Alexis Allen of Shayla Hawkins Events shares these gorgeous wedding cakes!
By: Diana Holmes
A drop of sweat trickles down a knit brow to the tip of the nose and slowly drops on the grass between a pair of shoes. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Huge, deep breaths to regain any sort of breath composure...That's me running after my son in the month of August because I'm out of shape. And you thought I was doing a clever, lyrical depiction of what my husband goes through at training camp, haha.
Training camp is one of the most physically and mentally exhausting parts of football season--for both player and family. So I decided to put a list together of things to do during this next month.
- Work Out! Stay sane and get those endorphins pumping with a nice workout. This one is tough for a lot of the moms out there because of the whole 'no babysitter' thing but even going for a run with the stroller can change your whole mentality. I usually go running when I'm having a bad day and it helps to clear my busy mind. In the famous words of Elle Woods, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't. " So there's that.
- Build Friendships. Admit it or not, we all morph into homebodies during the season. It seems like plans always get made and canceled because we don't get much time with our guys during season, so we try and capitalize on any we can get. Take training camp as an opportunity to build your friendships or make new ones. Dinner, wine tasting, play-dates--whatever!
- Work Towards A Goal. Set a goal for yourself to achieve. Plan to run a race at the end of the month, join a book club, or declutter your house. The options are really quite endless. You'll keep busy while working towards something that will empower your self-confidence.
- Support, Support, Support!I always get an attitude during camp because it's always frustrating. Andre is exhausted and never has much time to talk. If you're in the same state, you maybe see each other once a week--not to mention all the added stress they experience. It takes a toll on the relationship so this one is the hardest for me. Send care packages, inspirational quotes, Bible verses--anything helps.
Our significant others and their teammates will spend the next four weeks improving their skills and pushing themselves to better their craft. Why shouldn't we do the same?
This week's WOTW is baseball wife Allison Plutko. Read more about this beauty and how to connect below!
More on Allison...
I'm Allison. My husband Adam plays baseball for the Cleveland Indians (MLB). I currently work at Lululemon and one of my main hobbies is working out (I run and do a lot of Soul Cycle).
I am originally from Dallas, TX and my husband and I met in college at UCLA. We both love wine & shopping (especially shoes!). We have a GIANT German shepherd named Maximus who, of course, travels with us and sleeps in the bed with us. 😜 We stay in most of the time and love having our friends over to our house for dinner- my hubby is an amazing cook!
Connect with Allison on social media for more #fitspiration @mrsplutko.
WAG OF THE WEEK is brought to you by WAGS REDEFINED (@WAGSREDEFINED) and LUX WAGS (@LUXWAGS). Want to nominate a WAG? Email LUXWAGS@GMAIL.COM
Meet Meg Haney, high school sweetheart and current fiancee to recent NFL draft pick and The University of Oklahoma's All-time leading running back, Samaje Perine. I first found out about Meg and Samaje through a fellow NFL WAG who tagged me in this super cute Instagram post of a college football player proposing to his girlfriend...
Meet Danielle Herzlich, an American Soldier, a fearlesss champion for domestic violence, a fitness aficionado, the wife of NY Giants Mark Herzlich and as gorgeous on the inside as she is on the outside! Danielle's philanthropic work in the community along with her brave service to our country are the epitome of a redefined WAG.
