Tailgating Week: Fashion Friday

Friday, August 31, 2012

Back when I was in college (said in old person voice), when the sun rose on Gameday, we would put on our best Mountaineer t-shirt or hoodie and jeans and take the PRT (or walk) to tailgate.

Years later, some genius female was all like “I’m going to create shirts that fit girls better.” Then Victoria’s Secret Pink line came out and made sports apparel “cute.”

Then you have southern football. Girls were cute dresses to the games in their team’s color.

So for my ladies out there, if you want to add some girly touches to your gameday attire, here are some fresh suggestions.

1.      UGA Apparel – LOVE this line from a WV-based company (I’ll ignore the Marshall and VT items). It was difficult to pick favorites here, but I love the ruffle hoodie and baseball t.
2.      VS Pink – I’m getting a little old for this line. Not a lot of the stuff appeals to me this year, but this hat is super cute!
3.      Meesh and Mia - Cute, sparkly, but please stay away from the shirt with cut out arms. Of course I adore the ruffle top.
4.      Pennington and Bailes – super.preppy.pants. I kinda need these, but I feel VS is too young, these may be too old. Maybe the hubs will get the matching men’s version #familypicturetime!
5.      Things I wish came in my size. This,This and This. Maybe I just need to sew my own!

Honorable Mentions
·       Haute Threads – this designer makes a customized dress out of the college t-shirt of your choice!
·       Ketch The Spirit – has cute dresses, BUT they NEED to add WVU!
·       American Eagle – has college apparel (I got a WVU hat last Christmas), but NO WVU stuff this year. Too many Pitt grads working at the headquarters!
·       Studs N Stuff – Obviously I own something from this site. She will customize a shirt for you with some sparkle!

Read More

Tailgating Week: Drinks

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sometimes Reader Danielle was a candidate for Miss Mountaineer of WVU - and let me tell you, this girl was ROBBED! She deserved the title. As a native of  Wierton, she bleeds blue and gold. 

So when Danielle discovered this cocktail recipe while visiting Las Vegas, I thought - I MUST post it! A bartender informed Danielle and her recent husband Will of the Mountie Dewy - a combination of Mountain Dew and Blueberry Vodka...um, YUM! 

Of course the #1 drink at any tailgate is beer, but this is a great compliment to some Rocky Mountain Keystone Ice! (I kid...sort of...)
Read More

Tailgating Week: Flair

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We’ve covered the tailgating food and supplies. Tomorrow we will dive into drinks and on Friday the fashion. So today, we will cover the FLAIR!

Whether you are hosting a tailgate in a parking lot or in your driveway or in your apartment, here are some items to add some school spirit to your party.

1.      Balloons
2.      Streamers
3.      Pennants  
4.      Balloons
5.      Customizable flag (you can buy a pole for this for that friends can find your tailgate!)
6.      Lanterns
7.      Tablecloth

Oh, what’s that? You aren’t a West Virginia fan? By all means search these sites for your school! I just hope this provides some inspiration for your party! 
Read More

Tailgating Week: Supplies!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Now that we have the tailgating food covered, let’s take a step back and think – what do you need to make your tailgate successful?

  1.  Chairs – Bag chairs have been a staple in my family for more than 10 years now. They are PERFECT for tailgates!
  2. A table – You need a place to put all the food and your trunk just won’t do. Shot of Mom purchased this table as a shower gift for former Reader Bubba. It folds up so that it can fit in your car and it’s cute!
  3. Accessories – my list of random must haves includes koozies, toilet paper (take some sheets with you to that stinky port-a-potty OR for an emergency pop-a-squat), flask (with funnel) wet wipes, paper towels, plastic shot glasses
  4. Cooking supplies – if you are like my parents and want to serve hot food, a propane crock pot is a MUST.
  5. Garbage bags – It’s a proper tailgating rule to clean up after yourself, so garbage bags are a must. Walking through Target, I spotted these pop up trash bins from Flings. You can even divide your recyclables!

