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Kick Off Week: 5 Final Thoughts




Hey Ya'll! It's been so fun linking up, cheering for, egging on and representing the Best Season of the Year this week! Many, many thanks to all ya'll who participated in the Link Up and good luck to all of your fave teams (except the Dawgs, just this once).

Today I'm wrapping up Kick Off Week by linking up with the 5 on Friday gals to share 5 random things that I'm really, really looking forward to this weekend:

1. My Parents


 (Mom and Dad in Acadia!)

My parents are amazing. 
Once it became apparent that I thought that Justin was, at the very least, boyfriend material, my parents hopped on the Clemson Bandwagon with reckless abandon.They have attended a home game each season that Justin and I have been together and text him every single Game Day after an exciting play or an excruciating loss. As luck would have it, we convinced them to get tickets to the Clemson/ Georgia game a long, long time ago, before we knew we were moving a 26 hour drive away from Memorial Stadium. I am lucky to have just gotten to see them in Maine and now they are clearly petitioning for Parents Of The Year and dragging our tailgate essentials down from Virginia so that we won't be ill equipped. That's right, they are packing corn hole boards, bags, chairs, a rando back up tent, giant cooler and all of our booze  and driving it down from Virginia for us. 
Mom even called me the other day to tell me that 1. she wanted to borrow my orange reception shoes and 2. she went to her fave boutique and purchased two potential Game Day Outfits (just in case she needs a back up....apple doesn't fall far from the tree!)
Thanks, Mom and Dad!

2. Our Friends
(This was not on the approved poses list but Justin thinks this picture is HILarious)

Our Tailgate Crew means the world to us - every single one of the guys stood by Justin as his groomsmen (yep, all 10 of them) and their wives are ok too. Just kidding!! 


I love our friends and we are lucky to have each other. Not only will we get to spend the weekend with our Tailgate Crew, but we'll get to see some of our long lost Greenville friends too! I have a brand new baby bump to rub all over, a Charlotte love to hug on and former co-workers to drink cocktails with. And, if I'm very lucky, I'll get to see a bridesmaid or two decked out in red and black! 

3. Happy Husband

(Idiots...but happy idiots)

Clemson is my Husband's Happy Place. 
Nothing makes him more excited or alive (no, not even me. No comment). I actually envy him - to have such passion and love for something (even his alma mater) is really special, I think. I will say that we walk a fine line between love/happiness/fun time Justin and super anxious/competitive/aggressive Justin. If we spend our day on the sweet side of the spectrum, I'll be a happy wife. Seeing as we have a 12 hour day of Tailgating, I'll go ahead and cut my losses around kick off and just be grateful that we made it through the day :-) But in all seriousness, seeing my Husband in his Happiest Place of All really is worth all of the traveling, packing and planning. I kinda like him, so seeing him all giddy and man happy is fun.

4. Chick Fil A


This is not a political statement, I just live really, really far away from a Chick Fil A now. And.It.Is.A.Bummer.
Seeing as we're traveling so far, we are bringing multiple Chick Fil A catering platters to the Tailgate. Sometimes this makes me feel like a bad Tailgate Wife, but the guys love it and the trays are picked clean every time, so what can you do? 
I plan to start my day with a Chicken Biscuit, enjoy a hand full of Chickin Minis for a snack and make a meal out of Chicken Nuggets for lunch. 
Sorry I'm not sorry. 
Calories don't count on Game Day.

5. Potentially Catching an Earlier Flight
This is random but we are hoping to fly standby tomorrow...if we can catch a morning flight out of Maine, we will arrive before our currently scheduled arrival time: MIDNIGHT. Can you imagine if we really don't make it Greenville until Midnight tomorrow night!? Keep in mind that my Husband wants to be at Clemson at 9am which means we need to leave Greenville at 8am which means we'll need to leave the hotel to get to Chick Fil A around 7:30am. UGH. Fingers crossed that the travel gods are on our side! 


I'm sure I'll be Instagramming like a nut job from Clemson, so follow me @snfreeman for all of the gory details! Monday is a travel day for us so I'll see you Tuesday bright and early for a recap of all things football weekend!  




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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Kick Off Week: Clemson Game Day Dresses




Clemson Game Day
Hey Ya'll! 

You've already seen my Game Day Ensemble for this coming weekend, but I thought I might throw some other options out there in case you're scrambling for the perfect orange dress! 

Believe it or not, I have yet to repeat a Game Day dress in 3 Seasons of Clemson Home Games (this will be my 4th Season with the Husband....my how time flies when you drink a lot). 
I have fun hunting for the perfect shade of orange and always try to find a dress that might be outside of the typical Football look.