So, let me start off by saying I’m new to this world. Before I started dating my boyfriend, the world of WAGS and football seemed deeply mysterious and cloak-and-dagger. My perception was based off of what I read and saw, although I took this with a grain of salt, because making TV for a living let me know that situations are often glamorized and edited for drama. Yet and still, the stereotype is/was that WAGs are catty beauty queens who couldn’t care about anything beyond themselves, and needless to say, I didn’t want any parts of it. Long story short, after a beautiful friendship, then courtship, my boyfriend won me over with his intelligence, kind heart, and love of fishing, hiking, and hunting, oh, and did I mention he’s fine? But I digress, lol. The closer it drew to the season, the more activities I participated in with the team. I met some wonderfully talented, kind-hearted women at galas and dinners who welcomed me with open arms and vowed to show me the WAGS ropes. They fit no preconceived notion that I had. Their openness immediately shocked and warmed this cynical journalist's heart so I let my guard down. One particular woman was quick to show me the ropes, even though she’d just become a WAG herself. She picked me up from the airport when I flew in while B was practicing, I rode with her to camp, talked to her about the season, even let her in about my family- the way I was raised and how I felt about losing my mother a year ago. I trusted her. Stood up for her, and shared one of the most intimate parts of my life with her — my man. Slowly but surely she started talking to me and telling me the "business" of other WAG women that I barely knew. And then, through a series of unfortunate events, I found out that she’d been gossiping and talking about me. I should have known, my mama always said "if a dog will bring a bone, he’ll (or she’ll) carry it." She took my candidness for weakness, spread lies about me, including me being a gold digger (although I came to my relationship with money, a flourishing career, and everything in my name.) She even talked about my curves, my upbringing (my parents had been married 43 years before my mama died so somehow this made me “spoiled”), called me “Insta Thotty” because of the amount of followers I have-even with a feed that's devoid of risqué photos. She basically turned everything I told her into a falsehood or a reason she thought, that I thought I was better. Yes, I could have brushed it off of my shoulders as jealousy — let it go. I didn’t let on that I knew at first. I just sat back and waited for her to do it again. Screenshots from conversations she’d had about me confirmed my suspicions. Mind you - six months ago, I didn’t know this woman. I still don’t really know her but, through her lies and cattiness, her character was unfortunately revealed to me.
There are three things that don’t fly with me. Don’t talk about my God, my family (which includes my close friends) or my man. When lies got back to him from her mouth, I knew her drama had gone too far. How dare she? This isn’t Love & Hip Hop, this is real life. Drama during the season is a "no no" and during that period in time, we hadn’t even had our first home game. I let her know to keep our names out of her mouth and keep her drama and pathology to herself. I can bare the brunt of gossip — but to bring it to my doorstep? No. Why am I writing this proverbial dear John letter you ask? It’s because I thought of this: The world of professional sports goes beyond the field and the court. The support, love, and care we give our men — how happy and comfortable we make them is intrinsically tied to their success. But in that same vein, the support we give each other-woman to woman is so important as well. We share the same worries, the same fears, the same highs and the same excitement. As WAGS we understand the extra responsibilities that come along with dating our men, the stewardship, the service. We understand each other when it comes to this NFL world — best. We should be there for each other and we should be above the cattiness. We should seek to edify and uplift each other, support each other in person and in Christ. The world is judgmental enough towards women without adding the white noise of gossip to each other’s lives. I pulled this young lady up and I’ve forgiven her in my heart already because that’s what a Christian does. No need for negativity. If anything, I feel bad for her because whatever or whoever you believe in whether it be reciprocity or karma — they’re both real. When you aren’t supportive of one woman simply because you have unfounded hatred and immaturity in your heart, who will want to be around you and in turn support you? No one wants that negativity and hatred in their wheelhouse.
The season is officially here ladies! Let’s make an extra effort to support each other, to add happiness and positivity to one another's lives. Let’s all be the antithesis of the woman in this post. We all fall short but let’s stand up for camaraderie instead of cattiness.
Usually I can just sit down and start writing. The words just seem to flow but this time was different. I was nervous and anxious but I wasn't sure why. Despite knowing what I wanted to write about, I kept delaying the inevitable. Why wasn't it flowing? Why was I being so hesitant about writing this time? Was it because it was too personal or hitting a little too close to home? Or maybe I wasn't making it a priority. I decided "enough was enough" and I needed to get this out. I believe that if God puts something on your heart, you better listen. No need to miss blessings because of laziness. Throughout my journey in growing in God, I have tried to be a better person, making adjustments here and there just like we all do. Most of those changes didn't cause much of a fuss in my life and seemed easy— but then God challenged me. Why was it okay for me to grow in God but not others?
