Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Fashion Forward

Tennis isn't the only passion of professional player Venus Williams. She's dabbling in a bit of fashion as well with her active-wear, tennis inspired company EleVen. The line displays palate colors of white, black, pink, and gray. Her signature catch phrase "oh & oh" brings a fun & flirty twist to the collection. From tennis tanks and tees to short shorts and tennis skirts, EleVen has something for every active woman especially tennis fashionistas.

EleVen Collection

tennis polo shirts

fun tanks & yoga-like pants

love & love

If you're onsite at the Sony Ericsson Open, stop by the retail tent (located next to the Bombay Sapphire lounge) for a sneak peek. To purchase online, click here.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What better way to contribute to your fave athletes than to aid them in their success? As a fan, to have the ability to help a player advance his/her career is priceless. But in case that reward itsels isn't enough for you, skype sessions, autographed memorabilia, and meet n' greets can be arranged. Yes, you read correctly. You, the fan, can get involved with your fave athletes on a whole new level., launched 2 months ago, provides a unique experience for enthusiastic fans to financially assist their fave athletes while getting personal one-on-one interaction. The cencept is simple and rewarding all at the same time. Crowdfunding is the collective cooperation by people who network and pool their money together in order to support an effort. Crowdfunding replaces formal and traditional fundraising techniques with a more casual yet powerful approach, based on crowd participation and groups around the world who share an interest in funding a person, project or event. The access to information further spreads awareness about the cause.

Crowdfunding has been trending for about 5 years now; yet hadn't broken into the sports world until founder Dan Nagler developed the concept. Most people believe that all tennis and golf players live the easy life making loads of money through winning tournaments, endorsements, and sponsorship deals. But the truth is that not all athletes are Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova. In fact, it is quite expensive to be a professional tennis player. Costs include airfare, hotel, ground transportation, a full-time travel coach, a full-time travel hitting partner, a full-time travel fitness coach, a sports psychologist, and an international cell phone. Unlike team sports where these costs are covered by the team, in tennis the expense is borne entirely by the player.'s mission is to bring professional athletes and fans together in a way like never before. Their model uses membership benefits and player support to bring fans closer to the action and create a direct fan-player connection. It allows you to have an actual impact on the players’ success through player support. The support system created by uses membership dollars to help finance the costs associated with a professional tennis player’s career, including travel and coaching.

Benefiting a player has its perks. A monthly enewsletter, tickets to competitions, and private lessons are among the many membership benefits. For a full list of fan fun, click here. Plus you can donate to your player of choice. Whether its a player from your home country or a star you can't wait to see rising up the rankings. The power lies in the hand of the fan. To donate, simply click here and pick your superstar.

If you're a player and want to become more involved with your fans, sign up is easy as 1-2-3. Simply click here, read the verbage, and sign your name. In today's society, we need all the help we can get. And our fans are our livelihood.

Check out the article World Tennis Magazine wrote featuring here.

So come on, join the fan fun and help make a difference in your fave player's career!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sony Ericsson Open Recap (Week One)

Week one of the Sony Ericsson Open didn't disappoint. With 3 sessions breaking attendance records and 8 sessions sold out, the tennis matches have been off the charts. Venus Williams continues to shock our crowds with her tenacity and love for lengthy matches (2 three setters thus far) have advanced her to the "sweet" (round of) 16. The American men are making waves quite easily with Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish breezing into week 2 (Rod plays Rog tonight). Along with fab tennis, the players have enjoyed local Miami excursions including swimming with dolphins at the Sea Aquarium, stand up paddle boarding in the Crandon Marina, and an MMA staged fight with Rashad Evans. Plus let's not forget the epic EPIC Hotel player's party rocked out with DJ Bob Sinclar.

Fans have enjoyed much entertainment onsite as well. From the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders performing to sipping champagne & sushi to numerous autograph signings to rad sponsor giveaways. Event the kiddies have indulged with participation in Lindt's Kids' Day.

Proving once again to the be the place to be, celebs from all facets are out n' about showing their support for their fave players. Kelly Rowland, Boyd Tinsley, Rory McIroy, Anthony Mackie, and too many professional athletes to list have rallied & cheered on their friends. No barefoot Owen Wilson yet but I'm not giving up yet.

