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Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment’

April 14, 2014

My Last NBA Game

Good Afternoon! I realize I am posting a bit later than normal, but I promise that there is a very good reason for it.

Last night not only marked the end of an NBA season for Scott and I, but also a closing to a chapter in our lives together.

me and scott after last game

(Also, linking this marvelous milestone up with Katie!)

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while already know that NBA Entertainment is what brought Scott and I together.

Back in the summer of 2007, I tried out for the Orlando Magic Dancers, and to this day we still have the professional sports entertainment itch in our bones. Last night marked six seasons performing in the league together, and today I am scratching my head at how in the world it all went by so fast.

My Last NBA Game

This year has proved to be a challenging one for me, both mentally and physically. Going into auditions this year, I had no idea what to expect and can without a doubt say that I was a part of a one of a kind experience.

Coming from another team, I did my best not to compare this to that, and took the opportunity to experience being a part of a different team in a different city. The 2013-14 season proved to be just that!

Without much time to reflect right now, I wanted to quickly highlight the game last night… but I will be sure to check back in the next couple of weeks with more posts and pictures.

Just like all games, I arrived at the arena hours before the doors opened for practice on the court with my team. We spent the next few hours getting ready in the locker room for Power Hour, appearances on the concourse to interact with fans before tip-off.

As I changed from my sequin dress and into our first half outfit, I couldn’t help but think that really was the last time I will be donning sequins, with the exception of the occasional fun birthday or New Years dress. The feeling of turning that along with the rest of my uniforms in was truly surreal.

me and abby before game 2

Into our cut up tees, I made sure to snap a few photos with some of my teammates.

last game collage

Unlike my closing game with Orlando, I knew ahead of time that this would be my last time dancing with these ladies on court and did my best to soak every little thing in.

Ready for intros, we grabbed our white hoodies and team chiropractor, Dr. Chad McKernan for a thank you photo.

team with dr. chad

As we made our way back stage, we spent a little more time getting to our spots, knowing that was the last time we would all be experiencing intros together.

before game nichole erica azia carly

me and katlyn before intros

With the dimming of the lights, we took the court for one last hurrah as the 2013-14 Detroit Pistons Dancers.

After the last game dancers and flight crew

Even though we didn’t end up getting a win, we finished the season on a good note with an amazing and loud crowd cheering us on.

While changing out of our uniforms for the last time, the reality of turning in more than costumes set in. For a lot of us, we would also be turning a page and embarking into a completely new chapter in our lives.

Post-Game Celebrations

After saying many goodbyes, we stopped for dinner at Trattoria Da Luigi in Royal Oak before arriving to our entertainment teams wrap up party.

me and nichole at restaurant

du luigis appetizers royal oak

(Unpictured spaghetti dishes as well as multiple baskets of bread!)

du luigis cappacino and gelato dessert

Everything was delicious, and Scott and I made a note to revisit more this summer.

One hundred percent content after a couple of glasses of celebratory wine and a good Italian meal, the group of us walked over to Fifth Avenue to say our goodbyes one last time.

after game group girls

There, we caught up with fellow entertainment teams and wrapped up the end of our season with lots of laughs and hugs.

post game erica and katlyn

pistons dancers 2013-14 pic

me and oscar post game

After a full day of smiles and tears, we each parted our ways and only hope to see each other again over the summer.

me and alex after game

It’s crazy going from seeing the same group of people multiple times a week (sometimes even every day!) for eight months to nothing. Each year, I take what I can from the experience and feel blessed to leave with a handful of friendships I know will last much longer than our time on the team together.

This morning, I woke up feeling good. A little sad, but overall happy with my decisions over the past few years. Through the good times and the bad, I made my way through six seasons getting the most I could out of every opportunity, and took in everything I possibly could without any regrets.

I am looking forward to sharing more about my time as a professional NBA dancer, but at the moment I must hurry out the door to my post-season treat to myself: a massage!

Thank you for following this journey with me, and I promise to have much more to share coming up!

April 7, 2014

Weekend Shenanigans

I can’t believe it’s already well after lunch time. So sorry for the delay in posting this morning, friends!