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. - Romans 14:13 NIV
We are all guilty of judging others. No matter how many church services we attend or holy communions we take, at some point in our lives we have judged someone else. Whether it be how they dress, how they look, or even how they raise their children. We have all done it. Primarily we judge others based on how their behavior or actions measure up to our moral compass. This is a part of life but I realized that even if the person has changed, often we don't allow the perception of how we think of them to change. We create this barrier in our minds that blocks out their growth. We refuse to believe that our pettiness is no longer warranted or excusable. I was guilty of all of these things. Why was I still holding on to stuff people did in college or even last year? How could I grow in God but not give them the grace that God so eagerly gives to us?
After the nagging feeling just wouldn't go away, I started to evaluate myself. I realized that whatever I was holding on to was holding me back from being greater. So I made a decision that I would allow others to grow in God. Who was I to refuse that? If someone reached out or apologized for their wrongs, I wouldn't secretly wish they didn't so I could be the “better person.” Also, I decided to not let the opinions of others prevent me from developing my own opinion of someone. Just like I grew, others can too.
As women in this crazy NFL life it is easy to just judge others or refuse to associate with someone based on who they used to be. As women we should challenge one another to grow in God not through criticism or judgment but through love. Growing in God is a blessing that is not limited to the few that qualify; it is open to everyone.
Sincere, gracious, genuine, intelligent, chic and classy AND that is to say the least. Mrs. Dionne Boldin, wife of Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, Anquan Boldin, is more than what meets the eye. Dionne is as fabulous as she appears in her killa’ #selfies we see on social media with a timeless air of bold self-confidence. A wife first, mother to two boys second and a philanthropist third, who believes in not only leaving a legacy of giving but creating the mindset to give as well.
Name: Dionne Boldin
Husband/Teams: Anquan Boldin (Cardinals, Ravens, 49ers, Lions)
Children: Ashton (6) & Anquan “AJ” (12)
What #hashtag describes you best: #gamechanger
Favorite place to vacation: It’s a tie between Greece & Paris
Best Concert you’ve EVER been to: Beyonce
Interesting Fact about yourself: I’m Jamaican
Hobbies: Traveling & cooking
Your favorite memory: Giving birth to my boys
Where are you originally from and how did you get to where you are now?
DB: I am from Belgrade, FL, which is a little town in West Palm Beach County. We now live in Delray Beach, FL so we are still surrounded by our family. We chose to live near this area specifically early on so we could be closer to our family and create a home base, which was especially important to us as the kids got older.
How did you and your husband meet? What’s your love story?
DB: We met in high school. He is from Pahake (FL), a neighboring small town to the one where I grew up so we have always known each other and we met in probably 5th grade. I was a junior and he was a senior when we started dating in high school. After that, we both went to the same college, Florida State University.
ON THE NFL
What are some of the challenges of being married to an NFL player and what do you like about it?
DB: I like the platform it affords us. The ability to be able to walk into a scenario where you instantly have a platform for whatever your cause may be has always meant a lot to me. As a wife, there is a fine line between staying in a supportive role to your husband and positioning your platform in a way that you are grabbing the right audiences as well. Your presence, your behavior is important because people are always watching to see if you are going to screw up and that makes a difference as far as the type of “positioning” and respect you’ll garner. I have known my husband since he was very young so it has always been great to be able to see him live his dream. What I don’t like about it (and that’s the hard part because we knew what we signed up for)--I do miss having privacy. I miss being able to go anywhere and him not being noticed. I will say that I don’t like the scrutiny that the guys get. The fans can rip them apart for the smallest things and they are seen as“just athletes” when in reality, many of these men are fathers, husbands and genuinely good guys.
WR: What are some of your favorite fondest WAGS memories?
