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- Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself
Hey fam! Welcome back to the AB blog!! I'm Atoya Burleson and I have missed you all. I had to take a summer hiatus (more on that below). Since it's been awhile, it's important to welcome my new subscribers and tell them a little bit about me. Who is Atoya Burleson: Most of you readers know who I am! I am a wife and mother of 3 active student athletes (plus all of their friends that are always over), so really a mother of 10! Haha! I also host insideLINES Podcast which celebrates women in and around sports. We love to highlight amazing NFL wives and girlfriends who support their husbands while still doing their own thing. You know what they say, behind every good man is an AMAZING woman. I can confirm that this is definitely true! Background: I have a Psychology degree (which was the perfect focus while competing in sports) and a Master's degree in Education with a business minor. I am also a collegiate track champion in the 100 meter hurdles and collegiate team champion as well. I love flexing my championship ring on my hubby because it's probably the only leg up that I have on him in the sports world ;). Love: My husband Nate Burleson and I met in college. He played football and I ran track. Nate's career took off in 2003 and we spent 11 years total in the NFL playing for 4 teams; The Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and briefly the Cleveland Browns. We love traveling, exploring, and trying new food. Yes, we are foodies, and I make it a point to share my favorite places to eat and visit while traveling the world! Atoya, where have you been? Okay, let's talk about it. I've had a super emotional year. Burn out is real!! My favorite saying is, "Well, who else is going to do it?" Do not be this person, I repeat, do NOT be this person!! Lol. If you're wondering what I am talking about, here we go: My oldest son, Nate, graduated from high school and received a scholarship to play football at Nevada (where Nate and I met!) Because of his football commitment this meant I had to host his graduation party on graduation day- while hosting family and friends- so I could then fly him across the country two days later to start school/football at Nevada. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I've ever done and I miss him more than I could have ever imagined. It didn't really sink in until after I dropped him at college that I didn't even get to enjoy the summer with him before he left. Talk about pulling the bandaid off. It was rough! With my eldest at college- my younger two still kept me busy. My daughter had a birthday a few days later that I had to prepare for only to turn around and travel daily to non-stop volleyball camps while my other son had football training all summer. It was a whirlwind! During that time, my mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and almost a few weeks later my father fractured his back. Let's just say we went from being the children of our parents to becoming the parents to our parents. That alone happened overnight and I pray for all those who understand how difficult those conversations and decisions can be. Prayer was in non-stop full effect! I had to move on from some friendships in my life. It happened suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a very hurtful and difficult decision, however, I did what was best for myself and I wish them well. I realized I had to find a way to slow down and focus on my family because if I didn't, we would have probably fell apart. That's how fast life came at me this summer! With life moving so fast, I had to be intentional about decelerating and focusing on what matters most. So here I am, in a new season, of not always depending on myself but instead, trusting God's miracles to answer, heal and restore. I'm sharing this journey here to be transparent and intentional about what I've been going through with the hope that my experience can help others who may be facing similar challenges. A few realizations that helped me get through the rough months: There will be some days where you only have 25% to give and if you give that 25% you have given 100%. Be kind to yourself and proud that you gave your all. My burnout came from pushing myself to perform at a high level regardless of the situations I was dealing with. When your mind and body ask for a break, listen and comply. There has to be a healthy balance of busy days and down days. When you honor both and trust the higher power, you develop the best version of yourself. At times, emotions can feel overwhelming. They definitely were for me. Find someone you trust to talk to and find a licensed therapist. We are human. It's pertinent to process our feelings with a professional so that we can heal properly and see clearly moving forward. My top five faves that helped me through a tough time: What I am reading: The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson Get ready to learn and grow! What I am drinking: I love a good Chai Tea Latte with almond milk and pumpkin froth! So calming and yummy! Favorite sneakers: Nike Air Vapor Max Plus Running Shoes I have to be fresh when working out! Flex on em! Favorite Light Foundation: Trish McEvoy's Gorgeous Foundation (applies light with even coverage, minus the heaviness on the skin). That foundation w/ a pop of lipstick always makes me smile! I use shade 9. My favorite Fall Sweats: Essentials I just started wearing these this past week as the temperature has cooled off. I forgot how thick and soft they are. They will also last me all fall and winter! In closing, what I've learned about burn out is once you hit rock bottom you can only go up, therapy is key to renewing the mind, and God is the ultimate restorer. I see proof of the latter because my mother's numbers are decreasing and she is doing much better, and my father is on the mend with the help of a walker and lots of physical therapy. And my family and life is slowly getting back on track. It has taken months of prayer, commitment and intentionality but anything and anyone you love is worth fighting for. With love, Atoya P.S. Please leave me a note if you enjoyed reading this. <3 Also, feel free to tell a friend about my blog and insideLINES Podcast!! Follow us on instagram as well @insidelinespodcast. I promise you will love it! Women supporting women is truly my life's passion!
