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Tailgating Season

Football season is upon us again. What's that, you ask? Well, sometimes it's better known as Tailgating Season! Sometimes getting ready for a tailgate can be super overwhelming. There's so much to get together and so many people to coordinate between. With tailgating, organization and planning ahead is key. The following are some great ideas to help you have the best tailgate ever.



Freeze bottles of water! By placing these frozen bottles of water in your cooler, they'll require less ice. Plus they'll be melted by the time the game is over, and they'll be refreshing for your throat after all that cheering!



How many coolers do you have at your tailgate? How many do you have to look through to find the drink you're searching for? Cut the logos off the drink packages and tape them to the lids of your coolers. It's an easy way to mark what drinks are where. Now there won't be any more numb fingers and hands from searching through cooler after cooler!



This tip is an oldie but a goodie. By using the guides on the solo cup, you don't have to bring the measuring cups and shot glasses to your tailgate. Drink responsibly!



While we're on the subject of solo cups, make sure you bring a marker to label them! Labeling your cups will help limit the lonely cups that end up getting thrown away and will help limit stealing someone else's drink!



There is no need to bring all of your big spice containers to the tailgate with you. Save your empty tic tac containers and fill them up with all your favorite seasonings! You'll save so much space by using this trick!



Are you constantly losing track of your paper towels at your tailgate? Well worry no more! Use this bungee cord trick to hang your paper towels from your tent. It's genius!



Hours and hours of tailgating can get long for everybody. Create your own version of Tailgate Bingo! Get everyone to play along and see how entertaining it can be. You could even make a children's version for all the young ones running around.



Last, but DEFINITELY not least, create a list of things you need to bring to your tailgate. It'll help you remember everything you need, and you'll be much more organized. The more organized you are, the more you'll be able to enjoy yourself instead of digging through everything just to find the chips!

We hope these tips have helped all you tailgaters out there! We can't wait for our team's next home game!

Fallin' Into Fall

Does fall seem like a magical time of year to anyone else? It’s a beautiful time of year where the outside world is brimming with the richest, warmest colors. Bringing those colors and feelings into your home could make it feel magical too. Here are some easy DIY ideas that you can do to prepare your home for fall!


 
Painted Acorns This simple twist on something found in nature is so fun and simple!



Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin
How cute is this!? If you’re going for a very natural, rustic look, this pumpkin decoration would be the perfect addition to your home.



Fall Chalkboard If you already have a chalkboard in your home, why not make it fall themed? That’s part of the fun and versatility of having a chalkboard!



Gourd Candle Holders These are perfect for a fall themed table! And it’s very inexpensive too!



Chalkboard Pumpkins
Crafts don’t get much easier – or fun- than this one! Just paint your pumpkin with chalkboard paint and let the creativity flow. How cute would this look on your table for Thanksgiving dinner?



Painted Mason Jars These mason jars would look cute throughout your house year round. But when they’re painted a rich, warm color and filled with some leaves or branches, they’re the perfect autumn addition!



Chevron Pumpkins Here’s another quick and easy pumpkin decoration! It’s a beautiful, modern twist on a pumpkin rather than craving one!



Wooden Napkin Ring
Your table would look so fancy with these napkins at the place settings. Simple touches like this can make all the difference in the world.



Sweater Pillow Nothing sounds cozier than a sweater during fall. Add that coziness to your couch, and you’ve got yourself a perfect Sunday nap spot.



Yarn Pumpkins How cute and adorable! Once again, your fall table would not be complete without these!

Hopefully this has helped you get in the mood for fall. It’s coming, whether we like it or not…but we like it!

Say Goodbye to Summer With a Bang

We all know summer is sadly coming to an end, but we still have one big celebration weekend to enjoy before saying goodbye. If you're attending a blowout Labor Day party this coming weekend, here are 10 great recipe ideas that are surely to make you the star of the show.



