September, so far…

Apologies for the delay in posts…which I just realized have lasted through the month of September so far (and here we are halfway through!) The easiest thing to do would be to blame it on an uptick of JU soccer and PGA TOUR Playoffs (for the FedExCup!), which have rearranged our lives like all commitments are prone to doing. I won’t, however, apologize for the uptick in girls night activities with my core group of Jax ladies in the past few weeks…as those just serve to help keep me (and each of us) sane.

It’s funny that the first place I check is my iPhone photo album, to see what I’ve been up to lately. Second place is probably Twitter and/or our foursquare checkin history. Thank goodness for little technology records to help us track where we’ve been and maybe where we’re going…

Lately:

– Learned I can make a pan of Rice Krispie Treats in 12 minutes or less. Also learned that Rice Krispie Treats don’t ‘cool’ so well in the back of a car on a 90+ degree day, but that soccer players don’t care.

– My buddy Jason was featured on the Today Show for his company, iwearyourshirt.com.  I met Jason at the first Social Media Club interest meeting, just before he launched IWYS, and its been very cool to see him grow his idea into this 24/7, 365 business. It’s not just as easy as wearing a shirt everyday. Click here to watch the Today Show segment

– Our Labor Day plans were pretty non-descript, until I saw a Facebook post from my college friend Erin of her view from her Orlando hotel. A few text messages later, I was en route to O-Town for dinner with Erin and Heath, two of my former NAU Live! colleagues. We enjoyed a great night out with several “where is [this person]” tangents, that ultimately led to the idea of a NAU Live reunion (an actual planned one, with invites and everything!) and re-discovering our former advisor, Dr. Gloria Horning (thank you, Google!).

NAU Live! mini-reunion with Lauren, Erin & Heath

– Labor Day continued the college theme on Saturday with the second soccer team dinner, for midfielders and forwards this time. These guys are predominantly more European, so of course I unleashed my Southern cooking talents for a dinner featuring pulled pork, coleslaw, potato salad and corn on the cob. Despite the cultural differences, I was crowned with two new nicknames: “Mom” and “Best cook in the world.” Needless to say, I prefer the latter…

– College theme continued Sunday, with another JU soccer game (2-0 victory!) followed by after-parties since Monday was a day off. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen 2:30 AM on the clock before bed, especially twice in one weekend (see, Friday night) but it was fun to pretend I belonged back in the college scene again.

– Social Media Club Jax has resumed from its (unplanned) summer hiatus. To kick off fall, we had a happy hour event at TPC Sawgrass where our members unlocked the FedExCup Playoff badge and I answered some questions on how brands like mine work with foursquare to create badge campaigns. I usually shy away from presenting about my work, but it was good for me to stand up and share my experiences with our group.

– What was supposed to be easy and unstructured this past weekend was flipped upside-down when Garrett got the call that his new teammate was en route from Ireland and he needed a place to crash. Enter, Gavin the Irish goal keeper. The poor guy arrived at 11:30 pm after traveling for 21 hours. Add, it was just 75 degrees when we picked him up and the second thing he said to us was “Wow, it’s really hot here.” By the end of the weekend we had spent hours in the sun, taking him to the beach and the Jacksonville Jaguars season opener, and I think he used an entire bottle of SPF 50 sun cream in two days.

Neptune Beach, Florida
September 11th tribute at Jacksonville Jaguars' season opener

– Post-game we had a lovely Irish meal at Culhane’s, where Gavin and one of the owners (one of four sisters from Limerick) had a nice chat. Always good to make connections in town, especially ones that pour the pints!

Gavin gets a taste of home!

– Finally, I have totally broken my Starbucks kick thanks to my awesome espresso machine Garrett gifted me for my birthday. I’ve discovered the best way to start a morning…and it looks something like this:

Breakfast of Champions!

Here’s hoping our anniversary presents to each other are so beloved! (more on that soon)

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September, so far…