- Spring Style Refresh
Spring is one of my favorite seasons to style! In both spring and fall, I feel like I am able to show more of my personality through my outfits and there is something about transitional seasons that connect me back to myself, allow me to reflect and give myself the space to grow into a new season! My fashion philosophy is that you look best in what you feel good in. Don't get me wrong, I love Spring fashion week and seeing how the runway makes it's way into every day fashion but if you don't feel comfortable in it, then it's not worth it. Instead, invest in a few base pieces you will have for years (jackets, bags) and then explore and experiment with pops of color, trends, etc from there. Here's a peak at what's in my cart this spring! Happy styling, AB
- Spring Break Travel Essentials
WE are OVER winter! Whether it's planning for spring break, a weekend getaway, or a full on much needed vacation, what you travel with matters! Here are some of my must-have travel essentials when I am on the go. First things first, luggage. Beis has been my go-to for the last few years. It's practical, durable and love how it looks. Shop my favs here: Just because you are on vacation, do not neglect your skin! Being in the sun after those long winter months can cause major damage and a little SPF can save major $$ down the line trying to reverse that damage. I always travel with my fav lotion, SPF and a vitamin C! Last, but definitely not least... The clothes! Your choices are definitely going to be weather and location dependent but you can never go wrong with a pair of sunglasses and a few outfit staples.
- Easter Joy: Renew Your Mind, Body, and Home!
Spring is here, and Easter brings with it a sense of renewal and gratitude. It's the perfect time to focus on your physical and mental well-being, connect with loved ones, and give your home a fresh start. Stay Active: Prioritize Your Health and Fitness Goals With the warmer weather and longer days, it's a great time to get moving and prioritize your health goals. Make time for regular exercise and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Whether it's going for a jog in the park, or hitting the gym - staying active not only improves your physical health but also boosts your mood and energy levels. Technology Cleanse: Be Present and Engage in the Now In today's digital age, it's easy to get caught up in social media and technology, which can distract us from being fully present in the moment. This Easter, challenge yourself to take a technology cleanse and be more mindful of your screen time. Set aside designated times to check your phone or social media, and spend the rest of your time engaging in meaningful activities with loved ones. Use this opportunity to connect with God and reflect on your faith. Set aside time for prayer, meditation, or reading the Bible without any distractions. Being present and fully engaged in the now can help you deepen your spiritual connection and foster a sense of peace and mindfulness. Laughter is Medicine: Share Joy and Laughter with Loved Ones Laughter is a powerful medicine for the soul, and Easter is a great time to share joy and laughter with those you love. Plan a family gathering, or a game night with friends and family. Share funny stories, jokes, and memories to create cherished moments that will uplift your spirits and strengthen your bonds. Spring Clean: Refresh Your Home As the flowers bloom and nature comes back to life, it's the perfect time to refresh your home and give it a new look. Consider decluttering and deep-cleaning your living space, and donate or repurpose items that no longer serve you. This can create a sense of renewal and provide a fresh start for you and your family.