1. Watermelon Stars If you have a star-shaped cookie cutter, then there's no reason you can't make this delicious appetizer. All you'll need is watermelon, blueberries, and cheese! Even the kids could help with this one.



2. Watermelon Blueberry Salsa This dish combines traditional salsa ingredients like tomato, jalapeño, and onion with surprise ingredients like watermelon and blueberries. The result is a savory treat that you'll keep coming back to for more!



3. American Flag Cheesecake Bars Here's another snack the kids can help out with! Just make the cheesecake crust and filling. Then let the kids let their creative side out as they decorate the bars with cream cheese, strawberry jam or syrup, and blueberries!



4. Red, White, and Blue Chex Mix For this recipe you'll need Chex Mix, mini marshmallows, red and blue M&Ms, and melted white chocolate with food coloring to add an extra festive punch! This quick and easy recipe will surely be a crowd pleaser!



5. Red, White, and Blue Marshmallow Pops How cute are these little treats? They'll be eaten up in a second by guests big and small. Plus they're super easy to make!



6. Red and Blue Patriotic Drinks This festive drink is all about the presentation — and it’s so easy to make too! All you need is Jones soda in blue, Gatorade in red, and ice.



7. Patriotic Push Pops Push pops are super fun to make and a guaranteed hit with the kids! We guarantee that you’ll be making these every chance you get, not just for Memorial Day.



8. Red, White, and Blue Popsicles These red, white, and blue popsicles are a little bit of work but so worth it. The red is watermelon, the white is coconut milk, and the blue is blue raspberry with blue food coloring.



9. Patriotic Layered Berry Dessert Inspired by a flat bottom fruit pie, this patriotic layered berry dessert recipe would be a yummy treat to serve guests this Memorial Day. A mixture of cheesecake-flavored pudding, Cool Whip, and half-and-half, with an assortment of berries (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries), in between layers of pastry dough make for one tasty red, white, and blue dessert.



10. Patriotic Layered Cake This delicious and colorful cake may seem a bit overwhelming for a baking amateur, but trust us, you can do it! You’ll need to make four round cakes (two red and two blue), let cool, then stack on top of each other with a layer of frosting in the middle.

Now what are you waiting for? Go be the hit of the party!

10 Foolproof Decorating Tips From the Pros

Ever watch HGTV and wonder how all those people's homes always look so put together? It's not as hard to do as you might think. Here are 10 helpful tips on how to make your house look just as professional!



1. Set the tone at the front door. If you want your house to make a great first impression, paint the front door a fun, glossy hue. One thing that should go: an outdated screen door. Get rid of it or replace it with a storm door with full-length glass that you can switch out for a screened panel.


2. Keep wall colors light and neutral. Stick to colors like beige or gray especially on the first floor where flow is important. Neutral walls give you the greatest decorating flexibility that allows you to easily switch up your accessories. Look at a paint strip. Move up or down a shade or two for a subtle variation from room to room.


3. Make sure your sofa talks to your chairs. Think of a nice hotel lobby. The furniture is arranged in groupings that invite conversation. When you place the furniture in your home, aim for a similar sense of balance and intimacy. One common mistake to avoid: Pushing all the furniture against the walls.


4. Let the sun shine in. When it comes to heavy, outdated drapes, a naked window is better than an ugly one. Ideally, window dressings should be functional and elegant. If your room gets a lot of sun, opt for light colors that won’t fade.


5. Hang at least one mirror in every room. Mirrors can make a space feel brighter because they bounce the light around the room. Put mirrors on walls perpendicular to windows, not directly across from them. Hanging a mirror directly opposite a window can actually bounce the light right back out the window.


6. Scale artwork to your wall. There are few things more ridiculous looking than hanging tiny piece of art too high on the wall. The middle of a picture should hang at eye level. For a large wall, go big with one oversize piece or group smaller pieces gallery style. For the latter, don’t space the pictures too far apart. Two to four inches between items usually looks best.



