The Ultimate Tailgate Party

After months and months of waiting, the wait finally over. Football season is here! If you’re from the South you know just how big of a deal college football is. As most of you know, I could care less about football. I still don’t fully understand how the game is played. But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t stop me from throwing one heck of a tailgate party.

Last week I was invited on WSFA’s Alabama Live for a quick segment on how to plan the Ultimate Tailgate Party. If you missed it, you can watch it HERE. We could talk all day long about how to throw a party, but some many people are visual learners like myself, so I decided to style a mock tailgate party. I called my friend Lauren at Milly Photography to capture it all.  2016-09-25_0007 When planning any event, wedding or party there are always a few MUST-HAVES. A tailgate party is no exception. We’ve come up with 3 things that are essential for any tailgate party. The first, You can’t have the proper tailgate party without Entertainment. Wether that’s a game of corn hole, tossing the football on the lawn or cranking up the music. It’s a must! 2016-09-26_0001 Next, you can’t have a tailgate party without you team spirit. Bring you shakers, table clothes, flags and foam fingers. It certainly adds to the festive table decor.  2016-09-25_0002 2016-09-25_0016 2016-09-25_0001 I’m the type of person that will spend extra money on fancy paper plates or cute striped straws, but I’ll buy a cheap lawn chair to save a few bucks. I’m a party planner, don’t judge me! That’s exactly what I did here– We picked up a $6.00 chair from Wal-Mart instead of purchasing one of those fancy $50.00 legit team chairs. I found these inexpensive pillows from the “Dollar Spot” at Target and with a little iron on transfer, I created a custom pillow for under $10.00. Super easy! ANYONE can do it.  2016-09-25_0014 Last but not least. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to throw a tailgate party without the proper food and drink. BBQ sliders, wings and chicken fingers are a few of my favorite easy pick-up foods. But I was recently introduced to a quick and easy sausage dip that is TO DIE FOR. You HAVE to try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Sausage Dip

(2) 8 Ounce Cream Cheese | 1 Cup Sour Cream | 2 Cups grated cheddar cheese | 1lb of Ground Sausage | 1 can of Diced Green Chiles

*Brown and drain sausage. Mix with all other ingredients. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

If you choose to wash it down with a cocktail, we suggest doing it with a little team spirit, of course. Our friend and one of our favorite past brides, Jean helped us round up a few recipes that are sure to impress your tailgating guests. For the Auburn Fan….

Aubie Palmer Cocktail:

1.5 Old Forester Bourbon  | 1.5 Lemonade | Top off w/ Milos Sweet Tea

2016-09-26_0002 and of course, we can’t leave the Alabama fan out. A yummy fruity drink fits them properly, I think.

Yellowhammer Cocktail:

3/4 oz. White Rum | 3/4 oz. Coconut Rum | 1/2 oz. amaretto | 2 oz. orange juice | 2 oz. pineapple juice

2016-09-26_0003 and for those that choose to have a classic game soda, barqs glass bottle root beer will hit the spot.  2016-09-25_0008 2016-09-25_0005 After all those yummy eats and drinks, you have to have a quick sweet treat before entering the stadium. We stopped by Liger’s bakery for those. You can’t go wrong with THE BEST petite fours in town. Their also famous for those mint thumbprint cookies, too, but my personal fave….the Iced Sugar Cookies.  2016-09-25_0012 2016-09-26_0004 As promised on WSFA’s Alabama Live, I’m giving away a pair of tickets to the AUBURN vs. ALABAMA A&M Homecoming game. It’s super easy to win– all you have to do is comment this post. We’ll select a winner Saturday, October 8th. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. A for making this giveaway possible.  2016-09-25_0009 HUGE thanks to Joyce Hubbard for letting us borrow her Auburn Orange truck. It was PERFECT! And of course, my Granny. Those Liger’s goodies wouldn’t have brought themselves. You’re the BEST!

Evan’s Favorite Things– Day 5

2015-12-14_0004 I know, I know. I’m a couple days behind in posting this. My deepest apologies. My trip to New Orleans was much more fast paced than I expected. Friday (the original day this post was scheduled for) was go, go go with a full day of site seeing, eating and a fancy wedding.

View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas

Speaking of New Orleans…Today’s Favorite Thing is one that I took with me on my trip. Every southern gentleman needs a monogrammed duffle bag, right? I LOVE my chocolate brown rolling duffle from You Name It! Their located in Montgomery, Alabama across from Faulkner University. The bag retails for $78.00. View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas Last but not least, and Possibly my most Favorite Thing… Greater by Steven Furtick, lead pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina. Steven states that “most believers aren’t in danger of ruining their lives. They’re facing a danger far greater: wasting them”.  I couldn’t agree more. Often times we find ourselves getting stuck in boring, powerless life ruts and are mislead lead into thinking that’s what Christ has called us too. Thankfully that’s not the case.  “Baseline living is not okay. Not for a believer in Jesus. There’s a price to pay for Christian complacency” say Furtrick. The book expands the the biblical story of Elisha to give you the confidence to know that nothing is impossible with God, the clarity to see what step is next.

This book is a quick and easy read. It’s almost impossible not to read through the book in a couple of day. I had to pace myself so I could really think about the points and arguments he was making. If you’re looking for a book with some instant take home points that you can apply the moment you open this book, than this is the one for you. As I was reading it, I thought of several folks I know would benefit from the read.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas To enter the last day of Evan’s Favorite Things is simple. Subscribe to my blog (on the right hand side of the blog homepage under the “Video” section), make sure you click the confirmation email or it doesn’t count. Once you’ve done that pop back on over here and leave a comment in the post.