DB: I like the camaraderie. Every team has their own sense of camaraderie and there are always a few wives who will reach out to you when you first arrive. From team to team, I have picked up life-long friends. Whether we are out to dinner with the girls or at a game, those moments (the time spent together) are some of my favorite memories. Of course, Super Bowl year with the Ravens was another fond memory. My time in San Francisco was one of my favorite memories. In both Baltimore and San Francisco, I led the women's Bible studies. Being one of the “older girls” in the group, I enjoyed seeing the younger girls grow. I learned so much about each of these girls and really enjoyed pouring into them.
ON FASHION & STYLE
WR: Is fashion a hobby for you or a love? We’ve seen your Instagram looks and are impressed to say the least!
DB: I’ve kinda always loved fashion. Over the years, I have tried to switch it up and make my look different and fun. I went out on a limb last year and brought on a stylist. We have been working together for over a year so at this point, we are friends now and we’re just having fun! In my free time, we talk fashion and put looks together. At some point in my life, I will be in the fashion industry. Where? I don’t know. For now, I am building my budding personal shopping concierge service called The Art of Shopping.
WR: What are your favorite pieces and collections that you have been wearing recently?
DB: Everything Gucci is doing is really great right now.
WR: Any all time favorite designers?
DB: Hermes or Chanel, accessories wise. I like what St. Laurent has been doing the last few seasons. My favorite pieces are Jackets and Bombers and I like nice, structured blazers by Balmain.
WR: Don’t we all?...!
ON THE ANQUAN BOLDIN FOUNDATION & WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
WR: Your foundation work and charitable contributions are nothing short of amazing! Tell us more?
DB: Thank you very much. We started the foundation in 2004 and originally it was just an opportunity to give however that may be. My husband and I both grew up in underprivileged areas and our thought was that we would create opportunities only for those communities. So that is what we have been doing every since we started. In each city where Anquan has played, we have tried to serve in whatever and wherever that city had its specific needs. About two years ago, we created an endowment: It’s a $1 million dollar scholarship in San Francisco and Palm Beach areas for students who academically deserve and have shown a commitment to community service. Our mindset has always been to give and share wherever there is a need but more specifically, we want to CREATE a mindset of givers as opposed to just leaving a legacy where we were the only ones giving.
WR: Has there been one particular charitable experience or individual story that you really valued?
DB: Yes and I definitely see the results. For example, we had one kid who was expelled from his high school. He later went back and got his GED so we gave him a scholarship and now he’s a teacher and started a mentoring program back home (in FL). You can really change lives and shift their perspective and anybody that has been helped, anyone I have poured into- I hope I have created a mindset that this is what YOU need to do as well. We also have a family in San Francisco right now where the mother was homeless with two boys. We put her in an apartment where all of her bills are paid for, for the next year. She’s now saving money, on track to support herself and I speak to her at least every other week making sure she is doing everything she “should” be doing. I like the building of the relationships as well. We aren’t helping you to leave you. Life is about relationships and serving. There are so many rich people in the world who are mentally poor.
WR: Your Husband was recently awarded the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. What type of impact has this had on you and your family?
DB: It’s impacted us in two ways. It has afforded us a platform to get our message out to a different group. This year as well as the year before he was nominated, we’ve seen such a jump in interest. I also like the notoriety of this award. The NFL finally displaying a positive light on the men enables me to appreciate the League for putting this award, front and center. There are so many guys doing the same kind of work who are as deserving. Secondly, we have been able to spend some personal time with the Payton Family. Growing up, Walter Payton was Anquan’s hero. They (The Paytons) are “who they say they are” and they are great people to be around.
WR: That is powerful. Shifting a bit as it’s wedding season and you have been married for over 10 years now. Every day, we see another picture of a beautiful bride. Before we wrap up, do you have any veteran marriage advice or tips for a newlywed?
DB: I have learned to prioritize one another and even before your kids. Prioritize your marriage and your spouse, which seems difficult when we have babies running around but putting kids in their place has helped us a lot. During the season, I do what’s uncomfortable for me and sometimes that requires me to do what’s not physically comfortable because I travel to every game. It gives us some time alone so I make it a priority. Keep people out of your business! That means not involving your girlfriends or your mother or father but keep your business at home. In the world of sports, there are a lot of insecurities floating around and rightfully so but, give your husband the opportunity to protect you.