And for future tailgates, I think the Smithkowski’s need this tailgating bar and beverage dispenser

Read More

Shot of Brandi* Tailgating Week

Monday, August 27, 2012

Next to Fashion Week, The Oscars and Halloween, one of my absolute favorite “holidays” kicks off this week – FOOTBALL SEASON!

I don’t know about you, but I’m super pumped for the college football season to start! The hubs and I are proud grads of the almost unanimous #1 Party School – West Virginia University. In addition to a B.S. in glitter, I feel that feel that I have an unofficial doctorate in partying!

I’m so excited for football, I wanted to theme things up here this week by devoting every day to tailgate season. I’m plan to cover what to eat, drink, wear and tips for throwing a good party out of the back of your car.

Today, let’s start with the food. My parents like to go all out and make warm dishes on site, but for me, I tend to keep things simple right now and just make things that 1. Won’t spoil too quick and 2. Don’t need to be heated. So here are my suggestions (with help from Shot of Mom!).

1.       Pasta Salad with WVU Noodles! Shot of Mom’s recipe is a variation of the one linked here – but she uses pepper jack cheese and pepperoni

2.       Taco Dip – shout out to my Chi O’s with this dish. Shot of Mom would make two batches – one for the tailgate and one for the late night snacking. Sue’s recipe = 1 jar of taco sauce mixed with 2 cream cheese blocks. Then layer with lettuce, diced tomatoes and Mexican cheese.

3.       Jell-o Shots – of course in blue and yellow! Shot of Dad’s trick is to NOT use water. He replaces water with vodka. Yellow = pineapple Jell-o with pineapple vodka. Blue = blue raspberry vodka or regular vodka with some blue curacao. People in Pittsburgh – you can get mini cups with lids for shots at Mike Feinberg in the Strip!

4.       Say Cheese – my go to is always a cheese plate. I basically just raid the cheese aisle and add some nuggets to my awesome state of West Virginia tray. My current fav is Robusto from Whole Foods.

5.       Baked Potato Dip – a new one from Shot of Mom, she’s made this for some recent tailgates and it’s gone over super well. See below for the full recipe!

Loaded Baked Potato Dip
·         1-package fully cooked bacon slices ( I did not use the pre-cooked--I fried my own bacon)
·         1-8oz cream cheese
·         1-16 oz sour cream
·         2 cups freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
·         1/3 cup sliced fresh chives
·         2 teaspoons hot sauce

·         Fry bacon (if not using the pre-cooked) and drain on paper towels.
·         If using the pre-cooked, microwave according to package directions until crisp.
·         Cool and then crumble.
·         Add cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives and hot sauce,
·         Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.

·         Serve with a strong potato chip. Sue used Ruffles Ridged potato chips, but if you are making this for an at home party, you can use waffle fries.

There are SO MANY MORE recipes, but I wanted to just share my fav today : )

Read More

Paperless Invitations

Monday, August 20, 2012

Earlier this year, the hubs and I (along with Reader Trish) pulled into a church parking lot for a wedding, only to find that we were the only car there.

A few thoughts went through our heads - did we have the wrong address? Were we late?

Luckily I had the invitation with me to see that we were indeed 30 minutes early (I skipped over the "half past" part...). Like any West Virginia grad, we immediately found a bar to pass time.

Now that we are in the middle of wedding season, I tend to either misplace invitations, read the wrong or forget to bring them with me to the wedding. I sometimes wish I had the information on my phone...

Problem solved! I now take a picture of the invite, so that I always have with me a copy of the information! No more worrying about the reception time or address of the church! Such a simple idea that can come in handy!
Read More

A Bite of Portland

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Last weekend I flew to the northwest for a quick trip to attend the Bite of Portland on behalf of a client. Ironically, I attended this same event several (scary) years ago for another client.

When planning a summer vacation, Portland may not be on your list, but maybe after this post, it will!

From Chicago, it’s just a little more than a three hour flight to Portland. I found out that Seattle is just less than three hours away, SO you could totally rent a car and hit up two northwest cities in just one trip!

Portland reminds me a bit of Pittsburgh. Some areas of the city shut down after work hours, but there are little nooks of streets with cute restaurants and riverfront trails.