(A white dress for Labor day at our first ever game together....4 years ago this weekend. Weird.)

If you're on the hunt for the perfect Game Day Dress, remember to keep things cool, comfortable and not restricting. I obviously try to avoid anything that will show sweat, force me into Spanx or is too short to jump up and down in. 
A girl has to be able to show her team spirit, right?!

(Jeans & Boots....and a tank. This game was literally in the end of October...and I majorly regretted my jeans)

There are a ton of online retailers that are currently featuring Game Day Dresses for ACC/SEC Teams 


Any other suggestions for the perfect one stop shop for Game Day Dresses?


Believe it or not, Clemson has another color...purple! 


P.S. uuuuum guys...I'm kinda re-thinking my Game Day Look! I was looking through all of our photos to find good shots for this post and I found this dress...


....that I wore the day we got Engaged (above, in a helicopter, over NYC, hence the sweet fanny pack life jacket and head set)


And to our friend's Rehearsal Dinner...

But I don't think I've worn it to a game...and it has white so perfect for LDW....

Help me pick!

This or That??

Thanks to everyone who joined the Link Up Party yesterday! 
Don't worry if you missed the fun - the party is still open!


 
Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Kick Off Week: Tailgate Crock Pot Mac&Cheese AND A Link Up Party!



Hey Ya'll!

Today I'm sharing the recipe for my (almost) famous Crock Pot Mac & Cheese.
I've been making this recipe for years and have tweaked it countless times so, while it was originally adapted from somewhere, it's def all mine now.

Feel free to download this little recipe card for easy prep work!

Here's what you'll need to get started:
*not pictured:melted butter*

The Method is really super easy, but I want to spell it out here so that I can let you in a few tips and tricks that def make this dish a success:

Step 1: Cook the pasta
The pasta can be any shape that you like, but I suggest not using macaroni noodles - use something bigger so that the noodles don't appear to get lost in the crock pot. The bigger noodles also make this a bit more hearty/guy friendly/able to stand up to other tailgate dishes

Step 2: Spray the inside of your crock pot with Pam
I've never used crock pot liners and I'm not sure that this would be the dish to start with. The edges of the Mac & Cheese will get that yummy brown crust to them - but you must spray the inside of the crock pot well or those edges will actually stick, turn black and burn.
Gross (been there).

Step 3: Dump the cooked pasta in the oiled up Crock Pot - add the cheddar cheese and the melted butter - stir it up
I always use store brand, shredded cheddar as the base. It basically adds color and texture but not much taste. Don't splurge on this ingredient
I have also been known to reduce the amount of butter from one stick to 3/4-1/2 of a stick - it makes the dish less oily when it's finished and doesn't affect the taste at all

Step 4: Add 3/4 of your fancier shredded cheeses - give it a quick stir again
I like Cabot brands but have used others based on what's on sale. The object here is to add flavor. Go for bold choices like Monterey Jack, Razor Sharp White Cheddar or even Chipotle Cheddar. I actually don't think that I've ever used the same combo twice so go wild.


Step 5: In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milks

Step 6: Dump the eggs and milks in the Crock Pot and (you guessed it!) Stir it up!

Step 7: Add generous amounts of Salt and Pepper and add Paprika to taste

(sometimes I get lazy and just throw chunks of cheese in...it all melts the same!)

Step 8: Set Crock Pot Timer for 3 hours on Low
(I have a new crock pot because I exploded my other one in the Great BBQ Disaster of 2012, so my crock pot cooks really fast - adjust time based on your crock pot's cooking abilities-should be no more than 4 hours on low)

Step 9: Around 1 hour of cooking time, open the lid and stir up the Mac & Cheese
If you have a powerful crock pot, the edges will already be browning - you want to stir those edges in so they won't burn and also mix around the egg and milk mixture so it cooks through (and you don't kill anyone with a charming case of Salmonella)


After you've stirred, add the remaining fancy cheese to the top - this will make for a yummy top layer of extra cheesiness that will bring all the boys to the yard...

Step 10: Let cook until you can't see the egg/milk mix when stirring-if needed, drain oil off of the top with a big spoon - I usually add more S/P/Paprika because the boys like it with some kick!


Serve and Enjoy!