We’ll be posting the winners of Evan’s Favorite Things on Wednesday. Don’t forget to share, share share. If you post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and use the hashtags #evangcooper #evansfavoritethings, it just might increase your chances.

If you’re just joining in on the Favorite Things fun there’s still time to enter. Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3  | Day 4 

 

Thanksgiving Table scape Decorating Ideas

Thanksgiving is tomorrow– I don’t know if I’m most excited about, my Granny’s dressing or eating Red Velvet cake. I’m counting down the hours until we’re sitting around dinner table laughing, sharing past memories and of course eating until we can’t eat anymore. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about, right?

Last year, I styled a table scape for The Lettered Cottage and it turned out better than I imagined. Fall is most favorite time of the year. Deep shades of reds, oranges and yellow… it’s just beautiful. With Turkey Day being tomorrow.. YES, I know it’s super last minute but I wanted to give you guys a few last minute ideas on how you can spruce up you table for the holiday.

We started by anchoring two pedestals on either side of the center point of the table. I then added some heirloom pumpkins to the top of each pedestal and a few clusters/ groupings on either side of the pedestal. 2015-11-24_0002 Next I added three lanterns. One in the center of the table and two on either ends. I also mixed in a few pint size mason jars (for florals), brass candles sticks and some small, glass votives.

2015-11-24_0003 Up next.. Flowers. That’s my FAVORITE part. It just adds so much color and life. We used an assortment of fall blooms. Ranunculus, Sunflowers, Roses, yarrow and solidago. The blooms were just PERFECTION. 2015-11-24_0010 I even added in some fresh kale from the farmers market. Mixed with all the different elements, it helped soften some of the harsh textures throughout the table.  2015-11-24_0015 Seeing the finished product come to life is always SO FUN. Here’s a few photos of the entire look we created.  2015-11-24_0011 2015-11-24_0007 Remember there’s no Right or Wrong way to creativity. It’s your way. Happy Thanksgiving.

Surprise Gatsby 40th Birthday

It’s every girls dream to have a FABULOUS over the top birthday party, right? What about a FABULOUS Great Gatsby themed 40th? Well, we did just that for one of our most FAVORITE clients.

I remember Mrs. Toni (the birthday gals Mom) calling like it was yesterday… She said, “Let the Planning Begin”. I called my sweet friend Meghan at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa downtown Montgomery and immediately sat up a meeting. 2015-11-10_0016 The entry to the ballroom was draped with sheer white voile and flanked with geometric pedestals and lush florals. As guest entered they were greeted by our “Gatsby Girls” and a glass of champagne. SIDE NOTE: Isn’t that sequin table linen AMAZING?  2015-11-10_0017 Gatsby Girls on slits? I KNOW, we thought of EVERYTHING. I love thinking of special unique touches that take an event to the next level. Not to mention, people are still talking about the “Gatsby stilt walkers from Julie’s Party”. 2015-11-10_0026 2015-11-10_0022 As you entered the ballroom, we spared no detail. From lounge area seating, gorgeous table centerpieces to a 60 foot balloon wall complete with over 1,000 gold balloons. Don’t tell anyone but we weren’t allowed to have balloons. We had to call in a few favors.  2015-11-10_0018 Those GORGEOUS table linens are from Nuage Designs. They have an entire “art deco” collection that was a match made in linen heaven for our event.  2015-11-10_0023 2015-11-10_0029 2015-11-10_0020 One of my personal FAVORITE details was the “Sweets Bar”. Cake Pops, Petite Fours, Sugar Cookies and French Macaroons were a HUGE hit with party guest. I might have been seen her most of the night. 2015-11-10_0019 Speaking of sweets… Ligers Bakery knocked it out of the park with Julie’s cake. Feathers and Strawberry for the win.  2015-11-10_0028 Now that all the details are set & ready to go and guests were in place….. it was time to reveal the surprise. (Do I get an award for “Best Photobomb”? I laugh every time I look at this picture. What kind of face am I making?) 2015-11-10_0024 The only requirement for the party: Super T. The band played at Julie’s wedding and I now know why they had to booked them again. They were FANTASTIC and certainly now how to get the party started.  2015-11-13_0001 2015-11-10_0027 Of course the Birthday Girl needed an official photo with the Gatsby Girls.  2015-11-13_0003 Julie is beyond blessed to have such amazing family and friends that celebrated with her.  2015-11-10_0025 2015-11-10_0030 It was the party of the year.. Well besides the #BigTopBirthdayBash. (which is coming soon, BTW) Thanks Sanders Family for allowing Evan and Company to be a part of so many special events in your life. WE LOVE Y’ALL!  2015-11-10_0031 Event Planning/ Floral Design: Evan G. Cooper, Evan and Company | Lighting: Encore Productions | Venue: Renaissance Hotel and Spa | Catering: Renaissance Hotel and Spa | Cake: Ligers Bakery | Sugar Cookies: Simply Sugared | Entertainment: Super T & DJ at Large | Photo Booth: Face Time Photo Booth | Gatsby Girls: Glitterbug the Clown | Linens: Nuage Designs | Drapery: American Rental and Tent | Balloons: The Balloon Lady | Sofa Towers: Brendle Rentals  Photography: Steve Wells Photography