- InsideLINES Super Bowl LVII
After months of planning, hours and hours of dedicated work by so many amazing people, InsideLINES Podcast hosted our annual Super Bowl show LIVE at Neiman Marcus and it was amazing!! We organized the live event into four quarters and in each segment we were joined by inspiring women who are changing the world through sports, business, entrepreneurship and so much more. A huge thank you to our wonderful guests including Philadelphia Eagles wives: Katya Suh, Rachol Chachere and Jennifer Slay. Thank you to Samantha Ponder from Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN for sharing her wisdom in the sports world. I also would like to thank Camille Kennard for joining us during our fashion segment. You are definitely the best dressed real estate agent in Arizona and we love your style and expertise in the real estate market. We rounded off the event with our favorite Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay and WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike! During our "half time" chalk talk, we welcomed three amazing men. Nate Burleson, Cliff Avril, Devon Kennard. They shared their perspectives on the Super Bowl and life after football. Fellas, thank you for your view inside the lines! We did not stop there! Dolce and Gabbana joined us and our VIP guests could get custom painted sneakers which was a huge hit. Clarkson eye care and Nationwide Vision provided eye care demos and custom designer sunglasses that were simply gorgeous! Pepsi Dig In sponsored an amazing brunch presented by James Beard award nominee Larder and the Delta and we were blown away! Did I mention there were special curated drinks and the DJ was spinning!? I couldn’t have asked for a better ambiance! This year was our best event yet and we are just getting started! Follow InsideLINES and let’s start the countdown to Super Bowl LVIII. Thank you to the guests and everyone who supported throughout the season as well as the LIVE show! Let meknow who’d you like to see next year in the comments and I'd love to see you there! With love, AB #justagirlwithadream P.S. I pray you live out what God places in your heart as well! 🙏🏾
- 5 Ways to Start The New Year
We've all witnessed the New Year Resolution bombs year after year. As soon as someone says they made a new year resolution, the eye rolls begin and the scoffs of sarcasm are felt. That's because it's been proven that most resolutions fail. Research has found that it's easier to start with minor self care adjustments before making grandiose plans or goals. In the consistency of the small things is where change truly begins. Here's a few suggestions or tips I would recommend to start the New Year prepared and ready to take on 12 fresh months! Self Reflect Take a moment and reflect on this last year. Your wins, your losses, and where things remained stagnant. Ask yourself if what you did was enough or reflect on what you could've done better. This type of self reflection creates accountability and promotes self evaluation which is important in realizing where you are and where you're trying to go next. It propels you to step into your full power with clarity and focus. 2. Clear your Space Time to Reset! Rid your life of old papers, cluttered spaces or bad relationships. Organize your space so that everything that stays has a place. Anything that is unnecessary, unproductive, or unruly has to go. The energy around you truly affects your health, so clean house and make space for the good. That's what we all want right? Let's prepare to receive it! 3. Self Care Mind- Take the time to write down your daily thoughts in a journal. One day, it may take 5 minutes and another day 30 minutes. Be consistent. Meditate- Start with sitting still for 10 minutes. No phone, no interruptions. Body- Physical exercise is so important along with eating healthy. Make a goal to workout twice a week at a particular time and stick to it. Take a class, find an accountability partner and go on a walk to self reflect and take in Mother Nature. Also, have a plan of when, where or what you should eat. If you are unsure, that's okay to. Invest in someone that can help you with this until you get it down. Don't forget to drink lots of water and get your sleep! Health is wealth and we only have this one life to live. Give it your all! Spirit- Speaking of giving it your all, add some spirituality to your life like a daily devotional or reading the word to help remind us of what really matters and gives us perspective outside of what our mind sometimes tricks us into believing. Developing an attitude of gratitude can truly propel into positive spaces and relationships. 4. Write Down Goals There's so much power in writing down your goals. Write them in your journal, your planner or on a sticky note in your bathroom. Make them visible everywhere you go. Put them in your bedroom, closet, bathroom. Write them on your phone as reminders. The more you see it and say it, the closer you will get to checking off that goal. Don't forget to say it out loud. Manifest your truths. Write present and future goals. Under each, use language that reflects the present and the future, even if these things haven't occurred yet. Experiencing yourself writing out your goals as if you have already achieved them can be a beautiful, healing experience. 