7. Layer your lighting. Every room should have three kinds of lighting: ambient lighting which provides overall illumination and often comes from ceiling fixtures, task lighting which is found over a kitchen island or a reading nook, and accent lighting which is more decorative.




7. Layer your lighting. Every room should have three kinds of lighting: ambient lighting which provides overall illumination and often comes from ceiling fixtures; task lighting which is often found over a kitchen island or reading nook; and accent lighting which is more decorative.

8. Anchor rugs under furniture feet. In a living room, all four legs of the sofa and chairs in a furniture grouping should fit on the rug. The rug should define the seating area. At the very least, the front two legs of the sofa and chairs should rest on it.



9. Use visual tricks to raise the ceiling. If your ceilings are low, paint them white to make the room feel less claustrophobic. Hang curtains higher than the windows to trick your eye into thinking the room is taller. You can usually go about three inches above the window casing before the curtains become too short. Try hanging vertical striped curtains also. The lines visually elongate your walls. Leaning a large mirror against a wall can also make the room seem taller.




9. Use visual tricks to raise the ceiling. If your ceilings are low, paint them white to make the room feel less claustrophobic. Hang curtains higher than the windows to trick your eye into thinking the room is taller. You can usually go about three inches above the window casing before the length gets too short. Also, try drapes with vertical stripes. The lines visually elongate your walls. Leaning a large mirror against a wall can also make the room seem taller.

 

  

10. Give outdated finishes the Cinderella treatment. Reinvent dated fixtures with spray paint and inexpensive refinishing kits. Even outdated kitchen cabinets benefit from a few coats of white paint and new hardware.

Pass the Salt!

We all know that salt is essential to life and goes great on fries, but did you guys know all the great uses it has in your home? Bust that salt out of your kitchen and see the good it can do throughout the house! Did you know salt has the capability to do all of these things?

It can make your coffee taste better. If your morning cup of coffee is tasting a little bitter, salt can fix your problem. Fill the pot with water and then add four tablespoons of salt. Run the salt water through the coffee pot without adding any grounds and then rinse out the pot. Your next cup of joe should be a lot less bitter.

It can remove soap scum from your glass shower doors. Ever get that really unattractive layer of film on your glass shower doors? That no matter how hard you scrub and with what cleaning solutions, it just won't come off? Use salt! Mix equal parts of baking soda and salt and add water until it forms a paste. With a sponge, rub the paste into the door, let it sit for about half an hour, and then rinse the paste away with water!

It can clean a sponge. To clean a dirty sponge, soak it overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt per quart of warm water.

It can remove wine stains. Spill wine on your carpet? Sop up as much liquid as possible and then sprinkle the affected area with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then vacuum the area.

It can clean a flower vase. To remove mineral deposits from a glass flower vase, rub the stains with a mix of equal parts of salt and water. Then rinse with warm water!

It can erase lipstick stains from your glasses. Rub the stained edges of your glassware with a paste of salt and water until the lipstick disappears. Then wash the glassware as usual!

It can clean yellowed wicker furniture. Is your white wicker not very white anymore? Salt can fix it! Scrub the furniture with warm salt water with a stiff-bristled brush. Let the furniture dry in the sun. No rinsing required!

It can remove sweat stains. Remove sweat stains from your favorite shirts with a mixture of four tablespoons of salt per one quart of hot water. While the mixture is still hot, sponge it directly onto the stains until they disappear. Then just pop in the wash as you normally would!

It can clear out your garbage disposal.
To dislodge stuck waste in your disposal, pour a half a cup of salt down the drain, run cold water, and then turn the disposal on. The salt will also help neutralize those not so pleasant sink odors!

It can keep ants away. By sprinkling a line of salt at your home's entry points (like doors and windows), ants will stay out. They generally won't cross the barrier!