Unlike the ‘burgh, Portland deserves huge kudos for its awesome shopping right in the middle of the city. There is the Pioneer Place Mall which offers a great mix of high and low end stores (think Louis Vuitton and Gap). Across from this mall is a fantastic Nordstrom – which is expected due to the chain’s northeast roots!

Some other must do’s while in Portland….


·         Voodoo Doughnuts - Each and every person that I met was talking about this place. I was expecting it to be mini-gourmet doughnuts, but these things were the real, big deal. The line is rather long (20-40 minutes), but well worth the wait. I opted for the maple bacon (why not), while others I was traveling with sampled the ones below.


·         Food Trucks – like most major U.S. cities, the food truck trend has taken off in Portland. There are literally parking lots just filled with trucks and you can easily spot some while walking around the city.


·         Pearl District – I was on the hunt for an Anthro dress to wear to a wedding, so I made a quick trip to the Pearl District to see if they had the frock in the store. They did not, but I discovered TWO awesome places. The first, I’ll call the Boozy Mermaid. It was a Starbucks that sells beer, wine and mini appetizers (in addition to being a normal coffee shop!). I know Starbucks is testing this concept in other markets, like Chicago, but it was the first time that I stumbled into one of these. The second find was House of Lolo – a cute little boutique that ships anywhere in the U.S. online. They had a number of cute dresses – one of which I selected! The Pearl District was filled with cute stores and shops (and is walking distance away from Voodoo doughnuts – so you can walk off all that sugar!)

·         While I’m not an outdoorsy person, Portland has a lot of options for hiking and sightseeing outside of the city as well.

I’d love to go back to Portland to explore – when I have more touring time to spare!
Read More

Cheers, Bitches

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Recently I’ve had a lot to celebrate! Good friends getting married, celebrating their bachelorette parties and showers. Typically this celebrating involves alcohol – sometimes in the form of a shot.

Former reader Ramy has a signature toast – “To Health & Happiness.” He also really enjoys purchasing shots.

But other than the typically “Cheers bitches,” I’ve been on the hunt for a signature toast. While I haven’t found one that I love, here are some popular toasts to share during your next round of shots.

Do you have a favorite toast? I’d love to hear it!

Oh and Reader Dana – don’t worry.  I’m not researching toasts for your wedding. That’s been done since last year ; ) Bawahhahwha 

Read More

Throw Some Confetti, Make It Rain

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

During some daydreaming today, I started thinking about confetti. Yes, confetti. The kind that you throw in the air to celebrate something OR place in holiday cards to make the recipient angry?

I have a minor obsession with confetti. It would be a major obsession, but confetti was also on the banned substance list at my parents’ house growing up. At first I would use a hole puncher to make it. Then I upgraded to a spaghetti maker. Did you know that you could put an 8X10 piece of paper into it and it would make long strips. THEN if you turned the strips sideways, it would them make the most perfect square?

Moving on.

Ironically later today, I saw this invitation that included controlled confetti and it got me thinking – what other type of confetti items were on Etsy. I’m sharing my findings with you now. NOTE: all of this is TOALLY makeable with the right hole punch, paper and patience!

Read More

Use Your Agenda Day!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Thank you to Lilly Pulitzer for notifying me that today is National Use Your Agenda day. Ironically, yesterday I placed an order for my 2012-2013 agenda to replace the awesome 2011-2012 one that I received as a Christmas gift from Reader Sister-In-Law Amanda! And guess what – IT ARRIVED TODAY. Seriously – Lilly Pulitzer gets major kudos/snaps from me for delivering things overnight for the price of regular shipping!

For someone who is neurotic about her planner, let me just tell you that I WORSHIP this one. Here’s why:
  • IT runs from August 2012 to December 2013 (I purchased mine early this year so I could maximize its full potential)
  • In the front of the book, there are pages full of straight month calendars – so you can easily see the year in month form
  • THEN in the back, you get a month view followed by weekly – EXACTLY what I LOVE. 
  • There are cute little sketches in bold colors throughout the planner
  • Finally – there are STICKERS!
I was not paid for this post – I’m just really passionate about finding the perfect agenda! Happy National Use Your Agenda Day!

Read More