You guys. I have been so incredibly tired lately. I can attribute going to bed at an unreasonably late hour directly to my husband, but really, I should be better at this.

Ahhh. One more week of the NBA season shenanigans to push through and then it’s summer time (…also known as normal sleep and schedule time!)

Speaking of shenanigans, this weekend was full of it. With hopes of getting in a long afternoon run and some actual content out to you later today, I am just going to dive right in and share our weekend with you in a flash. Ready?

Friday

First of all, thank you again for participating in last week’s Friday Favorites! Throughout the day, I kept peeking in see to what you guys were loving and it really made me smile.

Okay, so back to Friday. It started out eventful with an appearance with some of my teammates, our crazy horse mascot, HOOPER, and our hip hop dance team D-Town at a local Detroit elementary school for NBA Green Week.

hanging with HOOPER 1

hanging with HOOPER 2

hanging with HOOPER

Since it was raining and nasty outside, we took our projects inside and helped a special first grade class plant vegetables and herbs for their classroom. It was really fun!

pistons appearance

We made our way back home, and in a couple of hours, Scott and I were out the door to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

The party started at Rochester Mills, which is one of our favorite spots in Downtown Rochester. The food is great, and they always have a wide variety in menu selections and specialty homemade brews.

rochester mills pizza and salad

We ordered the Southwest grilled chicken salad and veggie pizza on whole wheat crust to split.

Our service wasn’t fantastic this time, which was kind of a bummer. But, we still had a great time listening to live music and enjoyed our night!

out with alex

Saturday

Scott left the house by lunchtime Saturday, which left me home to take care of some things on the computer and to clean up the house a little. Before I knew it, the day completely passed by and it was time to head out to a Pistons home game!

Being our second to last home game, I tried to snap more photos than normal and managed to sneak in a few with these blonde beauties below.

second to last pistons home game

It was Cristi’s (left) and Hailee’s (right) last game with us, which made the reality of the season ending set in even more. We played the Boston Celtics, the stands were full, and we came out with a win! The game was a fun one, but I know we were all a little sad when it was all over.

To celebrate one of our last nights all together, a group of us went out to celebrate in Downtown Rochester. (Yes, again…)

detroit pistons dancers

out with Scott

As you can imagine, the night turned into a late one, but it was well worth the laughs and talks I shared with the girls.

Sunday

We are officially done with having Sunday morning practices. This means we now have an excuse to attend the later services at church and enjoy a nice brunch with friends afterwards. Woo hoo!

A group of us decided to make a trip over to Royal Oak and enjoyed an afternoon at Lily’s Seafood.

While I was tempted by the eggs benedicts and waffles, I was boring and stuck to soup and salad after a weekend of eating “whatever”.

lilys seafood lunch

Mimosas, half a Fushion salad, and a cup of seafood gumbo.

I also indulged in sharing a round of group appetizers including seasoned sweet potato fries (SO good!), brie, and crusty french toast. To say everything was wonderful would be a serious understatement.

Somehow, the day completely passed us by, and we didn’t even make it back outside until around 5 p.m. Even though it was so late, we still appreciated the sunshine and had to stop to show you just how excited this makes these two Southerners.

sunshine in detroit

It was marvelous!

(And, I am also liking the marvelousness up with Katie today.)

All right. Time to boogie. See you all again in just a bit!

March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites #28: Week of 3/14

Holy moly, it’s Friday already? Yesss.

Actually, I kind of cheated and started typing this blog post up on a layover at the Washington Dulles airport. And when I say layover, I really mean a flight delay of over three hours. No big deal. (?)

I spent the week in New York City with some of my favorite blogging friends, so I really have no business complaining here. It was such a blast and if you missed the recaps, you can read all about our city and Reebok FitHub adventures here and here!

After after an arrival time of midnight last night, I might need to retreat back upstairs to catch up a bit more. We have a handful of Scott’s friends coming in town this weekend and I am not even close to having the energy for that yet. Regardless, I am really looking forward to having fun with them over the next few days. Visits from friends when they live out of town are the best!