If you've missed the fun, its not too late! We still have 6 more glorious days of fun in the sun. Filled with activities, food & drink, and of course, world class tennis. See you on the court in Key Biscayne.

**To purchase tickets, click here.
**For a daily schedule of play, click here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In the Midst of Miami

Each time I return to Miami, a wave of emotions rush over me. Often times, its like I never left. Then again so much has changed in 5 years. I still make sure to visit my favorite spots including malls, eateries, and bars. And I have specific drives that I must take despite how out of the way they may be.

Miami is where I began my quote on quote adult life. The first place I truly lived on my own. The first place I came to virtually knowing no one. The first place I learned to navigate the town myself, get a job with my credentials rather than contacts, and make friends from scratch. It is where I met the person who I thought I would spend the rest of my life with back then. The place where what I consider to be the most painful experience of my 29 years and the biggest failure of my life to date took place. The place that my career in sports began and in some respect ended in terms of my ideal job. Miami has been a constant in my life for 7 years and with it has come highs and lows and more emotional roller coasters than an amusement park.

I've pondered all of the emotions over the past few years that I feel upon return. I comprehend the bittersweet-ness of the adult aspect. I have healed from the darkness and stigmas of divorce. I have come to appreciate Miami for what it was, what it is, and what it will always be in my life. But the one thing I have yet to overcome is how it has affected my career in sports. I can't seem to let my dream job hopes & aspirations go just yet. And honestly, I'm not quite sure I will ever truly let it go.

So as I move forward, I hope to gain more opportunities each time I come here. I hope to get to a place where I can let the past be the past and the present be enough. I hope to get to a place where the future is brighter than ever.

Muchos gracias Miami for all that you have been, are, and will be.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oh Belly, Belly

I posted these bump pics on fb for all to see, but I thought I'd double up on the blog. There isn't much to see (which I have a feeling a will be referencing as time goes on), but this is my baby bump thus far.

8 weeks front

8 weeks side

12 weeks front

12 weeks side

16 weeks front

16 weeks side

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Announcement

After hanging on every word the experts had to say during Selection Sunday and Bracketology, I kept ESPN on while I packed up my suitcase to depart Utah. The Announcement, a documentary of sorts, told by Magic Johnson quickly sucked me in. The story of his life, his battle with HIV, and his determination to not only beat the disease but to empower those around him.

I can remember being just under 10 years old when the news broke. I faintly remember asking my parents what HIV meant. Like many others, they believed it to be a horrible disease contracted by doing horrible things. The image of Magic changed to a semi-negative in my young mind. Michael Jordan quickly became my favorite NBA star.

But after crying along with his story, I can't help feeling a bit ashamed of my ignorance. Albeit age and lack of understanding, the world and even his closest friends judged him. His wife stood by him which I find to be unbelievably honorable especially given that she was pregnant when they found out. And Pat Riley, the ultimate coach and leader, saved Magic from his own depression. Thank the Lord for that because Magic has gone on to not only educate the world on the HIV virus, but he has also given hope to those who are infected. Children through no fault of their own. Women through deceit of their man. Victims of bad blood transfusions. In the words of Pit Bull, Magic took a negative and turned it into a positive.

So thank you Magic Johnson for being brave. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. Your very personal story. You have made a difference. And with that you have just become my favorite NBA player again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Bend in the Road: A Book Review

When I bought The Lucky One, I also scooped up A Bend in the Road. The back of the book intrigued me. Something about a love story coupled by a twist of fate that would question love and everything else they believed in. Sold.

I started the book Thursday at the Midway airport. I finished it Saturday afternoon. I couldn't stop reading. I love how Nicholas Sparks write. But more so, I love how he draws the reader in, keeps them captivated, and makes them thirst for the answer. All of his books tell a love story. And all of them have an ending that you least expect. Right down to the last page. It is a talent that I aspire to have when it comes to writing. Not that the book I'm writing tells a love story or has an ending so to speak, but someday I'd like to be a female NS.

