Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Atlanta Attractions: College Football Hall of Fame

There are many things synonymous with life in the South - sweet tea, sweet accents, and sweet Saturdays filled with college football just to name a few.  

This week marks the official kick off of the season and we can't wait.We already have our team colors all laid out for school spirit day and our game day recipes prepped for the first official tailgate of the season. All this football fun reminded me to share a local attraction we went to this summer. 

Earlier this summer we planned a trip to visit the College Football Hall of Fame. It opened a few years ago in Atlanta, but this would be our first time visiting the local attraction. 

I pre-purchased our tickets online, and it was definitely the way to go. We arrived right as they opened for our scheduled time, but there was already a line. Luckily, it moved very quickly and there were a few fun things outside to hold everyone's attention. Because we pre-purchased our tickets we were able to bypass a large amount of waiting. 

We were given lanyards with access passes as we entered. Each pass you could register in your name and then attach a school of choice too. Once you entered your choice, your school's football helmet would light up on the wall above. This wall was huge and literally had every school you could think of - even our alma mate, which just started their football program last year. 

We each loaded our pass with a different school that we wanted to learn about. The kids thought this was so fun. Mr. Cute not so much as they each picked one of our teams biggest rivals. No amount of bribing was about to sway them from learning all about "the school with an alligator head". 

After we registered we headed toward the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl Skill Zone

Let me just say now that The Cutes would have stayed here and played all day if we would have let them. And Mr. Cute was not far behind in that sentiment. I am not really sure who had more fun, them or him? 

Everyone was able to try their hand (foot?) at kicking a field goal. 

It was set up just like it would be for college players, and I was pretty impressed with how well even the kids did. 

On this level there is also a spot where you can hold a replica Peach Bowl trophy and put on some replica gear. I couldn't believe how heavy the actual helmets are. Mr. Cute and I were dying laughing because the kids could barely keep their heads up - the kids were cracking up. 

Once you get up stairs the levels become more informative about the history of both players and teams. It is a lot of information and I was so impressed with how interactive everything is. The badges customized your experience to what information you were seeing. 

Each screen you walked up to said "hello" to specifically you and then proceeded to show you information and history on the team(s) that you attached to your badge. It also saves the information you've seen and remembers where you stopped if you leave and come back to that section later. 

The kids loved that they were able to interact with this section of the HOF, and to be honest it was probably the only reason it kept their attention. I would say they were still a few years too young to appreciate learning any history even if football related. 

The museum portion of the HOF was fun. There is a history of tailgating section, and L.C.  thought it was so funny that these were the clothes everyone used to wear. Fancy!

There were also cases set up dedicated to replica trophies. Each bowl game had representation here as well as special top awarded trophies - as well as a history of the trophy and its winners. 

The most recent winners of each trophy were also given special representation. How fun for those winners and families to instantly be able to come and see their place in history solidified. 

The memorabilia from the past was fun to see, and I loved how the HOF gave special nods to Atlanta here and there. These specialty Coke bottles were sprinkled throughout and loved the Atlanta tie in. 

Gracing the walls were fun souvenirs from football past, and it was interesting to see how the game has changed over time. 

And the tailgating through history section continued even right up to modern day. 
Ahem, crockpots! :) 

Needless to say Mr. Cute just rolled his eyes. 

I checked. None contained chicken. 

This section was also fun for the kids because there were a ton of fun interactive and hands on things they could be a part of. From creating their own team face painting, to doing their own broadcast for College Game Day and seeing it projected onto t.v., to playing tailgate games it was all there for them to play and enjoy. 

The HOF also included an impressive selection of both cheerleading memorabilia throughout history as well as pay homage to each schools mascots. The Cutes loved this part, and thought it as fun to see what both players and team supporters wore throughout history. The school mascots clothing was their favorite. 

I didn't take any photos, but there are also several movies and short films that play throughout each section. We watched a few of the shorter films but they didn't hold L.C.s attention so we just kept it moving through the museum. 

We circled our way back downstairs for one last run through the Skills Zone before leaving. Overall we really enjoyed spending time at the College Football Hall of Fame. It's definitely a fun a must see attraction in Atlanta if you are a football fan, and we were able to get a little college football fix in during the off season. 

