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The Art of Tailgating: Stocking the Bar

September 9, 2010

Having a simple, well stocked bar is what separates the tailgate amateurs with the pros. Some people go all out with margarita machines and roll in kegs for the event. While that’s not necessary, here are a few additions that will make your tailgate stand out.

Tailgating Booze

The Basics:

  • Soda and Water: Be kind and remember that not everybody drinks alcohol. It’s nice to have non-alcoholic drinks on hand for those that don’t drink and those that need a break.
  • Coffee and/or Hot Chocolate: Chances are it will get cold outside by the end of the season. Nothing beats a hot cup of coffee when you’re trying to get warm.

 The Booze:

  • Beer: This is an obvious one. Offer your favorites and some local brews. If you have enough people, you could even roll in a small keg.
  • Wine: Single serving wine bottles in both red and white allow wine drinkers to partake without the need for glasses and corkscrews.  
  • Bloody Marys: I like to keep a batch of premixed Bloody Marys on hand. It makes me feel better about the pre-noon drinking fest.
  • Butterscotch, peppermint, and/or cinnamon schnapps: Such a yummy addition to your coffee or hot chocolate.
  • Kahlua or Irish Cream: Sipped straight or added to your coffee, these are both great items to have at the bar.
  • Jello Shots: Make them in your team colors and have fun.
  • Frozen Cocktail Buckets: Target sells these seasonally. Look out for the apple cider slush and the other great autumn drinks.
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The Art of Tailgating: Go Blue!

September 8, 2010

One of the easiest ways to set the mood for a big win is through using color in your tablescape. Our colors are blue and white, and I’m collecting all sorts of colorful items for the table. Turf grass and scattered footballs help to break up the color.

Tailgating Go Blue

Clockwise from left to right: A pirate flag might not fit the scene, but it does come in handy. Use an original flag of some sort to identify your party. You’ll be amazed at how hard it is to find your friends at the blue tent or with the blue balloons. Tell them you’re under the pirate flag and it’ll ease the search considerably; This goal post cooler not only provides fun, but is quickly deflatable to make for easy packing; Portable grills come in an array of colors and are one of tailgatings only real neccessities; Football bowls will hold all your goodies and add to the festivities; Use colorful disposable plates and utensils for a cheap and easy way to add a pop of color; Cotton candy is a great way to make your tailgate stand out; Bring food in your team colors, like these blue corn chips.

The Art of Tailgating

September 7, 2010

 The time has come. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling and football season is finally upon us. My autumn schedule is literally planned around my boyfriend’s alma maters home games.

I won’t lie and tell you I understand football perfectly, or that I really know much more than that they run back and forth across a big field and tackle the guy with the ball. But I do understand tailgating. And for that, I am truly psyched.

Stay tuned for lots of tailgating ideas this week.

For starters, here’s my dream cooler: For smaller tailgate experiences, this is one of the coolest coolers I’ve seen. It’s complete with a cooler, grill, and utensils so all you have to remember is the beer and the food.

 

Vulcan Tailgate Grill and Cooler

 

Things I Love Thursday: Bacon

September 3, 2010

I have a tiny obsession with all things bacon. More for the kitsch appeal than for the sake of gobbling massive calories from fat, it all began at an art opening that featured paintings of meat. The bacon was amazing and kitschy and I desperately wanted it.

 The following month a good friend baked me bacon cupcakes for my birthday. I was hooked.

 Here’s a sampling of bacony goodness from around the web.

 Bacon

Clockwise from Top Middle: Snappy Shop; Willotoons; Bambina Mia; Our Sweet Life; Pete Bakes; Perpetual Kid

Not Your Mama’s Tupperware Party

September 2, 2010

Unlike many mothers of our generation, my mother never threw a Tupperware party. She hated those things, but attended many. I myself have been invited to more jewelry, candle and Mary Kay parties than I care to count. Because of the stigma I’ve always tried to avoid them. The truth is, though, that if done right one of these selling parties can be a blast. And with so many different types of parties to choose from, there really is something for everyone.

 A close friend recently held a Mary Kay party at her home and went all out. We dressed up, had brunch, drank mimosas, and pampered away with Mary Kay products. In the end, I walked away feeling happy, tipsy and pampered and bought an adorable and tasty lip gloss. (Never feel obligated to buy something! Many of the girls didn’t buy anything at all. I just really needed some cute pink gloss.)

Here are some great sellers that could make a fun addition to a party. They’re free, you’re never obligated to purchase anything, and the host usually gets a free gift!

Dove Chocolate Discovery Party

DoveChocolate

What it is: Host a chocolate tasting party in your home and sample drinks, desserts and baking products.

Products: Chocolates, easy to prepare desserts, beverages, and baking tools and accessories.

Fun Ideas: Dress up and have a fancy wine and chocolate party. Or dress down and have a chocolate spa party complete with chocolate facials.

Learn More: www.dove-chocolate-discoveries.com

The Traveling Vineyard

TravelingVineyard

What it is: Invite your friends over for a free wine tasting complete with five full bottles of wine and a personal wine consultant.

Products: Wine and wine accessories.

Fun Ideas: Have a dinner party and serve your best lasagna before or during your wine tasting. Or include cheese and chocolate pairings for your tasting.

Learn more: www.myttv.com

Spa Girl Parties

SpaGirl

What it is: Spa Girl offers two different party options. The Girlfriend Get-Together samples products such as body scrubs, spritzes and lotions; while the Facial Party lets your guests discover the company’s cleanser, toners and creams.

Products: Bath & body products and gifts.

Fun Ideas: Mimosas would be a great addition, so host a brunch or tea party along with your spa day. You could also hire someone to do manicures, or set out a bunch of nail polish choices and hold a DIY session.

Learn more: www.spagirlparties.com/

Pampered Chef

PamperedChef

What it is: Pampered Chef parties are nothing new, but I think they’re still a great idea. When you host a Pampered Chef cooking show you get the opportunity to learn recipes, techniques and tips.

Products: Kitchen and cookware, cookbooks, spices, and more.

Fun Ideas: Go kitschy and have a fifties style desperate housewives party. Dress up, serve retro finger foods and set the mood with music reminiscent of the time. 

Learn more: www.pamperedchef.com

The Gift of Regiving

September 2, 2010

Recycled Paper

Jumping on board the green train? It seems like more and more companies are developing recycled and eco-friendly products for daily use and gift-giving.

Greenfield Paper sells eco-friendly and recycled products such as paper, business cards, plantable greeting cards, and gorgeous modern wrapping paper.

Not into the one-time use wrapping paper? Fabric can be reused over and over. Or use a cute canvas bag. Two gifts for one at about the same price! Wrapsacks have a cool feature where you can track a bag by entering the Wrapsack code online. It’s really the gift that keeps on giving.

Even more on the practical side is this great bag from Bagnesia. The reminder kit guarantees that your gift recipient never leaves his or her grocery bags in the car or at home again. (I always remember as soon as I have a cart half full of groceries!) It comes with a reusable bag, door hanger, steering wheel wrap, key chain, and carbineer.

Things you never knew you wanted to do

September 1, 2010

Instructables.com offers user provided tutorials on almost anything you can imagine. In your spare time you can make an Altoids Catapult, grow an avocado, make a watermelon keg, or make cute apple garland for the fall.

I’m not sure exactly how the Altoid Catapult will come in handy, but I’m betting that it could be a lot of fun in the office.  Come to think of it, so could a watermelon keg…

Instructables