Getting back on the party train, here is this week’s installment of Friday Favorites. Don’t forget to link yours up at the bottom and tell me all about what you have been loving in the comments section too!

Friday Favorites #28: Week of 3/14

Friday Favorites Button Housewife Glamour

• Pi Day

First of all, do you guys know what day today is? It’s actually a holiday and on a quick phone call earlier, Scott couldn’t believe I hadn’t the slightest.

It’s Pi Day also known as March 14th. (<- 3.14). Don’t worry if you didn’t know about it either… math has never really been a huge “thing” holiday-wise.

Anyways, I feel like this is the perfect excuse to bake something later. Perhaps a pie?

Pumpkin Pie for pi day

Don’t you tempt me, leftover fall cans of pumpkin…

• borrowed tablet + embarrassing electronics

Okay, I am going to let you all in on a little secret. My blogging equipment in the electronics department is really sad. Like, sad enough to be embarrassing.

Scott and I purchased an iMac Desktop for Christmas about two years ago and that might have been the best investment we’ve ever made. Besides that wonderful machine that resides in our basement, my “official” blogging camera and laptop are less than sub-standard.

We purchased a Canon Powershot Elf something or other point-and-shoot a few years ago and the reason I don’t know the exact model number is because the outer layer of it is ninety percent scratched off. Brand new, it came in black and now looks very silver camo-esque.

The back of the screen has a crack in it, among the dozens of other scratches on the surface, so you can imagine why I feel a bit silly whipping it out in group settings and especially at blogger events.

Although it has certainly seen better days, it still takes great pictures for a regular every day camera. I can’t justify purchasing a new one until the camera quality is affected. My goal is to finally research quality “big girl” digital cameras this year and teach myself how to use it, but until then I get to sport the camo cracked beast!

On that same note, my laptop is a white 2006 MacBook and won’t even allow me to download updated versions of Internet browsers or flash player. You can imagine how much longer it takes me to post on the road, right?

So that is the awesome combination of things I travel with these days. Knowing my frustrations, my friend Alex was an absolute sweetheart and let me borrow her old tablet to have handy in New York.

verizon tablet for traveling

I fell in love with the idea of the tablet right away! I have been pining after an iPad for ages now, and still haven’t taken a step down that road either. This one is a Verizon Wireless tablet that runs off of the 4G network.

I loved having it accessible without the need for wi-fi at the airport and throughout the entire weekend. I really, really need to invest in something like this sooner than later.

• Five Below iPhone accessories

Speaking of electronics, I recently upgraded to the iPhone 5s and needed to protect it with something while the case I ordered for it online comes in. I made a trip over to Five Below and became super impressed by their cell phone accessories line!

five below iphone accessories

Their collection is designed mostly for iPhones, but they also carry a decent selection for the Galaxy 4 and Android as well. I expected something “I can deal with” for $5, but what I got instead was adorable and trendy!

iphone 5 sparkly cover

In fact, all three of those items came to a grand total of $14.

Not too shabby!

Pentatonix’s cover of Say Something. You might recognize them as the Season 3 winners of The Sing Off and are still both Scott and I’s favorite group throughout the series.

Acoustic music has blown up over the past few years and I am definitely a fan. I could listen to this one track for hours!

• thumbholes

I have been living in jackets with thumbholes lately. Particularly pullovers. In fact, it is now rare that I will purchase or even wear one without them.

pullovers with thumbholes

In my opinion, thumbholes make any jacket more comfortable and cozy. They also protect my hands from the cold when I don’t feel like putting gloves on! (Says the girl with seriously chapped hands…)

I found a similar pullover to the North Face Bernadino last year on clearance at the North Face Outlet for $65, and it has been my favorite heavier one for running outside or layering.

• 90s pop throwbacks

While traveling this week, I tuned into Pandora whenever I had wi-fi available. I always rotate through a collection of different stations, but have been really digging the 90s pop throwbacks lately.

They just put me in the best mood!

90s pop music

This week, Spice Girls Radio has been my fav. *NSync Radio is always a win, and for those of you who like “less poppy” check out the Top 40 station. It’s a great collection of music that still makes me rock out.

