Sep 25, 2017

The Ultimate Tailgating Essentials

This post was sponsored by Look Beyond as part of an Influence Central campaign and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. 
 Planning your tailgate party can be an overwhelming challenge as you make sure that you have the necessities to ensure a successful tailgating party.You’re going to want to make sure you have enough food to feed you and your tailgate neighbors that decide to drop by when they find out you’re headed to the stadium on Game Day. Planning ahead for extra people can indeed be a challenge make sure you have plenty of liquid refreshments on hand to host a few of your fellow tailgaters.

Here are a few must haves for your next tailgating party! 

Food: It's pretty essential that every tailgating feast requires a game plan. You're main go to is a portable grill or smoker to use! The grill is the centerpiece of the serious tailgate, and though there is a wide array of fine products offered for the cooking of meats, make sure your grill is portable so you can take with you. You also need a lighter, plastic storage containers for leftovers, a rubber serving utensils, a lighter, wet wipes and plastic plates and cups! Try and cook as much as you can before hand as well as some ready to eat snacks to keep those that come early happy before the main meal. Some of my favorites are chips and dips, trail mix and a veggie tray! 

Game Day Jerseys: Attending your event is one thing but make sure that you wear your favorite teams apparel. Depending on when the game starts, you might be getting up early to tailgate with your friends or waiting until later in the afternoon. You can grab jerseys, hats, accessories of all sorts to support your team! My favorite thing is to play up the colors of each team that I enjoy watching. If your colors are black and gold, I'll find cute jean shorts, a black and white stripped sweatshirt and comfortable sneakers to wear. 

Charged Those Phones: Today, many of our phones can give us anxiety when we reach a certain percentage. Make sure that you provide portable chargers for you and your friends to stay connected throughout the game. We also love bringing our bluetooth speaker to keep music playing and keeping our momentum up before the big game even begins! Some friends even bring a flat screen TV with a portable antenna for live game coverage if you don't have tickets but you still feel as if you're right there with everyone outside the stadium. 

Look Beyond The Tailgate! 
Guess what?! Did you know that all things items that you can bring to make it fun have one thing in common. They all contain various components made from rubber, plastic, waterproof and synthetic fibers like polyester, vinyl and so much more- all of which re byproducts of oil and natural gas.  There's an entire initiative dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the gas and oil industries; Look Beyond. Did you know there is an even a Look BeyondTailgate blog to check out? The company is helping all of us look beyond what you think you know about the oil and gas industries and seeing how they actually make so many things possible for us to enjoy our football games! The next time you tailgate, take a look around and see if these items are part of your tailgating essentials.

How will you look beyond the tailgate?
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Sep 22, 2017

Our Time At The Outerbanks, NC

My family and I have been visiting Outerbanks, NC for the last 5 years. We travel every year and each year gets better and better. This is honestly one of my favorite vacations that I look forward to because it happens to be a time where I can visit with both sides of my immediate family. It's my Mom and my Dad's side that get together in one of these mega mansions on the beach and boy is it a blast!

We all pitch in to make meals for the 16 of us that are. We've grown from it just being all the cousins, Aunts and Uncles and newly married spouses to growing families of two and three kids now! It's so fun to see our children grow up together, play, laugh and joke around ( plus it gives us parents now a chance to relax a bit since our parents help watch the kids. #GrandparentsForTheWin! ) My sister and I love the quality time with all of our relatives and we feel so lucky that everyone truly does get along and also cherishes the time together.

Here's what we've been doing the last few days here! And yes it's a picture overload!

We drive back tomorrow morning and it still feels like this entire thing is such a good dream. Seriously, I always say this, but having such a strong family unit is everything to me and all of these cousins, Aunts/Unlces/Godparents all enjoying one another company, swapping stories, sharing moments and just being in the moment is what it's all about. I'm soaking it all in.
The one great thing is we'll hopefully all be together again in February as my best friend/cousin Megan gets married in Chicago. She also asked Lily and Landon to be her flower girl and ring bearer which they were so excited to be asked! As one of the MOH's, I'm so honored she asked them to be apart of her big day! Cheers to one awesome week friends!

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Sep 20, 2017

It's Hard To Talk About What Makes Being A Mom Hard

The other day I read a post about a Mom sharing her story about Motherhood. There are of course, hundreds of thousands of these posts out there but here's why this one struck me as different. It not only was brutally honest about the ups and downs of being a Mom, a job which is truly one of the hardest I've ever had, but the constant state of having anxiety over every. little. thing.

Here's the gut wrenching truth out motherhood and what makes it so hard- it's the unknown. It's that fear that keeps you up at night. It could be a behavior change, a medical challenge or for me right now, the fear that my almost 5 month old is learning to roll over and will get stuck in the middle of the night. I mean, unless you have a PhD after your name and are delivering bills of health, your efforts  may feel helpless.

Are you in that boat? Feeling like it's just hard to get out there and speak up of those fears? I'm right there with you friend. I'm listening and hugging you tight. This motherhood thing is tough. It's confusing. It's scary. It's down right scary at times because we don't know.

Those words that hang above- "It'll always work out" is so true but our wish that it will work out. Many of my friends that are Mom's understand the struggle, the "I've been down that road too and always asked for help", the 2am conversations of anger, frustration and no sleep, the grab another cup of coffee because your three-nager didn't listen and threw a huge temper tantrum in front of the entire Target shopper  in aisle 5. We all go through it.

Right now as I'm tying this, I'm actually up earlier than my kids and husband and trying to just take in the morning before the chaos comes around again. We'll have our up days and our down days. We'll keep going through it before routine kicks in. For now, I just wanted to share that if you are also going through something like this, you're not alone.

Do you hear me? You, are not alone.
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