WR: You seem like a lady who gets "it" all done! Tell us, what do you do in your home that no one else can do?
So, I am not going to lie, it's 5:39pm and my deadline is 7pm TODAY and clearly I have been putting this one off because... well...camp. I usually plan ahead what I am going to write about because you know, after all- special people such as you are taking time out of your busy life to read what I have to say so I at least owe you that to plan what I am going to share. But, today again (because we aren't lying to one another) I had no idea what I was going to write about until I opened up my blank document and the thoughts started to flow. Granted, two hours and twenty minutes before kickoff of preseason game #2 and an hour before my house was filled with all of the lovely ladies that I am lucky enough to do this crazy world of football with. And that is when it hit me; I am going to write about the power of community and why it is so last year to be mean, judgmental, and quite frankly appear “too good” for the other women that are living this NFL life WITH us.
Ok, I am going to put this out there: there is hands down NOTHING more intimidating than the first day you roll up to your significant others training camp and look around at all of the insanely gorgeous women. If you are anything like me; my first day coming to Rico’s camp three years ago, I truly started to wonder how the heck I was going to make friends, let alone fit in. There are so many stereotypes of what a “WAG” is supposed to be; how we are supposed to act, dress, look, etc and prior to getting to know anyone- I believed what I had heard. I believed that everyone would be stuck up, I believed that everyone would have more money than they knew what to do with it, I believed that this industry could quite frankly have the potential to change me for the worse and I was scared.
Obviously, I was SO wrong. I have met some of the most amazing women and I truly don't know where I would be in this crazy world without them. Rico and I have been fortunate enough to be with the Falcons for three years so I would say that I now am one of the women who could potentially be intimidating to someone new to the game. Having said that, I promised myself three years ago that if we were lucky enough to be here for a length of time, I would do my absolute best to make others feel welcome- in whatever way that I could.
All I can say is this; take the chance and reach out, introduce yourself to somebody new or invite everyone over for pizza and wine to watch the game when the guys play out of town. You don't have to become "besties", but the truth is that we can all use someone to do football season with and being a mean girl is so last year.
When thinking of the NFL, the first thing most people think of is the players which was my initial thought as well. Then, I met Jim and realized all the work that goes into the “behind the scenes” aspect of the NFL. With that being said, I am so excited to share with you ladies my views of being a girlfriend of a scout. It all started last summer when my boyfriend got a job as the scouting intern for the Kansas City Chiefs. He is a former football player and when he mentioned he got the job with the Chiefs, I was so excited for him that he was still able to work around his passion for football! Downside of things: it was 1,300 miles away from me in Connecticut. Our relationship was long distance for the majority of our time together. I was a dance teacher back in Connecticut and not ready to leave my students, while he was going to be a busy intern and traveling played a huge role in his job. Moving to a new city, not knowing anyone and having Jim travel a lot was terrifying to me so I was ready to take on the challenge of a long distance relationship! Trust me when I say last season was not an easy time and the distance really showed us how strong our love is.
Fast forward to this season! I have officially moved and joined Jim in Kansas City and I couldn’t be happier. Jim is no longer an intern and is now working full time for the team and I am ready to take on this season. Since I know what is coming, I am much more prepared for the amount of traveling that goes into scouting and all the late nights that are ahead! Living with him now will make a huge difference in our relationship because when he travels, I know he will be coming home to me soon enough. Last year was very hard trying to coordinate weekends that he wasn’t traveling with weekends I wasn’t involved in a show with my dance students. I would go one to three months without seeing him and it never became easier.
Thankfully, we no longer have to do that and let me tell you it was worth the wait! I am so excited to experience Kansas City and Chiefs Kingdom! Recently, I was able to go to a few training camp practices and the first preseason game where I felt so welcomed by the Chiefs and it was nice to talk to some other wives and girlfriends of scouts! I look forward to meeting more ladies and can’t wait to continue to share my journey!