• Greek frozen yogurt

I have seen these pints pop up in the freezer section, and finally took the leap to try the Ben & Jerry’s Greek line of frozen yogurt. It’s pretty amazing… if you enjoy frozen yogurt that tastes like real ice cream, that is.

ben & jerry's Greek frozen yogurt

I am a true fan of fro yo, but these two flavors really surprised me with a more like ice cream-like taste and texture. Plus, they are now Scott approved, which is kind of a big deal around here.

this little kid with a lot to say. I can’t. He’s just so great. “Linda, Honey, Listen”… you might just have your hands full here, momma!

• Monday’s Coffee Talk. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I am still tickled over your feedback and am looking forward to including those type of posts on a regular rotation.

Your Turn


Housewife Glamour

Happy Friday! :D

March 6, 2014

OMD Reunion Weekend, Part II

Hi friends! This week has been a fun one for me because I have been seeing tons of photos and memories pop up from the weekend.

In case you missed it, I traveled home to Orlando, Florida for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Orlando Magic Dancers! As a member of the team for four seasons, I was thrilled to get the invite for a special halftime performance and knew I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I was also excited to have my best friend and teammate, Alex, join me!

Day one of our trip was filled with reuniting with family, barre and brunch, laying out in the warm weather, and time out and about with friends and former teammates.

OMD reunion at civeche

I spent the majority of this morning compiling photos for this post, so without much time to chat I am overjoyed to finally share them and details of the event with you!

Orlando Magic Dancer 25th Year Anniversary Reunion

Sunday was one a lot of women had been looking forward to for over six months! All former and current dancers got together and practiced our halftime routine that highlighted all of our years served on the team in segments of five years. As a member of the 2007-2011 teams, I was in Segments 4 and 5.

By Noon, a group of nearly 130 women gathered, practicing counts while getting ready to take center court.

Amway Center game day court

As soon as I made it through the tunnel all of the warm fuzzies I used to get while practicing on this arena came right back. I really missed this court!

While each segment got blocked on court, the rest of us (not in the section) caught up on the sides and enjoyed the pre-game environment we have all experienced before. Before long, it was my turn to take the court and I really couldn’t stop smiling.

OMD Reunion on court blocking 3

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

OMD Reunion on court blocking 9

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

With girls I formerly danced with by my side, and a group of others I have come to know over the years just as well, we all joked, laughed, and had a ball being all together on one court again.

OMD Reunion on court blocking 5

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

We perfected our movements and all couldn’t wait for game time!

OMD Reunion on court blocking entrance

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

As we wrapped up our final runs, my coach, Jeanine, asked us to make our way into the stands to watch the video that would be debuting each segment. Seeing twenty five years flash by in photos had us all simultaneously laughing and tearing up!

OMD Reunion watching video

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

In just a few minutes time, memories of auditioning, taking photo shoots, dunking basketballs, traveling overseas, and performing on court came right back. It was a really neat thing to watch as a group.

As we exited the court, we all found our own spots in one of the locker rooms to start getting ready. We had about two hours, but it went by in a flash while we caught up and had fun putting on our makeup and getting our hair done together.

By 4 p.m., it was time to take the court again for a group photo!

OMD Reunion on court photo

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

OMD Reunion on court photo 2

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

It’s always a bit of work to gather over a hundred women together, but somehow we all managed just fine. I’m sure all of those years of practice helped out!

Next on the agenda was a pre-game reception, but before we left I grabbed a few of my former teammates and enjoyed the court access.

omd reunion pre game court

omd reunion pre game court 2

They basically had to kick us off the court. Nobody wanted to leave!

Before heading upstairs, I met up with Alex in the main entrance to show her around the arena.

omd reunion amway arena

I danced three seasons in the Amway Arena, which was the team’s original playing grounds. This brand-new, state of the art arena opened on 10-10-10 during my last season as a Magic Dancer!

While walking the concourses, I found a lot of things that made my night.

omd reunion alex with stuff

 This was one of them.

