Tuesday, January 31, 2017

NFL Pro Bowl Experience 2017

This past Sunday night my husband and I attended the NFL ProBowl game here in Orlando. I thought I'd share some thoughts and tips if you'd like to plan a trip next year!

The best way I like to describe the ProBowl is that it's a bit like Fantasy Football. All of the best players across the league get voted on by fans to make the roster of the ProBowl at the end of the season. (Only the players participating in the SuperBowl don't attend because they're gearing up for the big game the following Sunday.) So, like Fantasy Football, it's all the big stars from a multitude of teams, playing together. Kinda neat!

During the week leading up to the big ProBowl game, there are different events held at ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Disney. They had a skills challenge, a 5K race, and game practices. I wish we could have gone to that, but we both were working (it was held during the weekdays). Maybe next year?

For the big game itself, it was a blast! We got to the stadium around 4pm and pulled right in to our pre-paid stadium parking. In the Fan Zone, there was so much to see! Food trucks, merchandise pop up's, plus a plethora of photo opportunities. You could take a photo with ProBowl cheerleaders, the ProBowl trophy, jersey mannequins, team mascots, etc.

My husband with Rowdy, the Dallas Cowboys mascot

Gates to the stadium opened around 5:30pm, so we hightailed it to our seats. We were third row on the NFC side, right near the tunnel. We got a great view of so many players warming up on the field and interacting with fans. The only bad part was that we weren't able to get any autographs. But I did have fun taking photos!
Richard Sherman (Seahawks) catching a football 

Travis Frederick & Zack Martin (both Cowboys) headed back to the locker room

If you are planning a trip for next year, here are some of my top tips:

  1. Buy ahead of time the clear, plastic stadium approved bag, to carry your things. I found mine on Amazon for $10. The stadium approved size is usually 12"x12"x6", but check ahead of time on the venue's website. I was on the fence about buying the bag, but I'm so glad I did. It really came in handy for holding tickets, my phone, and scarf (it was super cold that night!), and it made security a breeze. 
  2. Buy your seats right next to the tunnel, behind the goalpost, if you want autographs. It was killing me all night to be so close, but on the wrong side for autographs. The best seats for actually watching the game are not behind the goalpost, but they are the best seats for getting player autographs.  Once they open the stadium gates, run to get a spot along the wall so you can hang a shirt or poster over with a marker to have players sign. (Oh, and if you have a small child, players flock to that too. Figures, kids get all the love.)
  3. Buy the stadium parking lot parking ahead of time. Don't wait to hand over cash the day-of. It was such a wonderful experience to park so close (we were in Lot 9) and get in and out fast. The area around the stadium is super scary, so I was not taking any chances. 
  4. Take lots of photos! And make sure your phone has enough memory to take them! Don't ask me how I know this.. lol
    Dak Prescott (Cowboys) tossing a football
  5. Enjoy yourself! Most of all, enjoy yourself. Football season is just about over, and then there's basically nothing til September. Baseball. Soccer. You can tell how thrilled I am (not really). I love the Pinterest sign that says, "There's only two seasons in a year, football season, and waiting for football season." #thestruggleisreal

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Curated Closet

Happy 2017! How has this first week of the new year been for ya?

Gosh, it's only been a week, but I feel like things are already off to a phenomenal start! First, Ed Sheeran comes out with new music. {Praise the Lord he's back! Check out his lyric videos Castle On The Hill and Shape of You. They are beyond awesome.}

And now, I've gotten a great start on an amazing personal style book. I literally could not put this down yesterday, I was so inspired.

I give you.. The Curated Closet!

I originally found out about this book via the popular lifestyle blog, A Beautiful Mess. Curious, I requested this at the library and yesterday got to pick it up.




This book.

Anuschka the author (she's German), does such an amazing job of hooking you from the intro and sharing her personal stories. Things like, closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear? Or, does it take you an hour to decide on an outfit? Or even, have a bunch of clothes, but nothing that feels like "you"?

Sigh... I know I could definitely relate. This past year I think my biggest sin (or detriment to my personal style) was accepting free clothes from others. Things people were going to donate, I took. Tops, shorts, shoes, jackets, etc. I got into a bad habit of not buying clothes of my own this past year.

In the Intro and Part 1 I read yesterday, Anuschka walks you through the state of your current closet and wardrobe. There's an in-depth list of questions she asks you to answer about your current style, along with her challenge to photograph your outfits for 14 days. Boy, were those questions reveling! It helped me identify seasons to dress for, and occasions to dress for. It felt great to realize I didn't have to choose one type (let's say, preppy) for all occasions (work/church/date night). I could dress in multiple styles.

My biggest fears when I picked up the book was that I would have to toss everything, and that I wouldn't be able to afford new items. It made me question if I should wait to read and work through this now. Fortunately, the author has squashed my fears. She confirmed that I already have a few good pieces that are my style, and I can buy new pieces over time, slowly. No need to rush out and buy everything new this month. Phew!

Even make small tweaks can make a huge difference. Check out these photos below. Blouse and skirt separates, I absolutely hate. They're too overwhelming for my 5'3" frame. They pinch in the waist too. I'd prefer a sundress with a belt to cinch the middle.

All in all, I think my main motivation in working through The Curated Closet is to really develop my own personal style. As I creep closer and closer to 30, I want to look ageless and timeless. I want to look polished and feminine. I want to look fabulous in photos 50 years from now.

Who wouldn't want that, right?

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Yay for 2017

Happy New Year everyone! Happy 2017! Wow, we've made it! I hope you had a fantastic night last night reminiscing on all the moments of the past year.

Daniel and I certainly had a blast laughing over all the highs of 2016, and dreaming about what 2017 will become.

In typical New Years Day fashion, I have my 2017 vision board to present to you! Check it out!

You like? For those of you new to this, a vision board is a collection of thoughts, ideas, images, and words for what you desire your new year to be. Think of it as a Pinterest board filled with goals and dreams for the new year.

I like to stay away from the word "resolution", since resolution evokes more of a "yes" or "no" and this isn't supposed to be that committal. A vision board is more of a looser idea. You can check out some of my previous years' board here: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013

For 2017, I really hope to...

  • Become a world traveler. We've booked our flights for London for March, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I can't wait to experience the culture and enjoy some British tea!
  • Continue learning about gardening. I'd like to grow some flowering bushes (roses, hydrangeas) and try my hand at collards again in the spring. 
  • Loose another 10 pounds and walk more. Yes, that's right I've already lost 10 pounds over the past 6 months (and yes, I know that's slow, but at least we're going in the right direction!). The ChooseMyPlate program has been super helpful for navigating my nutrition, and is the best thing that works for me. I also want to work up to doing an outside walk (or two) each day. 
  • Display ancestor photos and travel postcards. This is sort of a new hobby I'm after. I bought an awesome photo scanner over the summer and have been enjoying scanning old family photos when I visit our parents. I'd like to display more of their photos throughout my house. Along with that, I have a huge collection of vintage looking travel postcards. I'm hoping to also display them well. They bring back such good memories of travelling as a kid.
  • Move to a new home. Yep, we're moving! Every year around this time we ask ourselves, is this the right time to move? Well we finally know, this summer it's a new house for us!  I'm so excited for that new adventure! 
  • Encourage others through more blogging. Yay! If you were wanting more posts from me, you're gonna get it! I really want to write and post more, especially shorter, encouraging messages. Stay tuned!

So there you have it! I am super excited about 2017 and some of the adventures that await! Hope your day has been relaxing, enjoyable, and full of inspiration for the new year!

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