5. Expect Setbacks Things won't always go as planned. These aren't derailments, but instead speed bumps. So, slow down pay attention to the signs and adjust accordingly. It's okay to take a moment, but don't get stuck. Create an escape plan to get out of the rut because it will happen. No one knows you better than yourself. Identify where you struggle and why. Whether that's a limiting belief or your desire to remain comfortable. How will you push thorough? What's your plan to coach yourself through it? Get clear on what may throw you off and your plan to overcome. God will never put more on you than you can bare. Trust Him! Trust the gifts He's given you and keep going. The right doors will open that NO man can close! It's your destiny! Yes, even the hard stuff. Your testimony will bless someone else one day. Happy 2023 to YOU! With love, AB 🎊
- Happy No-vember
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- 6 Outfit Ideas for Your Next Football Game
Football season is in full swing and I'm here for it! Our weekends consist of football, football, and more football. From high school to the NFL, we are ALL IN when it comes to this sport. So, I thought it would be fun to share some outfit ideas for your next football game. Whether you're going to a stadium or are watching it on your couch, these looks are not only festive, but perfect for the fall season as well. 1. Casual Cool This has to be one of my easy go-to looks when it comes to football season. Not only is it casual, but it has cool mom written all over it. 2. Classy & Sassy When I'm feeling like I want to class things up, I'll opt for a snakeskin or faux leather legging like these. You could pair them with a jean jacket, blazer, or leather jacket for a more dressed up look. 3. Shacket Season Nothing says fall like a plaid shacket, and I right? Shackets also make the perfect football game attire because they're warm, cozy and chic. I styled mine with some distressed jeans and high-tops. 4. Jersey & Jeans Sport your favorite team or player and break out that jersey baby! Be the ultimate cheer leader and represent by pairing your jersey with some jeans and cool kicks. 5. Craving Plaid I love me some plaid! It's so festive and screams fall. This jacket is so cozy so it's perfect for those cool fall nights. It will keep you warm without compromising style. 6. Funky & Fun Who said sweats can't be fun? I love this set because it brings out my funky and playful side. Whether I'm snuggled up on the couch or cheering from the bleachers, a matching set is the way to go. Don't forget to follow me on LTK for more outfit ideas, what I'm wearing, and my favorite finds I don't share anywhere else! With Love, AB
- 5 Fall Musts
Fall is definitely my favorite season! There are so many comforting and exciting elements that happen when Summer says goodbye and Fall begins. The weather begins to chill, the leaves begin to turn and I immediately think about my must haves for the season. Here are 5 things I truly enjoy about the Autumn season that will help jump start the season for you as well! Candles are at the top of the list! I love burning candles in the evening or sometimes early in the morning. I prefer particular smells in certain areas of the house. For example, in the family room I love a warm sultry scent, however in the bathroom I prefer a clean, fresh scent. Now, in the kitchen I am in need of something that mirrors the smells of baking in the kitchen whether that be something that smells like pumpkin, apple, cinnamon or even vanilla. All of those smells compliment whatever it is that you are cooking and triggers my childhood for me. Some of my favorite candle companies include Lomar Farms, School Scents, and Buttadream! When the weather changes, so does my skin. I always use a serum but typically add in a heavier moisturizer to combat the cold dry weather. My top two serums are Skin Ceuticals hydrating B5 and tru skin Vitamin C. My go to moisturizers are Kiehl's ultra facial cream and La Mer’s soft cream moisturizer. It’s worth the investment! In the summer we are in shorts, dresses, and skirts. However, in Fall layers begin and I LOVE layers. It’s like climate control! From a puffer vest over a short sleeve or long sleeve shirt, to a hooded sweatshirt with a jean jacket over it you can never go wrong! But the ultimate Fall layer is the Flannel with a t- shirt and a pair of jeans! Pair all three outfits with a pair of sneakers for drop offs and running errands and you are ready to roll!! Slow down ladies, it’s not boot season yet! ;) Recipes change during the Fall season as well. Summer is light and healthy foods like salads and wraps while Fall is all about comfort foods!! Here are a couple recipes I enjoy to commemorate the fall season. Chili with Cornbread Chicken Fettuccine Your favorite warm beverage in a mug that makes you smile! Football is BACK!!! The weekend is all football around here! From high school football to the NFL we are ALL IN when it comes to the Pig Skin!! Did I mention I play fantasy football and started a ladies only fantasy football league in conjunction with my podcast? If you’ve ever wanted to play, here’s your chance! To hear more, check out my podcast called insideLINES podcast where we talk football, share our HOT TAKES, and interview some bad ass females!! Or just email us at email@example.com! Female empowerment and community is what we are all about! Happy Fall Yall! With Love, AB
