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Gameday Tailgate Tips

Fall and football make the perfect combination, don’t they?

The brillant blue skies and the crisp Autumn air make a stunning backdrop for tailgating and game watching.

All of my senses come alive. The colors just seem to pop, the celebratory cheering of the crowds seems to cut through the cool air for miles and the food smells exceptionally fabulous as it sizzles away on the grill.

Oh yeah…and then there’s the football part…


Ohio State football has been an important part of my family for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember I have, well, um, to be honest, gravitated more towards the tailgating and entertaining side of the sport.

That is kind of a sport, right?

The funny part is, my dad actually played football for Ohio State under Woody Hayes. First string linebacker #60 to be exact.

Now I did try to embrace the sport when I was younger. I came up with the idea to be a water girl for my high school football team as a way to show hommage to the sport. While it was exciting and had it’s obvious perks, it was just too stinky and sweaty and I soon found myself back in the stands with my friends putting lip gloss on waiting eagerly for the social that would follow. What can I say? I tried.

A few weeks ago my dad was invited, with other alumni football players, to come back and form the tunnel at the beginning of the first OSU game. He was actually able to get tickets for the whole family and I’ve got to say it was a spectacular experience.

(My daddy is the one in the middle, between 2 legendary fellow teammates.)

We had front row seats and I must admit that I was totally enthralled in the game, caught up in the cheering and screaming and jumping out of my seat like all of the other hardcore fans.

Especially when they made a homerun…I mean touchdown.

Snort. I couldn’t resist. *Hi Daddy*


All joking aside, it was truly a magical day as we watched the Buckeyes beat Akron, one that we will all cherish for years to come.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a tailgate party, sponsored by Bush’s® Beans, in the comforts of my own home as we watched the Buckeyes beat Illinois. I had so much fun getting ready for friends to come over to share a relaxing afternoon of eating and fun. Oh, and football too.

Here are a few entertaining tips for a stress-free tailgating experience that can be used at home or in the parking lot.

Decorations need to be simple & festive.

I’m a big fan of paper napkin banners. I use them for everything! They are perfect for game day as they are easy and inexpensive to make. It’s an instant darling decoration.

My next tip…organization is key. I like to use a condiment caddy. I put one together using an antique milk carrier but you could use anything- a basket or even a deep tray.

The condiment caddy holds all of the essentials in one handy place. Napkins, utensils, condiments and cups are all easily carried and contained.

I find it handy to tie a sharpie marker onto the side of my caddy so that guests can claim their cup by writing their name on it!

And speaking of drinks, check out this handy tip that My Yanni enlightened me with! Mix about 1/4 cup iodized salt with about a of cup of water and pour it into your tub filled with ice to chill your drinks in about  half the time! I kid you not. My Yanni saw this on Myth Busters episode #29.

Our Root Beer, Cola and waters were frosty in no time flat.

Another simple time saver tip is to tie a bottle opener onto the handle of the drink tub.

That way nobody ever has to go looking for it and I always know that it won’t get lost. It’s a win, win.

See how easy it can be to entertain without stress and fuss?

And guess what? The food was as easy as the entertaining! We served Spicy Italian Brat-Kabobs and Greek Fetish Burgers alongside tasty Bush’s Baked Beans.

I’d like to say a big thank you to the kind folks at Bush’s Baked Beans for sponsoring our tailgate!

It was a perfect day. I was relaxed which meant My Yanni was relaxed and in turn we got to enjoy our guests, the food and the game. Hope you’ll stop back for the delicious recipes and a fabulous Bush’s Beans giveaway!


Disclamer: The tailgate and giveaway are in partnership with Bush’s Beans. However my opinions, thoughts and photos are 100% my own.


My Driving Station

It seems like just yesterday that the school bell rang and summer was an endless meadow before me. I honestly have no idea how summer just seems to melt away before my eyes.

But it undoubtedly does. Every. Single. Year.

I now find myself caught up in the fast pace of back to school, new beginnings, new schedules, carpools, homework and change.

Life is always changing isn’t it? One of these days I will finally get it. I will learn to expect the unexpected and embrace change instead of trying to make sense of it all. Until then I will have my “driving station” to center my universe and clarify my mind.

What is a driving station you ask?

Well, it is the foundation of my daily existence. You see, I am a list maker. For a long time I had a simple white pad that I would carry clutched under my arm as if my life depended on it. One day I decided that I had had enough. I was tired of being burdened with a list that never ended and a note pad that never left my side.

I decided to designate a place on the counter in my kitchen for my own personal information station. But not just any information station. A romantic, pretty, inviting spot for me to calmly organize my day and drive everything in my life.

My driving station was born.

I decided to use an old antique silver tray as the base of my personal information station (aka driving station). The tray just seems to anchor my thoughts while making me happy knowing that I am using one of my beloved antiques.

I found a lovely note pad that was big enough to fit all of the continuous chitty-chatter that flits through my mind on a daily bases.

Which happens to be quite a lot.

I adore the floppy black grosgrain bow. It just speaks to me somehow.

I love to embellish the tray with fresh flowers from the garden during the warmer months and I find that the soothing flicker of a candle during the colder months just warms my heart.

A steamy inviting cup of coffee is always close at hand…waiting for an invigorating sip.

My favorite black (thin) felt tip pen makes my list writing a pleasure.

I am a pen girl.

Must have my black, THIN, felt tip pen.

Even Oliver is intrigued and captivated by the romance of it all.

I begin each day with a blank piece of paper that seems to find itself filled by the end of the day. But somehow the chaos is quieted with my “driving station” there to gently guide me. I love the fact that it sits patiently, all organized and pretty, just waiting for me to drop by with a thought, idea or task that must be accomplished.

I relish in the “to do’s” turning into the “have dones” as I cross off each one.

And I always try to make it a point to remember the little things that are important.

Do yourself a favor. Treat yourself to a tranquil little space that’s just for you. Make your own driving station with the things that make YOU smile.

And remember…

“Each moment is a place you’ve never been.” ~ Mark Strand