5 Ideas for Easy Tailgating

It’s football season! That means the party is headed to the parking lot. Here are 5 ideas for easy tailgating.

tailgating

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Fan Frills Proper tailgating etiquette suggests you get to the designated parking lot early enough to find a parking spot. If you find a spot, that means you have several hours of time to eat, drink and play before the big game. Since you have a lot of time to kill before the game, make sure you are comfortable. Bring plenty of collapsible chairs for you and guests – both invited and for guests passing through the lot.  For dedicated fans, a tent or canopy is a luxury for when the sun is bright or the rain and snow aren’t accommodating outdoor entertaining. Blankets, sweatshirts, ponchos, umbrellas, and stadium seats are also must-haves in case the weather is not on your side for game day.

Fan Fun If you do it right, your party will last all day and because it’s a party, you need entertainment. Tailgaters are always up for a good parking lot game. “Bags” and a ring toss game are a must for younger tailgaters while older tailgaters might prefer card games or bocce ball.

tailgating

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Fan Fizz For drinks, keep it simple. Bring beer, limit the liquor and wine and keep the soda selection to a minimum. You can bring a lot, but you don’t have to bring everything. Label the coolers according to beverages so your guests don’t have to dig into a bin of ice packed with the wrong drinks. As a devoted fan, get in the spirit with spirits. Consider making a team themed drink to mix in a sealable container the night before the big game to make setup and dispensing easy.

Fan Fare Be aware of how much food you are bringing and how much table space you have. When you’re thinking of what you’re going to bring, consider exactly how you plan on serving it. If you’re having burgers and brats with chips from the grill you might only need cooking utensils not forks and spoons, but if you’re having pie for dessert, don’t let your guests eat it with their hands. A mini-grill is a must have for your meats, but don’t be afraid to get creative. Break out the cookbooks and come up with appetizers or side dish ideas that are a local tradition for your team – or even the opposing team. It’ll mix things up and make your tailgate party that much more fun. And, of course, do everything you can the night before – pack a condiment caddy, put together a container for burger toppings, marinate and skewer kebabs – so when you get up in the morning, all you have to do is put the coolers together and pack the car.

tailgating

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Fan Fundamentals There are bound to be mishaps at any party and a tailgate party is no different. Be prepared for anything – plenty of napkins, toilet paper, water, ice, fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit. There are likely emergency services at the stadium, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Tailgating is the sport to celebrate sports, but the season only comes around once a year; do it right and you’ll do your team proud.

Football Season: 4 Man Cave Essentials

mancaveEveryone needs a place to call their own, and that includes the man of the house. The man cave creates a space where he can relax and do as he pleases without fear of interference from the ladies. It is a place where he can enjoy an adult beverage, yell at the TV, play games, and hang out with the guys. It can be the basement, attic, a rehabilitated office, or a shed. A man cave does not need to be fancy, but here are a few things a fully functional “mantuary” needs. Here are 4 man cave essentials.

mancaveSeating The main point of a man cave is to create a comfortable place to relax. That requires plenty of seating. No man cave is complete without at least one recliner. Nothing makes a guy feel like the master of his domain like putting his feet up. Take the recliner one step further with a reclining sofa or sectional that provides seating for visitors. If your man cave has a bar, stools are mandatory. Beanbag chairs are classics, and you can opt for sofa-sized ones or special designs that convert to guest beds.

Refrigeration Since no one wants to constantly run back and forth to the kitchen for drinks and snacks, the man cave needs a place to keep them chilled. It can be as simple as an old refrigerator or mini fridge appropriated for the room. If beer is your beverage of choice, try a fridge with a built-in tap . There even are appliances specifically designed to hold and cool a keg, as well as dispense beer. DIY kits help you convert a fridge to a drink dispenser. Keep your drinks and food even closer at hand with a coffee table with a built-in cooler.