Now let the countdown to Saturday begin!

Who will you be cheering for this weekend? 

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Fashion Fix: Runchkins

Happy mail is fun no matter what age you are! L.C. has become quite the fashionista lately and changes her outfit no less than three times a day. She has also become quite opinionated on what she wears. My little fashion plate was so excited to try out Runchkins - a curated boutique clothing service that sends affordable boutique kids fashion straight to your door step. 

Think Stitch Fix or Le Tote, but for babies and toddlers. 

To say L.C. was excited about this new found fashion discovery was an understatement. 

She loved looking at all the pieces picked out for her and was eager to wear them all right away. 

To learn more about Runchkins and their amazing services (including an awesome gift/party option) see our complete review on Savvy Sassy Moms HERE

The purple, the puppies, the FRINGE - they nailed her favorites!

What trendy styles are your little ones loving right now? 

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Favorites: Summer's Still Here Edition

Friday is here! 
Only a few short hours and we are in full on weekend mode my friends!

You have no idea how excited I am about that! My first order of business Saturday will be to lounge in our pjs. The kids might still get up at 6a.m. because kids. And school. But to not have to rush anywhere - heavenly!

It's been awhile since I've done a Friday Favorites, but I've had a lot of them this week so joining some of our favorite other mommy bloggers to dish...

 I snuck a few moments to read on the porch and I can't wait to talk about this one with you guys next week for Book Club. I love Liane Moriarty books and this one is all sorts of good. I am still a few chapters from the finish, but totally one you guys need to snag!

Last week I grabbed Boo-Boo for a play date and grabbed him early enough from Carrie Beth to surprise Cute when he got off the bus. As we were walking to our stop I see this...

Be still my heart - the cuteness!

I feel as though we should go ahead an plan the wedding. Holidays with the in laws would ROCK!

The boys had a blast playing and were cracking me up with all the games they were playing!

It made me miss summer like crazy. 

But five minutes outside in those ninja-Star Wars-viking-pirate outfits and you knew it was definitely still summer!

Speaking of summer, at the beginning of the week was the infamous Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale. 

We were all sorts of excited at this house. L.C. included. 

We shared some of our favorites on Monday. I think it is safe to say Carrie Beth and I grabbed some new favorites on Monday and Tuesday.

Here's just a sneak peek at some of the fun we were able to snag.
(Click pics for details.)

We can't wait to see what arrives on our doorsteps! And since it is still so hot outside we are excited we can wear some of it for a few more months to come.

Gotta love life in the South!

I think what I'm most excited about is the romper. I've been obsessed with rompers lately! They are just so comfy, and a whole outfit rolled up into one! Here are some of the ones I've been eyeing...

They are all so cute! That red one is under $30 too - I might just have to go ahead and grab it!
(Most of these are under $50!)
Earlier this week I made the most fantastic discovery. I introduce to you the "Poptail"...

Yes, my thirsty friends - that is a popsicle in my wine. 

The kids wanted popsicles after dinner while they played on the playground, and since it's still so hot who am I to turn them down. 

I had seen this fun invention, and decided to try it on my own. Oh the possibilities...

While we were playing, we caught this thirsty little guy. :) 

The kids were so excited to find him. The frog was teeny tiny, but he was their pet for an entire half and hour. 

Baby Cute has been having a rough time sleeping and it was suggested that I introduce to her a lovey. I had this sweet one on hand that my friend G gave me at a shower. We've taken it everywhere with us. It is just so darling to see her snuggling it. 

Sleeping babies will always be my favorite.
Sleeping babies will make me want like nine hundred more.

I've been waiting for this moment since I found out I was having a little girl three years ago. I grew up dancing and this week marked L.C.'s first dance class. 

I am not sure who was more excited, but she had a BLAST!

I had no doubt that performing and dancing would be right in her wheel house. To say the girl has personality is an understatement. 

I can't wait to get little sneak peeks of her class each week. 
Oh the memories...

That wraps up my favorites! 

What were some of your favorites this week? 

Before you go don't forget to check out some of our fun giveaways going on right now. 