We usually have a generator at our Tailgates so to prep this for Game Day I will get all of the ingredients ready the night before (shred cheeses, measure out spices etc) and get up in the am to cook the pasta (perfect to cook while I'm in the shower!).
 As soon as the pasta is cooked, I dump everything into the Crock Pot, strap it into the car and schlep it to Clemson. Once we get all set up, I plug that bad boy in and voila!
Lunch is ready in about 3 hours!
(I do still stir occasionally, check for edge burn and skim any unnecessary calories off the top)


Not only does this Mac & Cheese rock a Tailgate but it's also a perfect recipe for Game Day viewing parties at home, office pot lucks and the Holidays.


(Seriously, look how cheesy it is! This was my pre-dinner/I photographed this and now I need to have it snack last night.)

This is the recipe that my Husband requests that I make the most for entertaining and it sure does please a crowd of hungry
(and half drunk) men!

Now it's ya'lls turn! Link Up and let's see the Kick Off Love!
P.S. The Link Up will be open through Friday, so if you missed out today, get ready for tomorrow!



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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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The Countdown is On!
The Kick Off Week Link Up Party launches tomorrow!
Can't wait to see ya'll

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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Kick Off Week: Skinny Tiger Punch!




Today we're talking booze, baby! 


Here's what you'll need to whip up a batch of Skinny Tiger Punch:


Skinny Girl Tangerine Vodka
Diet Sierra Mist
V8 Splash Mango Peach
(optional, if you have a fancy tailgate: orange slices)

1. Mix ingredients to your desired potency into a plastic pitcher with a secure lid.
(I found the one pictured at Home Goods for $4.99)
2. Toss in cooler on ice
3. Drink aaaaaall day long! 



(Yes, that is a koozie for a 6 pack. It has a frozen ice thing on the inside and the koozie outside stretches to hold the cans tight. Justin loves this thing.)

Ya'll, this cocktail is delicious! 
It would be super cute (and easy: pre-mixed) at your tailgate, served in Mason Jars or in a huge clear (monogrammed) drink decanter. 
It's super refreshing, low cal and the perfect shade of orange. 
I actually underestimated how perfect it would be for a hot summer day until I whipped it up for a blog post, wore myself (and the kitchen) out making it pretty and then clearly had to have a sip or two. 

Because it's low cal and low carb, this would be perfect for a Brunch, Shower or Lady Date, so I took some pics so ya'll could envision it being all Fancy. 





I hope ya'll enjoy!

P.S. Don't forget: tomorrow is the Big Day! Link Up Party Time!

Cheers!
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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Kick Off Week: Happy Place








Hey Ya'll! Welcome to Newlyweds:North Kick Off Week! As all Southern girls know, this week is the start of the best season of all: College Football Season! In the South, we do football a bit differently than our friends to the North and out West. It may sound shocking to some of you, but our Game Day attire of choice consists of sundresses, statement necklaces and cowboy boots. We set tablescapes for tailgates and won't drink out of anything but our monogrammed koozies and Turvis Tumblers. I adore college football!



I should make it clear at the start of the week that I cheer for the Clemson Tigers, but I did not attend Clemson University. I was lucky enough to spend 4 glorious years at Elon University in North Carolina. While my Elon Phoenix were proud to send our first football player into the NFL last season, we don't quite have the tailgate experience to trump my husband's Tigers. So, every year Justin and I get together with a wild, exuberant, competitive, dedicated group of friends to spend our Fall playing cornhole, drinking cocktails, wearing orange and cheering on the Clemson Tigers at each and every home game of the season. Sadly, this year, for the first time since his sophomore year of college, Justin will have to miss a home game or two. We plan to make the journey from Maine to South Carolina for 3 of this years home games so each game that we make it to will be extra special for us.



In case college football isn't your thing, I'll let you in on a secret: this first game is pretty big deal for the Clemson Tigers. We play the University of Georgia Bulldaaaawgs and this little match up has been selected as the site of ESPN's Game Day for Kick Off Weekend. Despite the fact that kick off is not until 8pm, my husband, my parents and I will all arrive (half asleep, I'm sure) on campus by 9am. Justin wants to see the Game Day set and soak in as many possible seconds in his Happy Place that he can. Thats right, Mathletes, we will be at Clemson for a whopping 13 hours of tailgate festivities and football superstar plays.



This week I'll be blogging about cocktail recipes, my signature tailgate crock pot creation, the perfect game day outfits and tailgate must haves. I'd love to have ya'll join me on Wednesday as I host a Kick Off Week link up party! And, if things get going and we get to swapping recipes, cocktails and tailgate secrets, we might just keep the party going throughout football season! Pro-football lovers are invited too!


Cheers to game day!
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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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Link Up Party: Kick Off Week!




























Hey ya'll!

In case you missed it, I'm hosting a Link Up Party on Wednesday 8.28.13!