- Top 5 Tips for traveling to Paris
I've always dreamed of traveling to Paris! My dreams came true this summer and Paris was everything I dreamed of! From the Eiffel Tower, to the Louvre, to the Seine River we truly enjoyed touring Paris, France. People watching was magnificent and the food did not disappoint! Here are my top 5 tips when traveling to Paris! Plan your itinerary, but cut it back a third. Use the extra time to walk around, people watch and take in the moments. Although we went to the Louvre during the day, I would recommend going at night. It is less crowded and a different ambiance. Not to mention much cooler! I would recommend cutting your tour time in half. Four hours is usually suggested, however, we felt like 2 to 2 1/2 hours was plenty. If possible, increase your budget by 25% to allow for spontaneous fun and gives you more time to explore the beauty of France (a bottle of wine, a souvenir, or shopping). However many days you are traveling to Paris, add on one extra day. There is so much to see and do and I wish we had more time to truly take it all in! Listed below are my favorite hotels, restaurants, and tours. Please comment below or ask questions and I'd be happy to answer! Top 3 hotels Cheval Blanc - The newest hotel in Paris and it definitely over exceeded our expectations!! It is also located right next door to La Samaritaine, which is the most amazing department store in Paris! The location is right where you want to be. Cheval Blanc also has a Dior Spa that is heavenly and it has the longest indoor pool in Europe. This hotel also includes your airport transfers with VIP meet and greet as well as fast track immigration. If you need a ride somewhere, the hotel will drop you off in a BMW 750i and goes above and beyond to make you feel so special. 5 stars all the way!! Four Seasons - The location is also fantastic here as well. The Four Seasons is the only hotel in Europe with a total of 5 Michelin Starred restaurants. You never can go wrong at a Four Seasons hotel! Lunch at Le George was my favorite food experience in Paris!! The feel is magical! See below my remarks of the restaurant. Le Bristol - This hotel is the epitome of French Elegance. The meals are delicious, the settings were superb, it has a lovely courtyard and a rooftop pool! Yes please! Customer service and attention to detail are fantastic here! Restaurants Girafe - Best view of the Eiffel Tower! When you add the food and specialty drinks to an outdoor Parisian style decor, you have no choice but to enjoy yourself. Take your time and enjoy the views, they do not disappoint! Gigi Paris - Live music and beautiful linens and dishes. Gigi was such a chic restaurant. I enjoyed the food and I grooved to the music all evening! A sophisticated feel!! Le George - Inside the Four Seasons. Chandeliers, floral arrangements by Jeff Leatham and a breathtaking marble courtyard with heavenly views! None of this compares to the exceptional service and luxurious food that lives up to ALL the hype! This experience was once in a lifetime! Well, let's hope not because I'm definitely returning again! L'Avenue - Lunch or dinner. It's located right on the corner, therefore, you can sit and have a drink, people watch and enjoy some delicious food! The restaurant is trendy and people come to dress! I enjoyed the lobster spaghetti and the delicious wine! Not to mention it is close to all the shopping you can enjoy in Paris! Must do Tours Louvre - We chose to skip the line and use a tour guide. Trust me when I say it was worth it! Eiffel Tower - We went with a group tour here. There was no need to pay for a private tour guide. It's crowded any way and everyone has to wait for the elevator to move up and down regardless. Have patience here, this one takes a while but it is such a special view! Seine River Cruise - We chose a private boat which was perfect because no one was in our way, we were able to take in the views by water, watch the sun set and take as many pictures as we pleased. So magical! Private Vintage Traction Tour - If you want to take in the entire city of Paris, this is definitely a different experience. You get to drive around Paris in an old french car like you're in a vintage film. The driver took us around to see the different monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, and the Place de la Concorde. Hearing the stories and learning about the rich history of France was such a fun time. We were able to stop along the way and take pictures and video. Priceless! Paris was such a phenomenal trip!! I was able to enjoy the City of Love with my best friend! Between the hotel experience, the tours, the food, and the shopping, I could not have asked for a better first trip to France. Honestly, I wish we could have stayed longer. Nevertheless, Paris you hold a special place in our hearts and we will be back sooner than later! Merci beaucoup!
