I <3 the Olympics

I’d like to think that the majority of people around the world get excited about watching their country’s athletes compete in the Olympics every 4 years, but I also know I’m a pretty optimistic person.  Throughout the years I’ve come to realize that while most of my friends enjoy watching the Olympics, none quite got into it like I did, and I attribute a lot of that to my parents.

See, I’m from Atlanta and we hosted the Centennial Olympic games in 1996, so with that comes a bit of pride.  Because my parents, like many Atlanta citizens, were excited about hosting the Olympics and my sister and I were equally swept up by their passion and excitement.  We were in Underground Atlanta on September 19, 1990 with thousands other for the announcement of the Olympic games (I also found out my parents took my sister out of school for it, #history).  At 3 I had no clue what it meant, but people were excited so I was too!

In the years before 1996, I remember a lot of construction downtown and seeing the countdown to the Games above the Connector.  Lauren and I got bricks in Centennial Olympic Park, my parents signed up to be volunteers, and we all waited for July 19th: the Opening Ceremonies, and my sister’s birthday.

We were at Turner Field that week to watch the dress rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony (they didn’t reveal the iconic Muhummad Ali caldron lighting), and the excitement was at an all time high.  For the next 17 days, I remember everyone in Atlanta was a little more hospitable and the Games were on everywhere.  I would stay at friends’ houses after school if my mom was still taking athletes around the airport, or my dad was volunteering at the tennis center.

I was lucky enough that my parents realized what a huge opportunity this was, and they got us tickets to several events.  We watched swimming at Georgia Tech, women’s gymnastics at the Georgia Dome (a day before team finals and the Kerri Strung heroics), women’s soccer in Athens, beach volleyball, tennis, track & field, etc.  We went to Coca Cola Olympic Park, I ran “fake” races,  we collected pins, and  Lauren’s cheerleading squad even performed.

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It’s hard to believe that was 20 years ago (I’m getting old…).  I’ve had fun looking back at the 1996 Olympic Games, bringing out my Izzy stuffed animal & watch, having conversations about what Izzy really is, rereading ‘One Glorious Summer’ and reminiscing on the great memories.

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So for the remainder of Rio 2016, expect to see me in my red, white, and blue with Izzy watch on, streaming the Olympics at work, watching it at night, and generally getting way too into it because it’s the Olympics… and we could all use some positive news right now.  Plus it’s just fun watching athletes compete for something they’ve worked their entire lives for, and hear all the stories.

Go team USA! 🇺🇸

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USA Dress Day: Rio Edition

Back in 2014 my sister, cousin and I came up with USA Dress Day as a way to represent team USA during the Sochi Olympics. Well with the Opening Ceremonies tomorrow, guess what’s backkkkkk?

So the idea is easy: wear red, white, and blue everyday during the Olympics.  Here’s a refresher on the rules we came up with last time:

  1. You must wear a combination of at least two patriotic colors every day.
  2. Fridays are extra patriotic so wear red, white & blue.   Also, crazy American props (gold medals, bandanas, hats) are encouraged.
  3. Stretch the colors as necessary, aka blue is not limited to just navy blue; it can encompass all shades, but must be worn with either red or white per Rule #1. If you don’t have a lot of red, white, or blue, please wear maroon or cream and wash your clothes for the sake of others:)
  4. Incorporate gold, silver & bronze into an outfit on medal days in support of your favorite sports or athletes.  Again, props are encouraged.

Here are some examples of what 2014 looked like:Olympics1

Luckily, this time around it’s summer and I have way more summer clothes than winter clothes.  Follow along the next few weeks on Instagram, and share your pictures using the hashtag #USADressDay

Let the games begin! 🇺🇸

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Kelley O’Hara Fan Club

Way back in 2004 when we were in AP Stats, I created KTJ and Kelley O fan club shirts to wear during the high school soccer season.  I think I still have my KTJ fan club shirt in a box somewhere…

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12 years later, Kelley just made her second Olympic team and it only seemed fitting to make a new round of Kelley O’Hara fan club shirts to wear throughout the Olympic games!  I had an idea of what I wanted to make, found some shirts, tested washed my first prototype shirt, and put the Cricut to work.

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When I was thinking about making some for Hunter and I to wear, a few friends also wanted their own so I’ve decided to make them for anyone that wants one!  I talked to Kelley about it and she loved she shirts and decided that 100% of proceeds go to St. Jude, a charity she’s enjoyed working with before.   So far we’ve raised over $100, and hope to increase that throughout the Olympics!

I’m offering a few options: blue t-shirt, white t-shirt, navy tank and white tank.  Click here to go over to my Etsy site to order, and let’s rep Kelley O for the Olympics!

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Okay, a fun side note: Back when Kel was traveling the world in high school playing for the younger women’s national teams she used to get me post cards from the various cities.  I had a few from Russia, and Europe, but the first was from Rio, which seems fitting!

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Go team USA! 🇺🇸

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4th of July DIY Inspiration

Hosting a party for the 4th of July (or Olympics Opening Ceremony) and looking for some easy ways to decorate with red, white, and blue?  I’ve got you covered.  Each project links back to a post with instructions on what to do 🙂

Starfish American Flag

If you live by the coast, this is the perfect project.  Grab a canvas, some paint, a starfish and you’ve got a beachy American flag to display!

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Ribbon & Throw Pillows

I love this idea from On Sutton Place — just put some white and green blooms out in natural jars, tie some red, white and blue ribbon around the top and your table will look effortlessly patriotic. Throw pillows are the easiest way to change the look of a space, so bring out some with fun, American colors and it’s an instant upgrade.

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American Flag Mason Jars

If you have mason jars, small American flags, crushed up shells or sand, and some tea lights around your house then you’re ready to throw this together for a simple centerpiece.

flag jar 01 USA Burlap Wreath

Just like throw pillows instantly update seating, a wreath can update your front door!  This burlap wreath has a summery & coastal vibe without being too overwhelming.

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Painted Mason Jars

This might be my favorite mason jar paint job.  There’s something about mason jars that are so American and the way Maison De Pax just added a plate underneath and white flowers in the jars is literally simply perfect.

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If all else fails, just put out your American flag, crack open one of the new Bud / Bud light branded cans and raise one up for America’s birthday!

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American Flag Mason Jars

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!  If you are still on a USA high, and excited about the Women’s World Cup finals tonight like I am, here’s a quick craft to use those little American flags you wave in a different way!

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What you’ll need:

  • Mason jar
  • Small American flag
  • Sand
  • Candle

I’m not even sure this qualifies as a craft, since it’s really just assembling, but it’s festive, and I’m excited for the game tonight so I’m sharing it!  Okay, start by pulling the American flags off the pole they came on, and try not to tear the sides of the flag.

Fill your mason jars with a  little sand, place the American flag around the back inside the jar, and put your candle in the sand.  Voila — you’ve got some instant American sprit!IMG_5216

Just light the candles, and place on your bar and you’re ready to watch the game!

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I believe that we will win — Go team USA!!!