Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Out with the Old, and the Excess

What a whirlwind year it has been, friends. I don’t know about you, but I feel like as I get older each year, the time speeds by even faster. This year was a busy one, from work to home. There was a lot of travel for business …

And some for fun!

We sold one house …

And bought (and have been working on) another!

We skipped out on full-blown season passes in exchange for buying things for the house, but made sure to hit up some big games when we could: 

Had laughs with friends and family alike …

And ate really well: 

Whew! It’s only mid-way through another holiday season, and I have already had to put myself in check on health matters. All of that "good eating" has added up, especially when my new work commute has limited my options for workouts. By good eating, I don't always mean "good" as in "healthy!" The scale hasn’t moved too much, but I have not. felt. good. I have been straight up dragging, and spending my upcoming PTO time on the couch in recovery mode just isn’t going to work. I just don't have that kind of time and would rather make the most of my vacays. 

So, starting this week, I threw myself back into Weight Watchers with all of my might. Yes, my office might be giving away free breakfasts and lunches. Yes, the social events have snacks and drinks and sweets out the wazoo. But if I am already feeling like I usually do on January 1, over-spent on food and under-spent on energy, I need to kick some serious Katherine booty, like, now. Otherwise, I am not going to enjoy the rest of the season at all.

Maybe I am taking this space as an opportunity to cyber-guilt myself, sure. But, I am pretty sure a number of you are in the same boat, and I thought that there might be strength in numbers, without the excess. The cookies from this past weekend’s exchange were delicious – but now they are in the freezer, ready for enjoyment at a later date, one at a time. Our kitchen is stocked and our meals are planned. Freebies at work, I am ignoring you. Instead of a daily Chai, I am going to treat myself to maybe one each week. 

What are you doing to moderate yourself this season? 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Feeling Famous in the Hall of Fame

With the holiday break right around the corner, most of us are planning out what we can do when our loved ones come to visit us. Sure, there's the inevitable shopping trips and family meals, but what do you do when the food is all cleaned up, and the Big Game isn't on TV yet? 

Last weekend, my cousin came into town for the annual Georgia Tech-Clemson bout, and I was faced with the same question and wanted to make sure she had a great time on her visit. Luckily, I had earmarked a page from the paper from months ago, about the new College Football Hall of Fame, so we were set with a fun place to go!

Located in downtown Atlanta right by Phillips and the Dome, the College Football Hall of Fame relocated from South Bend and our beloved Fighting Irish back in August, and the new location just couldn't be cooler. It's an entirely interactive experience, anchored around the "all access" badge you receive when you walk in. Pick your team, and go explore! 

The entrance hall is pretty awesome alone. The helmets on the walls light up with a blue light as you pick your team. I picked Georgia Tech, Brad picked Auburn, and Erin picked Clemson. Then, as you walk through the museum, the badge is automatically picked up by the displays, and you get served up custom college content. Here's Brad checking out the interactive screen of Auburn videos and photos: 

And then right down the way on the same big screen, a section lit up to show me some Georgia Tech content. My favorite was watching the Ramblin' Wreck enter the stadium with the team :)

This museum is super-connected. If you participate in any of the interactive demos, the video and photos are tracked on your badge, and everything gets sent to your email address when you leave. So, in case you are wondering, YES, you can re-live that moment when you accidentally signed up for Fight Song Karaoke in front of the entire. freaking. room. of. people. and then had to sing and clap. Yep.


Goodness. Gracious. But if I can do it, so can you. #GoJackets #noshame #sorryimnotsorry What team would you sing a fight song for aloud, no questions asked? :)

In addition to the interactive content, there is just SO much to read and explore on your own in over two floors of museum displays. History, legends and traditions in college towns across the nation. Spotting your favorite college throughout is pretty easy, since most big NCAA schools seemed to be represented.

One last BB tip: GO SEE THE MOVIE. It is, in one word, AMAZING. I got chills and nearly teared up. If you are a sports fan, you are going to love it.

Happy Holidays, all, enjoy your Thanksgiving! And, Go Jackets, and War Eagle! 

Disclosure: I didn't receive any compensation from the CFB Hall of Fame for this post. We just had an amazing time, and I wanted to share this with you all!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Giveaway: Cirque du Soleil Amaluna

Part of my favorite part of living in the suburbs is the peace and quiet we have nearly at all times. This morning, a bird chirping woke me up. A bird. What has happened to me? I used to sleep through helicopters whizzing overhead, honks of cars on the nearby roads and the beeps of trucks backing up our high-rise driveway. Now? It's birds. Oh, and the school bus engine idling up the street at 6:42AM, every weekday morning. That's only if I am snoozing much past my alarm and not already walking out the door with this new commute :)

A part of me will always live in the city, though, and I just can't stay away for too long :) I still work in town, and most weekends, I am in town for something, whether it's hanging with friends, or checking out the big game (don't get me started on our Jackets this year, though. Sigh).

This past weekend, it was Cirque du Soleil that drew me into town, to the blue and yellow tents at Atlantic Station. We put on our matinee outfits, grabbed a quick pint next door at Meehan's, and strolled in for the Sunday afternoon show of Amaluna.

Side note: Isn't it amazing how quickly the Cirque du Soleil show seems to set up when they come to town? Those tents go up seemingly overnight, even though in reality, it takes eight days to set up, and three to take down, all via a team of 85 people. Either way, it always makes me think of that opening scene in Dumbo with the men singing as they raise the big top :)

Amaluna was a fantastic experience. First of all, the vibe under the tent is awesome. The crowd sits really close to the stage, all 2,600 of us, and the seats go probably three-quarters of the way around the stage. That means that there is not a bad seat in the house! If you want to see the action really up-close, you can grab seats up front. Or, you can sit a bit further back to get some amazing full-picture views of everything going on. On top of that, there are circular parts of the stage that revolve so that everyone can see everything from every angle.

One of my absolute favorite parts was the band. I noticed a big part of the show was made up of female performers. I found out later that my hunch was right -- the cast is 70% female! The band was all-female, and they brought out the electric cello for a number of the great ballads. I am a cellist myself, so of course I loved it! I always thought it'd be cool to play the electric cello. This woman rocked it. Seeing a show that's a self-titled tribute to the voice and power of women was empowering in and of itself.

From the costumes to the acts, the show was wonderful. Just wait 'til you see what this performer does with the pile of sticks at her feet!

Have you been to a Cirque du Soleil show before? What was your favorite memory? How about going to see Amaluna while they are in town? If you are game ... I have tickets to give away right here, y'all! So, get your raffle entry on because I am going to pick a winner later this week! First, read on to learn a bit more ...

About Cirque du Soleil 
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2014, Cirque du Soleil brings a new show to Atlanta. Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Amaluna's Tony Award-winning Show Director, Diane Paulus, drew from a series of classical influences when creating the concept of the show -- including tales from Greek and Norse mythology, Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Shakespeare's The Tempest. Now playing under the famed blue-and-yellow Big Top at Atlantic Station until November 30, 2014, great seats start as low as $35.  

Ticket Giveaway Details
I have four (4) tickets to give away to lucky readers for the Wednesday, November 5th show of Amaluna, at 7:30PM. Ready to win?! Be sure to enter your info in the below form! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not so lucky on the giveaway? 
Buy discounted tickets here, thanks to Amaluna. Take advantage of this offer and buy four tickets for the price of three. Bring the whole family, or all the gals - and enjoy the show! 

Disclosure: I received two free tickets to the Amaluna show in exchange for this post. However, all opinions are my own! Thanks to Amaluna and Cirque du Soleil for the great afternoon!