- insideLINES Podcast
Can you believe it’s been 4 months since the Live Super Bowl LVI show at Nordstrom for insideLINES Podcast?! It was such an amazing show in Los Angeles and I am forever grateful to everyone who attended, supported, and cheered us on. To our amazing guests that graced the stage, we thank you for your vulnerability! 🙏🏾 I think back to the creation of this podcast and how far we have come. Creating insideLINES was an idea I discovered as I sat in my kitchen homeschooling my son for a year. We had just moved to the East Coast from the West Coast for my hubby’s new job and similar to the other states I‘ve lived in, people genuinely had questions and wanted to know more about me, my relationship, and my family. I would get the comments like, “Wow, you are so different than how I thought you’d be,” as I was at every game for my kids with my hair pulled back in a ponytail, no makeup on and wearing sneakers while talking and laughing with everyone. I thought to myself, let’s give the people what they want and open up our lives so they truly know who we as women are. 😉 So, I reached out to my girlfriend Tia Avril and asked her to join me and the rest is history! InsideLINES has welcomed incredible women while having in depth conversations about their careers, lives, and the multifaceted roles women play. This safe space was created for women to get candid about their lives and give you a behind the scenes first hand scoop into their careers, their families and their struggles. To all the women that have blessed us with their stories, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And to everyone that has supported our podcast, Tia and I are grateful for your continued support and encouragement. ❤️ Please let us know who you’d like us to have on the show. The 2022 football season is just around the corner and fantasy football will kick off soon, so if you’re interested in learning how to play and want to enjoy some sisterhood, please email us at insidelinespodcast.com or hit us up on Instagram @insidelinespodcast. Here are a few pictures from our live podcast in Los Angeles at Super Bowl LVI. 🎉 We hope you can join us for our next live show in Arizona at Super Bowl LVII!!! Bring a girlfriend and don’t forget to follow us on Apple, Spotify, or any podcast platform you prefer. Stay tuned as the new season is coming soon! 🎥 With love, AB 💋
- Self Care for the Beauty- Loving Mom
Moms are the most selfless humans in history. I think about Mother’s Day (aka don’t lift a finger day) and it may be the only day we are globally recognized and shown that extra love that is well deserved and long over due. I was taken to a spa called Biologique Recherche Paris on Mother’s Day after eating brunch in the city with the family. I was pleasantly surprised with my first ever body wrap experience! Ahhhhh!!! I was covered in this algae moisturizing exfoliating gel that exfoliates the skin while moisturizing and detoxing the body. I was then wrapped up like a burrito and I laid there for about 30 minutes. The algae made my skin warm and it felt like my body was baking, so I fell asleep while nice and cozy. After waking up, I rinsed off and then drifted away again while being massaged and moisturized with skin care products simultaneously. It felt like heaven! After the wrap, I realized how dry and unprotected my skin was. It dawned on me how important it is to take care of my skin daily with a consistent moisturizing skin care routine for my body as well. My skin felt so beautiful after the body wrap. It was much softer, hydrated, and revitalized! Talk about overdue self care! Speaking of self care, I want to gift someone with one of my favorite skin care products by Lamer. I feel like mothers should be celebrated throughout the year. These products are truly some of the best moisturizing products out there and it makes my face look and feel amazing! Also, I included my favorite moisturizing lotion for the body called Kiehl’s Crème de Corps. It will truly help you understand why hydration really is pertinent to the skin. Please check out my skincare giveaway below and happy moisturizing! Giveaway Alert You will receive a La Mer package with sample products to enjoy like the cleansing foam, the moisturizing soft cream, lifting and firming mask, the regenerating serum, the eye concentrate, the moisturizing cream, the moisturizing matte lotion and their latest new product which is a moisturizing cool gel cream. This is one of the best skin care packages you will ever get for FREE! It comes in an adorable Lamer travel bag and of course included is the Kiehl’s crème de corps for the body. All you have to do is comment on this blog and then head to Instagram and tag a friend that you’d love to share these products with. Trust me when I say this is more than worth it!