September 18, 2017

4 Tips For A Stress-Free Football Tailgate

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HostUltimateTailgate #CollectiveBias

It's football season, which means much more than just football. It also means getting together with friends and eating lots of yummy food. Although I love a good tailgate, sometimes the prep and planning can be a bit overwhelming. So, I’m here with a few quick tips on how to throw a stress-free tailgate:

1. Send invites online. I am a big fan of actual, physical paper invitations, but the truth is they aren't always practical. A football tailgate is one of those times when an online invite suffices. Make a Facebook event, put together an email with the information, or just send a text message to your friends. Less work for you while still getting the details out there.

2. Pick one decoration. Having a Pinterest-worthy party is cool and all, but having a simple, easy party takes the stress away and just leaves you with the fun. Instead of putting a ton of time into decorating for your tailgate, just pick one central item to focus on. For me, that's my trusty chalkboard that changes to fit the holiday, occasion, or in this case, sport. You could also do a football-themed centerpiece, a banner to celebrate your favorite team, or a fun backdrop for your guests to take pictures in front of. Chances are your guests won't remember the decorations anyway, so keep it simple! 

3. Buy pre-prepared food. Sometimes, time is not on your side, and that's okay. For this tailgate I put together, I went to Safeway to get everything. After picking up some Coca-Cola® and COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR, I hit up the bakery and deli to fill my cart with ready-to-go food. If your friends can’t do without your legendary seven-layer dip, plan for that, but don’t sacrifice substance for style. A bowl of fruit, donuts, and finger foods satisfies a hungry crowd just as well.

4. Don't sweat the small stuff. There's three main reasons people are at your tailgate - football, food, and friends. They did not come to attend the perfect party. Did you forget the ice? It’s not a big deal. A quick drop-off to the fridge can get your Coca-Cola bottles as cold as they’ll need to be in time for kick-off. Can’t find the chip dip? You will all survive without it (and chances are no one will even notice). Focus on the fun memories instead of any “problems” you might encounter, and you’re guaranteed a stress-free and enjoyable tailgate!

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August 25, 2017

Our Last Two Days in Ohio

Our last two days in Ohio were the perfect ending to our summer. On Tuesday, we spent a little time on the beach of Lake Erie and then checked out the Avon Lake Library. It had two great children's sections that we eventually had to drag Taylor away from, and Olive pulled herself to standing for the first time on one of the learning cubes available. On Wednesday, we took my mom to see the Kirtland Temple and all the other church sites. I really enjoyed going through the temple a second time. I think you need two go-a-rounds when you have rowdy kids distracting you. Then it was home for naps before we headed to the airport for our flight home. (I didn't bring my camera with me to any of our outings, so I had to steal a few cell phones pictures from my mom.)

And that wraps up our summer in Ohio! If you missed any of our weekend adventures, you can see them all here.

August 21, 2017

Lake View Cemetery

We've been back from Ohio for over a month, but I still have a few more posts I've been putting off. I'm determined to get them finished up this week so here we go...

The first full day my mom was in Ohio with us, we went to the Lake View Cemetery. It was started in 1869 and is a Victorian style garden cemetery. It's full of large trees and beautiful tombstones. It's also home to the James A. Garfield Memorial which is a 180-foot tall tower that is filled with stained glass windows, ornate mosaics and a 12-foot marble statue of President Garfield. The caskets of President and Mrs. Garfield are on display in the lower level of the crypt. You're also able to climb the 180 feet to the top of the monument to an observation deck. It might seem weird to recommend a cemetery as a place to visit if you're ever in Ohio, but it truly is a beautiful place.

After the cemetery, we headed to the Cleveland Public Library. It was such a gorgeous building and had a fun area in the kids section. We didn't stay too long because there was another little boy who was about the same size as Taylor playing as well. Even though they were roughly the same size, this kid insisted on trying to carry Taylor around. Taylor was very confused and wasn't a fan (can't say I blame him). The little boy could not be deterred in his efforts to carry Taylor, so it was easier just to leave. The kids were ready for a nap anyways.

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