Since there is no film being made just yet, I'll give you a little more meat in the summary for this piece. Miles Ryan has spent the last two years of his life tortured by the mystery person who killed his wife Missy. He all but sleeps with the file from his own private investigation. His son, Jonah, continually has nightmares about his mommy and the accident. This is all until Sarah Andrews enters their lives. What starts out as innocent flirting turns into real, raw love. But when the truth comes out about who is to blame for Missy' death, will Miles & Sarah last? How far would you go to avenge the person who killed your spouse? And what would you do when push comes to shove and you must choose between the one you love and your family?

Check out A Bend in the Road to see how it all ends. You can pick up a copy at your local Barnes & Noble, and if there isn't one near you, click here to order online.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Park City, Utah

I'm a big fan of surprising Ryan with trips for his birthday. For one, we don't need a bunch of "stuff" that will just go to waste. And for two, I love traveling so it works out well for me too :) After listening to him complaint about how "omg he wouldn't get to ever snowboard since we were moving to the east coast", I was determined to prove him wrong. For the record, he has been three times in 2012 which is the exact same amount he went in 2011. I win.

And I am on my own quest this year. As a five year old, I vowed to go to all 50 states before I kicked the bucket, and I've made a pretty nice dent in the list. I lack in the northeast and west regions. So it was only fitting that I chose Utah for Rhino's 31st b-day celebration. One new state for me to check off. A snowboarding trip for him. Win-win situation.

**Despite my love for snowboarding, I am not experienced enought to be comfortable doing it while preggo just yet. And while I'm sure I would have been fine, I would never forgive myself if something happened to baby T on account of my playing.

Thursday we kicked off our mini vaca after I ran around the house like a mad woman trying to make sure the thermostats were set, the lights were turned off, the alarm was set, and baby Beau was ready for Gracelane Kennel (I hate leaving him but Snowbird is not pet friendly). We had a rather long layover in Chi-town which resulted in a lot of web surfing, reading, and catch up on our accounts. By the time we arrived in Salt Lake City's airport, we were exhausted and ready for some sleep. The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird was a mere 40 minute drive which flew by thanks to no traffic. Even in the moonlight, the mountains were breathtaking.

Friday I awoke and hit the gym. Ryan slept in while I worked up a sweat. The view was picturesque and made it easy to remain on the eliptical for some time. I grabbed a little breakfast for us and headed to our room to wake up the sleepy guy. We chowed down and dressed in our UK gear to cheer on the CATS! Superstitution is one of my greatest traits when it comes to the BBN. Ryan hit the slopes after our victory while I enjoyed lunch by the window with a novel. Followed by an hour yoga class. Unbelievably relaxing. Something I haven't made time for recently and something that won't be happening again until April. After our individual adventures, we showered up and headed to dinner. I'd made reservations at Wildflower, a romantic restaurant at the Iron Blosom Inn just down the hill. We enjoyed calamari, seafood fettuccine, graham cracker cheesecake, and raspberry sorbet. Tucked in by 9:30pm.


on the lunch menu: relaxation

the snowboard tunnel

coming out of the tunnel

seriously breathtaking

adult night

To kick-off a gorgeous Saturday morning, I rose early to get in an hour & a half yoga class before treating myself to a prenatal massage and facial. Hey, my doctor advised I get as many massages as possible throughout this journey of becoming a mother. And by the way, the views from the Cliff Spa were amazing. Ryan got a few morning runs in before we met up at The Atrium for some CATS cheer & a tasty lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the mountain for the birthday boy and finishing up my Nicholas Sparks gem. We took a stroll around the Snowbird Center while sipping hot cocoa. The temp was mild enough to soak up the sunshine and acquire my vitamin d daily intake. We dined at The Aerie on the top floor of our hotel. Another romantic setting overlooking the mountains with fabulous food. We each enjoyed a burger with sushi (no worries just a California roll) as an appetizer.

morning view 
Ryan hitting the slopes

apres ski vodka ice bar

dinner date

who needs ski boots when you have Uggs?

I rep the CATS everywhere

Sunday we slept in and grabbed a quick bite before hitting the gym. I saw a pregnant woman on the bike and then the treadmill. I stopped to ask her how far along she was, mainly so that when I become huge & lazy I will use her determination as motivation. 36 weeks. Working out like a champ. Oh and don't worry with twins she worked out until the day she had them. Perfect.

