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!

Humbled

Yesterday, I did something that I typically wouldn’t do. Something that most would’ve considered out ordinary for me. I left my blog camera’s at home and told very few people what my plans for Wednesday afternoon actually were.

Why?

Because I wanted to do this for myself. Most of you are probably thinking I spent my day at the spa or shoe shopping but I didn’t. I volunteered at a local nursing home. I didn’t do it for publicity. I didn’t do it because a family member is a resident. I did it because I saw a need.  2015-12-02_0002 Mrs. Alberta Woodson has been volunteering at 6 different nursing homes and rehab facilities in our city for years. Residents look forward to seeing her walk through the doors each year for their annual Christmas Party. She leaves not detail untouched. Showering each resident with gift after gift. They don’t get just a candy cane– Mrs. Woodson does it up right. Wether it’s 40 patients or 200 they all go back to their rooms with an arm full of goodies.  Lotion, shampoo, socks, fruit baskets, cologne and they even get a few new clothes.

I’ll be honest with you though, I was unsure of what I was getting into. I hate hospitals and nursing homes. I don’t know what it is but it just freaks me out.  But I left South Haven nursing home yesterday  afternoon a better person that I walked in.

2015-12-02_0001 Thanksgiving has come and gone but the spirt of the holiday keeps on giving. I stepped outside to grab some extra cookies out of the car and when I walked back in I will forever remember the minute I stepped foot in the cafeteria. Nurses, volunteers and residents were gathered around  a boom box singing an old hymn. You couldn’t wiped the smile from my face. It was something I’ll hold in my heart forever.

Thankfulness is a choice and when we choose to be thankful our emotions have no reason but to be exude joy. It can be the smallest act of kindness, but when it’s given out of gratitude it’s bigger than we imagine.

As American’s we sometimes get so caught up in our bubble that we forget about everyday life around us. Wednesday was a day that I needed. A day that took me back to reality and made me realize a life isn’t so bad after all.

Thank You Mrs. Alberta Woodson has a servants heart and obeying the call that was placed on your life years ago. I was honored to be a part and look forward to Monday.

 

Alabama vs. LSU

As most of you know I went to my VERY FIRST College football game a few weeks back. (Click Here to see previous post) I guess I couldn’t get enough and decided it wasn’t too soon to go again. We didn’t go to just any game, we went to the rivalry game of the year.. AL/LSU. It was CRAZY. Pouring rain and all.

If you’ve every been to an Alabama game at Bryant Denny Stadium you know it’s part tradition to go to the walk of champions. So we started my second adventure in T-Town there. 2015-11-13_0004 Of course you can’t go to a game without tailgating. It might be my new favorite thing. Y’all know I LOVE a good party. Free Food and Drinks. SIGN ME UP. I called one of my Favorite past clients, Mother of the Bride and told her I was in town and wanted to stop by. She treated us right. Thanks Mrs. Donna for having us.  2015-11-13_0005 Obligatory panoramic stadium photo. 2015-11-13_0008 Roll Tide America. I’ve learned all the chants and cheers and I’m a pro at shaking that Shaker.   2015-11-13_0007 Ok. If you personally know this usher, please send him my thanks. His dance skills were impeccable during half time. I think I will forever have that image imbedded in my brain. Andrew kept nudging me throughout the game… “Look the Usher”. His choreographer routine to UpTown Funk was my favorite. #Hilarious  2015-11-13_0009 Number 1, folks. Andrew was like a kid in a candy store after the win. He was hyped up the rest of the evening (his vocal skills on the ride home were on point). Alabama killed LSU. 30-16. Thanks AGB for putting up with my shenanigans. I would’t have wanted to experience the game with anyone else. You da best! #biffles 2015-11-13_0010 You knew it was coming….You asked for it!! Here it is folks. Part 2 of #EGCdoescollegefootball Share, Share, Share. 

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