As we made our way around the third floor, we ran straight into the entrance of our reception. I was handed a name tag with the seasons I danced displayed on it and a goodie bag full of Magic swag!

omd reunion welcome sign

Inside, I found a very excited group of dancers of all ages accompanied by friends, family, and even their little ones!

omd reunion former OMDs

Throughout the entire weekend, I was so thrilled to see the faces of women I now call my sisters. Here is my original Big Sister, Kim, from my rookie season!

omd reunion with kim

She currently dances for the Chicago Bulls, and we definitely had interesting conversations exchanging stories about dancing in the NBA again for different teams.

Throughout the reception, I kept running into more and more familiar faces. It was such a treat!

OMD Reunion reception group 3

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

Seeing groups of these girls come together all at once brought me right back to my seasons dancing with them. Most of us stay in touch quite a bit, so it’s as if time never even passed.

OMD Reunion reception group 2

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

(Still complete goofballs.)

One of the only things that has changed around here is Malia, the daughter of our coach, Jeanine. I remember her dressed in the cutest little miniature-sized sparkly number during my first year of  tryouts. Now she’s just shy of seven years old, up to our shoulders and dancing with the mini team!

omd reunion with jeanine and malia

Just like those six years, the reception flew by and it was time for Alex and I to meet up with my parents and take our seats. I’m so glad we made by intros!

omd reunion amway center game

There were a lot of things I remember about this arena, but a lot of new elements as well. It was neat to sit back and watch a quarter from the stands before I needed to head down and focus on halftime.

Right after the first quarter, I made my way to the locker room, freshened up, and ran through the dances again. For someone who still dances on an NBA court, I was quite nervous!

When the buzzer went off at the end of the first half, we were all lined up and ready to go in the tunnel. I don’t think one person wasn’t smiling ear to ear!

Each section got introduced along with the video we previewed earlier that day. Even though I had seen it a handful of times by then, it still gave me goosebumps. It was finally our turn to take the court again!

OMD Reunion on court performance 4

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

OMD Reunion on court performance 10

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

OMD Reunion on court performance 12

After the end of Segment 5, all of the dancers joined us on the court for a finale. Dancing and performing with all of my Magic Dancer family was such a blast!

OMD Reunion on court performance 14

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

Watch the full halftime performance video!

Eventually, we got kicked off the court again, and we all made our way back to the dressing rooms. It was hard to say our goodbyes, so a lot of us continued to take pictures and pretended like we were going to see each other again in practice the next week.

Attending this reunion couldn’t have come at a better time for me. As this season dancing for the Pistons comes to a close for me next month, I am reminded of what it truly feels like to be a part of a sisterhood and family in the NBA. I still feel like a newbie to my team here, and there were a lot of things I completely forgot about my previous years in Orlando until I experienced them all over again.

I feel SO blessed to be a part of such an amazing, life long sorority of incredibly talented, beautiful and wonderful women I now call my sisters. Leaving brought up a ton of bittersweet emotions, memories of “quotes” I can’t believe I ever forgot about, and extremely sore abs from laughing so hard the entire time.

OMD Reunion welcome sign

Photo Credit: Michael Cairns

As I made my way back to the stand to meet my parents, it made me smile to look around and see my fellow alumni join the crowd here and there. I knew they were feeling what I was feeling, and that we all secretly hope to do it all again just five years from now!

After the game, I suggested we go to the rooftop bar to show Alex where Scott and I used to spend a lot of our nights after games.

omd reunion parents rooftop

Right on top of the arena is where Scott and I said our goodbyes to our Magic family just a year and a half ago. With the majority of everyone I grew up with still in town, I am very grateful to have the opportunity to visit both my parents and my friends when I come home. This time I even got to share it with a new friend from Michigan!

omd reunion rooftop alex

I feel like I continue to ramble on and gush about this memorable trip home, but I am going to stop there. I owe a big THANK YOU to Jeanine (my coach), Cherie (my assistant coach), and every dancer I got to hug and see make my weekend.

Here’s to the next one being just as amazing!

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I'm Heather, a 28-year-old blogger, writer and NBA dancer who recently moved up north from down south. Housewife Glamour is a spirited blog that follows my love for health, food, fitness, beauty, and finding the every day "glamour" in life. ♥
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