After the sweat came heartache. Let's just say UK basketball is more than just a game to me. But bring it on NCAA tourney. We're ready for you! So to drown my sorrows, I hit up the shops while Ryan finished his snowboarding time. We met back up at El Canate for some Mexican dinner coupled with Selection Sunday. If you are my fb friend, then you will know how annoyed and lame I find the south bracket to be. I'm not going to go into it again because my blood pressure gets crazy high which apparently is no bueno. At least Dicky V and a few other commentators had the guts to point out that the selection committee did the Cats no favors. Revenge is sweet though, and I guess being the best means being hated by everyone.

Anywho, tucked in early due to a 4am departure. Brutal on a normal day. Extra brutal with daylight savings. We both really enjoyed our weekend of r&r, and we relished in the fact that we weren't stuck on home projects or to do lists. We actually had real conversations about normal things. So refreshing.

last day of vaca...cinnibon mini treats ;) 
and a Vegas layover!

How did your weekend go?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Music Mondays

Totally feeling this as 30 approaches...

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Lucky One: A Book Review

Nicholas Sparks is one of the most talented writers. Not just because he has hundreds of books or books made into movies. But because the way he writes captivates his audiences so much that they feel the experience of the characters. He has love and life down to a fine science. I have yet to come across one of his pieces that I haven't salivated over. I just can't seem to put his books down.

When I saw the preview for the upcoming film The Lucky One, I knew I had to scoop the book first. I love comparing book to movie when presented the opportunity. So I decided to pick it up (along with a few other NS novels) and got to reading. I finished it in 4 days. I just had to find out what happened in the end!

I don't want to spoil the movie for you so I'll leave out the plot line from my description. (Should you want to be informed of the basic, click here.) But to captivate you, think of a time when you believed something or someone was a lucky charm. Someone who kept you safe from harm. Then think about your life and all of the pieces that have fit together to make you who you are and have you where you are today. Mix 'em together, add a little spice, and you've got The Lucky One.

Check it out at your local Barnes & Noble before the film comes out!
**For a store near you, click here.

And if you want a sneak peek into the novel, click here to read the first 3 chapters...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Being Productive

Just when I was beginning to think that 2012 was low key (aside from being preggo) compared to 2011, I checked my calendar. I've been fortunate enough to spend most of February at home that I was a bit blind sided by the upcoming travel bug that has struck our schedules.

The calendar reads something like this:

March 8-12                Park City, UT
March 15 - April 2     Miami, FL
April 19-28                Louisville, KY
May 4-6                     Louisville
May 24-27                 Louisville

Catch my drift about being travel struck?

The need to get things done this weekend was imperative. And so Ryan & I both worked our little bodies & minds to the core. He was hell bent on getting the last of the first floor touch up paint finished. So much that he stayed up until 1:30am Friday night and 3am Saturday night. Saturday we spent the day adding some furniture pieces to our collection. Pier One must have thought they hit the jackpot with us when we purchased eleven items from them. Don't worry, I had a 20% off coupon AND triple points on my Pier One card ;)

our new table...chairs had to be ordered

our new barstools 

Sunday I snuck into Tarrytown for a Starbucks (decaf people) and a peek at Pretty Funny Vintage for this fabulous antique desk I had been eyeing. With my thrifty bargaining skills, I was able to get $75 off the original price!

can't wait to hang my Mama Comley's Xmas notes above the desk

By the time I got back, Ryan had cleaned up all of his painting toys, stapled the chicken wire to keep baby Beau from chasing squirrels & escaping the yard, and started on painting a few accent pieces for our family room/kitchen.

freshly painted accent piece...that holds my fun wine glasses ;)

And no weekend for us is complete without a trip to Home Depot. We should get some sort of VIP treatment since we have been there 10 times in the past 3 weeks. Yep, 10 times. I actually enjoyed this trip as it was short and scored us this shaggy rug for the family room.

bringing the beach to NY ;)

And for fun...

St. Patty's Day cupcakes. Just because.

What did you do this weekend to be productive?!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Music Mondays

Jamming to country all weekend long...