Monday, September 8, 2014

What is this Bull...Riding

I've never been shy about my fascination with the rodeo.
Obviously, growing up in CT didn't allow for much exposure to the rodeo lifestyle. But nonetheless, I have become really interested in learning about it and attending what I can.

Well, Saturday night, my friend and I went to see PBR's Jack Daniels Invitational.
aka professional bullriding in a big arena.

Wore my dusty, dirty cowboy boots!

 I had seen bullriding for the first time ever in person when I went to the rodeo back in May. I went between being enthralled to horrified and back while watching. Excited but terrified for these guys who were hanging on for dear life on the back of a 1500-2000lb animal whose only job is to try to buck said guy off of them. 

So, when I heard that Nashville was host to one of the championship series events, well, I was in.
I got good seats, near the chutes but not crazy expensive either.

A little bit into the event, they announced over the loud speaker that there was a contest. If you tweeted your seat location, you could be chosen to be brought down to the "shark cage" to watch some of the rides. I said, why the heck not, and tweeted.

Let me start this by saying, I NEVER WIN. I have honestly entered many contests in my nearly 30 years of life, and can count on one hand how many times I've won something.

More bulls, more bullriding, more hot cowboy butts in Wranglers...(what? you would've had the same thought!)

Three quarters of the way through, a guy in a PBR shirt comes to our section and asks if I'm Jackie. At first, I was like, what did I do wrong (because let's be real, I still have the mindset that I NEVER WIN). Except, nope, this time I was not in trouble. I won the "tweet the seat" contest. My friend and I were escorted into the bowels of Bridgestone Arena, to the backstage area next to the chutes. We were going to be escorted ONTO THE DIRT ARENA, to sit in the shark cage during THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND of the competition. 

The experience was unreal. A few bulls came way close to the cage. I got tailwhipped by one.
It was amazing and SO COOL. I don't think I smiled that hard in my entire life.

 We were able to get a close view of a bullriding legend- Bushwacker the bull, who will no longer compete after this season. Holy hell.

Here is the video of Cody Nance, who was the hometown boy from Tennessee, riding Bushwacker...from the shark cage!


 (my own video!)

Before you ask, no, I didn't meet any cowboys, but I don't even care!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September and a Fresh Start

Lots of people think that January 1st starts a new year, but I've always associated September with a new year. Probably because it was always when school began, seasons start to change...

I'm using this September as a "new year". 


I turn 30 in 29 days. Why wouldn't I want to leave my 20s feeling good and start my 30s feeling even better???

So I've regrouped, I've done some planning, and I decided to work hard on getting healthy and losing the weight. I am also going to work on my psychological health. 

I started doing the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan yesterday, as well as restarting T25 from the beginning.
I've sort of been on a downward spiral the last month when it comes to eating and working out. Luckily, the damage hasn't been more than 3-4lbs. 

It requires me to do a lot of prep work, but that's ok, I need it. Planning prevents me from doing something crazy and eating foot I shouldn't be eating!

With my birthday looming and a birthday vacation weekend, I felt it was appropriate to try to drop some weight before, and kick start a healthier lifestyle. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cowboy Boots

These boots are 18 months old.
Unremarkable lifetime in number, however, when they were purchased, I had no clue the things that would be seen or done while wearing them.

When my Mom bought them for me, we were in Nashville. It was purely a "when in rome..." moment. 
I had no clue that I would be living in Nashville by year's end.
I definitely didn't know they would get dirty or dusty from horsemanship and horseback riding lessons.

These boots are my favorite footwear.
They are good-looking while being functional.
Can be worn with a sundress or jeans.
I'm glad that they have seen more than country concerts and downtown Nashville.

But, isn't that all a great metaphor for my life now??

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fun Flashback Friday

I'm just going to leave you with these 2 photos...because obviously horses and being a cowgirl have always been there somewhere in me...who knew!!!