Entertainment The crown jewel of any man cave is its entertainment system. Often, the entire point of establishing a man cave is to have a place to host game day parties or to watch favorite movies and TV shows. A flat screen TV, as large as you can afford and the room can hold, and a DVD player are absolute musts. Include a game console for days when nothing is on. Don’t forget tables and equipment for other pastimes, like pool, foosball, darts, and poker.

mancaveDécor The thing that really sets the man cave apart from the rest of the house is its décor. It is a spot where a man can escape from the pastels, floral prints, and matching furniture that fills most homes. A sign on or near the door should make it clear visitors are entering a male sanctuary. Look for one with the logo of your favorite team, or get a personalized one with your name. Beer-themed decorations are very popular, but do not limit yourself to that. Show off your sports memorabilia, or transform the space into a tribute to your favorite pop culture icons. Do not forget posters from your favorite movie. A man cave with an attached bathroom is the ultimate in luxury. If you are so blessed, make sure to extend the décor into the bath.

 

5 Ways to Stick To An Exercise Plan

take early class gym bagWe?re starting in on the third week of the year, so how?s your exercise routine going? Did you take a CrossFit challenge or a make a Daily Yoga resolution? Did you stock up on essential workout gear, but only feel guilty when you look at it? This is about the time of the month when most people begin to falter in their resolutions, especially those surrounding workouts. The weather is still pretty chilly, especially if you?re up early before work, and the sun is still setting too early for an early evening run in the sun. We understand how challenging it can be to stick to your exercise resolutions, which is why we?ve compiled a list of 5 ways you can actually stick to your workout plan this year.

1) Start Walking More

Guess what, it?s not that hard to walk more! And yes, walking is exercise, just ask Subway?s Jared Fogle or the Iowa man who lost weight by walking 45 minutes a day, despite eating only McDonald?s. A balance between food and exercise is the best way to stay healthy, and adding in additional walking is a great part of a healthy lifestyle. Head over to Google Maps or Map My Run and see which of your local haunts are only a mile or two away. You should also do things like challenge yourself to park in the back of the parking lot, and always take the stairs. Those extra steps will really add up.

2) Change Your Commute

This extra walking leads to the next exercise plan ? the commute! Are you able to take public transportation or a bicycle to work? Public transportation is good because it forces you to walk or bike more, rather than just sitting in your car for 15 minutes every morning. Even better is a bicycle commute. Try to incorporate a bike ride to work once a week, possibly even with a friend who lives nearby. Eventually you will look forward to that bike ride, especially when you miss all the rush hour traffic!?Grab yourself a stylish but comfortable workout bag and plan to change and shower at the office that day.

3) Take Classes (With a Friend)

We all make it through about 2 weeks at the gym before we?re tired and bored, but with a social reason to go to the gym, it?s a lot easier to keep it up. Find a kickboxing, barre, or yoga class that fits into your schedule. Get to know your teacher, and she?ll begin to expect you in the class on a regular basis. Then, when you?re starting to feel too lazy to attend, enlist a friend to join you. You?ll be a lot more interested in a 7am spin class when you?ve got a friend relying on you to show up.

4) Join or Create a Challenge

So maybe you and a friend decided to sign up for workout classes, but as it turns out, neither of you is the most reliable workout partner. Instead of accepting missed workouts, make it into a challenge. Bet on who can make it to the most workouts each month or year, or season. Challenge your workout buddy to make each class a little more interesting with harder gears, higher leg lifts, and heavier weights. It?s fun to label it as a ?30-Day Workout Challenge,? or to bet on who can ride the furthest distance over the course of 30 days in spin class. Simply put something like the next cocktail party, happy hour, concert, or mani-pedi on the line. Whoever loses pays! A little extra motivation is good for everyone.

5) Make a Plan You?re Forced to Stick To

This means sign up to run a half marathon, join a kickball league, or sign up to walk a 5k with your mom. Signing up for something, especially if you join a team or sign up with a partner, is one of the easiest ways to stick to an exercise plan! Running your first half marathon? Follow a detailed training plan for beginners. Walking a 5K with your mom? Meet her every Saturday to walk around the park together. Joining a coed league in your area? Have a friend, roommate, or spouse join with you and you?ll get a workout and a social night out of the house. Every time you want to stay home, remember the $150 fee you paid, and the people you?re letting down.