It can polish brass and copper.
To remove tarnish from copper and brass, mix a paste of equal parts salt, flour, and water. Rub the paste into the tarnished item with a soft cloth and then rinse away with warm, soapy water.

It can remove a tub ring. Mix one tablespoon of salt with a few drops of water to form a paste, and then coat the ring with it. After 2-3 minutes, scrub the ring and then rinse the paste away. If you ring is stubborn, you may need to repeat this several times before it's completely gone.

It can clean your wok. While your wok is still hot, pour in two or three tablespoons of salt and scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush. Wipe away the salt and then coat the wok with vegetable oil. In general, avoid cleaning your wok with water. It can cause the surface to rust.

It can remove grease stains. To remove grease stains from carpets and cloth furniture, mix one-part salt with four-parts rubbing alcohol. Rub this mixture into the grease stain. No need to rinse. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate.

It can erase drink rings. To erase ugly rings left by drinks and hot dishes on wooden furniture, mix a handful of salt with a tablespoon of vegetable oil until it's the consistency of paste. Gently rub the past into the ring until it disappears.

It can clean the refrigerator.
In a bowl, mix salt and soda water equally until it forms a thick paste. Using a soft cloth, wipe down the inside of your refrigerator and then rinse away with water.

It can stop suds.
If you're been too heavy-handed with the laundry or dish detergent, stop suds from forming by sprinkling salt on them immediately.

It can brighten colors in the wash.
If your reds look a little more like pink these days, rinse them in a saltwater solution in the sink before running them through the wash. The key to brightening your colors is to vigorously rub the salt into the clothing.

It can remove bloodstains from clothing.
Soak the stained garment in a saltwater bath as soon as you can. After about four hours, check to see if the blood is gone. Once it's gone - or at least faded - wash the clothes in a normal, hot cycle.

It can clean your iron. Over time, your iron may develop a gunky film. Remove it with salt! Sprinkle salt directly on a piece of paper and then run the hot iron over the salt. This will remove any residue and gunk.

It can deter weeds from growing.
If cracks in your driveway or walkway invite weeds to grow, spread salt between the cracks and then pour water over the salt to form a paste. This concoction will block the sun and prevent weeds.

It can prolong the life of your candles. To prevent candles from dripping away, soak them in a saltwater bath for a few hours when they're brand new. This will prevent them from dripping as quickly when you burn them. Just make sure they're completely dry before you burn the wick!

It can fill nail holes in the wall.
If you're ready to move a painting but aren't pumped about having a nail hole in your wall, grab the salt! Mix two tablespoons of salt, two tablespoons of cornstarch, and enough water to make a thick paste. Use the paste and a knife to fill the hole.

It can extend the life of your toothbrush.
To keep the bristles on your toothbrush firm a little longer, soak it in a saltwater bath for about an hour before your first use.

It can clean your broom.
To clean all that muck off a straw broom, soak its bristles in a 50/50 mixture of salt and hot water for about 20 minutes. Let the broom completely dry before you use it again!

It can sweeten your fruit.
Salt decreases your taste buds' perception of acidity and allows you to better taste the sugar compounds. If you usually reach for the sugar, try adding a little salt to your morning grapefruit instead.

It can add some flavor to your pasta.
It's a myth that adding salt to simmering water will make it boil faster. Salt does make water boil at a high temperature, but you'd have to add a huge amount to make the different noticeable. But, myths aside, a few sprinkles of salt will make your noodles taste better!

It can instantly chill champagne.
Put your champagne bottle into a bucket or tall container. Add a layer of ice and sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of salt. Continue to layer ice and salt until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Then add enough cold water to cover everything. The science: Salt on ice decreases the freezing temperature, and water increases the cold surface area touching your bottle. This trick also works for wine!

It can clean a stained coffee pot.
Put salt and ice cubes directly into an empty coffee pot, shake it, and then rinse. The salt and the ice will scour the coffee stains on the bottom. No sponge needed!