Happy Friday friends!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Country Fairs

It is country fair season here in Tennessee. Every weekend now there is another county's fair scheduled. I have plans to go to one next weekend, supposedly it is one of the best in the area.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Being a Yankee, Northerner, New Englander, I couldn't possibly know what a country fair is like. 


CT has their fair share of country fairs. Google Durham Fair- it is our state's largest agricultural fair. Now, don't get me wrong, might not quite be the same as down here with all this southern hospitality and all, but I have seen my share of tractor pulls, pig races, and other competitions.

In fact, while I was in high school, I entered my apple pie a few times into the competition. I never got a blue ribbon, but if my memory serves me correctly, I did win an honorable mention one of those years.

I think next year, I might do the same around here. 
I'll definitely have to practice some because my pie making skills are a tad bit rusty but if you've ever had my Mom or Nonnie's pies, you'll know that I come from a long line of amazing bakers!

My two favorite parts of the fairs is one- the food...fatty, trashy, and terrible for you but oh-so-good and two- the animals. I loved loved loved to wander around the tents back at the local fair in CT and see all the different farm animals on display. Cows, sheep, chickens, you name it, they had one!

He wasn't so happy I took his picture.

What do you think?? Have you been to a fair or two in your life? What is your favorite part?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This Single Lady's Confessional

Last time we chatted about dating it was a whole lot of nothing on that front.
Nothing has changed.
Except I have decided to remove all my online dating profiles and discontinue any subscriptions I had. Because a) it was getting me nowhere and b) it was actually proving to be detrimental to my confidence.

So I am taking a step back and focusing on other things like doing things I enjoy and trying to meet people more organically. 

Since returning from my trip to CT in mid-July I've gone to a baseball game, took a horseback riding lesson, went on a hike with my dog, and planned to go to a county fair. I haven't gone on a date, but that isn't even the point anymore. I just want to have fun and experience everything.

The second part of this is to get myself back on the healthy lifestyle train. I sort of took a bounding leap off it when I headed home because I knew I was going to eat everything I could while I was there (and I did). But, now that I am back, it's time for me to work on my physical fitness.

I'm not losing weight to meet a man or so I will make a man happy.
I am losing weight so I can FEEL BETTER about myself and in turn, if I am happy, a relationship will be happier. 

So while I've put dating on hold (and really how much on hold can it be since it wasn't really working so well before...), I can make myself the best person I can be and hopefully along the way, who knows what could happen! ;)


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Finding ME

Seven or eight years ago, my priorities and goals in life were much different than they are now.
Back then, I believed that I was going to live in NYC, work in the music industry, and generally have a very different version of my life than I do now. I'm not even talking about how I thought my love life would look either.

Boy how things change when you don't expect it. If you had told me when I  graduated from NYU in 2006 that when I was 29 I would up and move to Nashville, TN, I probably would have laughed in your face. Hard. But, funny how things work out because if I didn't move in Nashville I would still be stuck in my unhappiness back in the Northeast.

There was a time where I thought the high paced, designer, high maintenance lifestyle was for me.

Ha. I was obviously a little delusional. Because I would have been miserable and I WAS miserable trying to be something I was not.

Moving to Nashville has forced me to slow down a little and re-evaluate what I want with my life- personal, professional...all of it.

I realized that I prefer simple over flashy.
The jeans with ballet flats or cowboy boots.
The simple cotton top and simple jewelry.
Eyeliner/mascara with lip balm over a full face of makeup.
Beer over wine.
Quiet nights over loud bars.


I am not knocking those who choose the opposite...because there was a time where I thought that was what I wanted. But, I realized the reason why it wasn't working was because it wasn't ME.

Who knew that I would prefer driving a pick-up truck over a sports car?
Who knew I wanted a slower pace and be around people who do too??
Who knew that I would dream of living in a farmhouse on acres of land with my dog, maybe some horses, chickens, and who knows what other animals? (yeah that happened!)

Simple, comfortable, slower, HAPPY.

Does this make sense or am I rambling haha...because the reality is, I identify more with those country songs than I ever though I could...

I know, weird, right??