First, The Baby Sleep Site Giveaway ends next week. We all need some sleep, am I right?!?

And who doesn't love some new bling? 
Check out this fun watch giveaway we've got going on through the end of the month.
Hint: Everyone's a winner! 

Now let's get this weekend started! Happy weekend everyone!

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Pageant Experience

A little known fact some people don't know about me is that I competed in the Miss America system during college.  Here is how that works.  You must win a local preliminary to qualify to go to your state pageant...in my case, Miss Georgia.  Then the winner of each state pageant competes in Miss America.  Now the main difference between Miss America and Miss USA is that Miss America has a talent portion to their pageants and there is also a community service expectation, also known as a contestants platform, in which they promote if crowned.

I danced pretty much my whole childhood and through high school so dance was my talent and my platform was promoting Special Olympics Georgia. My mom taught PE for special needs children so this was a platform I had grown up being involved in.  I won two local pageant and held the title of Miss Northeast Georgia and Miss Mall of Georgia in the early 2000's.  I went on to place in the top 10 at Miss Georgia.

While my dreams of being Miss Georgia and competing in Miss America never came to fruition, I did have a wonderful experience and gained so much from my pageant days.  From killer interview skills and great stage presence to self-confidence, a fashion sense and lifelong friends, my time involved in these pageants was something I would never change and helped make me who I am today!  

This was such a huge part of my life during that time, but now I feel so far removed from that world until recently when an old pageant friend contacted me about judging.  She is now the executive director for a local Miss Georgia prelim, Miss Apple Capital in Ellijay, Georgia.  I was both surprised and honored that she would ask me to judge, but I said yes and couldn't wait for the weekend to arrive.

It worked out that Blondie had a sleepover party on the same day and Boo-Boo and the Mr. had made plans so Little Mama got to come with me. I was so happy to be able to spend some one-on-one time with her on our little getaway and I knew she would enjoy the pageant.

We left Saturday morning and had a light lunch before the interviews began.  Here we are in our hotel just before heading to the interviews.

Each contestant has a 10 minute interview with the panel of 5 judges. I was so impressed with the young ladies that were competing.  They were well-spoken, intelligent, and passionate about their platforms.  It was really a lot of fun for me to be on the other side of things and see it from a judges perspective.  I was just as nervous as the girls were!  While the interview were taking place, Little Mama just hung out in the waiting area and read her book.

Next we changed quickly before meeting the other judges and a few of the pageant board members for dinner.  We had a delicious dinner in downtown Ellijay and then made our way to the auditorium for the pageant.

I loved having a reason to get all dressed up and so did Little Mama.  In fact, all night long people kept commenting on how pretty her dress was and beautiful she looked. It was such a great self-esteem booster for her.  Later that evening she told me she hoped she would have another opportunity to wear her dress again before she outgrew it.

The pageant was great.  All of the girls looked amazing and their talents were very entertaining.  Lots of dancing, baton twirling, singing and piano playing.  Little Mama loved seeing all of the talents and the gorgeous evening gowns.  I felt really good about judging and I felt like the right girls won.  There was a Miss and a Teen division so two girls will represent this area for the year.  They both had an amazing interview and seemed very genuine.

The judges with the winners.  

A then and now pictures with some of my old pageant friends that either serve on the board or were judging with me for the night.  

Little Mama and I on stage after the pageant. And funny story...these heels were actually the heels I wore for my evening gown competition back in the day.  I had to go digging through a bin of shoes that I NEVER wear to have something to wear for the night.  I should also note that I changed to flip-flops as soon as got back to the car!

On the way back to the hotel, Little Mama and I stopped by and got her a Starbuck's treat and then were excited to change into pajamas and relax.

We watched a movie in bed and fell fast asleep.  She thought it was SO much fun to be in the hotel with me.  It was a typical hotel room, nothing fancy, but she loved it and I loved our time together.  The next morning we grabbed breakfast out and then made our way back home.  She kept saying she wished we could stay longer and I felt the same way!  I would have loved to explore the North Georgia area a little more and spend the day sight-seeing, but unfortunately we had baseball, a birthday party and cheer that afternoon.  It was fun while it lasted and I hope we can have another mother-daughter time together soon.

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