beer. But throwing back porters and hoppy beers—any of those kinds with a higher alcohol content—can come with consequences, so watch out for that.

One of the cool things I like to do with beer is layer different ones to complement what I’m cooking. Grilled meats usually have that charred taste from the grill, so a beer with roasted flavors—something like a porter—does the trick for a nice pairing. A newer craze that’s been around for a while is black IPAs. You get that roasted flavor along with the hoppiness of an IPA. I tried it for the first time a few months ago and loved it. So if you’re having a burger, these beers go perfectly!

If you’re doing fish, sausages or chicken, I’d recommend lagers or pilsners. With these beers, you’ll have a variety of options as well as lower alcohol contents, so they’re safer to drink on a hot day while you’re grilling outside. If you’re cooking a bratwurst, do as the Germans do, and grab a pint of a nice, cold lager. Lagers and pilsners are usually more crisp and refreshing, so you can really taste the food you made—especially if you have grilled veggies to go with your meat or fish.

For the more advanced beer drinker, a dark lager or an amber is awesome. Those types of beer will really bring out the tastiness of a meal like sausage and caramelized onions. You can even braise the meat in beer if you’re serious about your grilling and your beer. I’m getting hungry just thinking about this!

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