Here are the deets:


1. Write a post for Wednesday, August 28th about your college football experience, fave tailgate recipe, football party decor, best tailgate outfit, secret cocktail concoction, must haves for game day etc. 

2. Insert the above image into your post
(I'd be happy to send you the HTML, or you can download the image from this post)

3. Include a link back to Newlyweds:North -I'll have a link up party ready for you!

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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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5 on Friday: Confession Style



Happy Weekend Ya'll! 
Along with the rest of the blogosphere, I'm linking up with the lovely 5 On Friday ladies to get this Friday going. But today is going to be a teensy bit different...today, I'm confessing. My friend Kelsea over at Overwhelmed by Grace had this fab idea last week and I was sweet enough to completely bootleg it from her (thanks Kelsea!). So, here we go! 

5 On Friday: Confessions

1. I loathe plucking my eyebrows. 

I mean, come on! Is it just me or doest plucking really, really hurt!? Maybe I'm just an extra big baby but I would rather let my eyebrows grow together (which they like to do) than pull out a set of tweezers. Due to my deep loathing of self inflicted eyebrow pain, I am an expert in waxing types, sugaring and threading. Just FYI, threading is my all time fave. But all of these methods must be administered by a professional - no at home anything for this girl. I would most likely get the nerve up to apply the hot wax to my face then panic and the last minute and not have the balls to rip the strip off. Second degree burns are not a good look. 

2. I love that Diet Pepsi is much more prevalent in Maine than Diet Coke. 

In the South, Coke is King (although both Coke and Pepsi were born in the South, I believe). In fact, I have a bridesmaid and a close family member who are proud Coke Family Members. Buuuuuuut, I secretly love Diet Pepsi the mostest. And lucky for me, it seems that most restaurants around here proudly serve Pepsi products. Sorry, I'm not sorry. (If you are a Southerner, you get how big of a deal this is. If you are a Northerner, just go ahead to #3.)

3. I need every.single.thing. to be in it's "home" but I hate to actually clean. 

If you came to my house today, the downstairs/main living spaces would look like they do in the Dwell Posts here on the blog (except for the area around my Husband's Playstation. Apparently, his socks now live on the floor in front of it and the pillows are meant to adorn the top of the couch. Sigh.) I find a place for something and it lives there. Forever and Ever, Amen. BUT, if you looked really closely you would notice that perhaps those perfectly placed picture frames are a teensy bit dusty...or the flowers have a tiny bit of brown on the petals....or that I need to vacuum. Desperately. Somehow, this doesn't bother me. But move my coffee table an inch to the left and you die. 

4. I cannot stand to watch The View but I loooooove the Real Housewives of Anywhere Reunion Specials. 

Why does this not make sense, Non-Reality TV Viewers? Because both programs feature women yelling over each other. I can't even stand to turn The View on (Elisabeth H. is my nemesis) but I will DVR, watch live episodes and re-runs of anything "moderated" by Andy Cohen and featuring a Housewife or two going at it over shit someone said a year ago. Justin walked in the room while the recent RHOC Reunion Special Part 2 was airing live, looked at the TV, looked at the joy on my face, shook his head and walked out. He literally had to go to another floor of our house and shut the door to drown out the screeching. It was glorious. 

5. (This is the Big One)
My Closet looks like this:


Argh, I just threw up in my mouth at the thought of ya'll seeing this!  
So what happened was....we moved into an old house built in an era where they didn't really "do" closets....so we have this tiny bedroom right next to the master that was probably meant to be a nursery. It is too small to have it's own closet and so I just turned it into one. My dad built me all of the racks while my parents were in town aaaaaand if I'm being really honest, I will admit that my mom unpacked all of my wardrobe boxes and put eveerything away. I recently discovered that she even organized my Honeymoon lingerie....sorry, Mom. Anyways, she couldn't figure out the perfect Home for every single item (ha, I inherited it!) so some things just lived in stacks or piles waiting for me to put them away. And then a burgaler broke in and threw everything around!! 

Now that this has gone public, I hope to feel enough self inflicted shame to get going on organizing this monstrosity. 
This weekend! Next week for sure! I'll keep you posted....

Have a fab weekend ya'll!

OH, and P.S., next week is going to be super fun because it's....


We'll be talking tailgate essentials, cocktails, dresses, cowboy boots, competitive husbands and the official start of the best season of all! No prior football knowledge or love of orange required!

P.P.S. If you'd like to link up to Kick Off Week I'd love to have ya'll! 
Here's what you do:

1. Write a post for Wednesday, August 28th about your college football experience, fave tailgate recipe, football party decor, best tailgate outfit, must haves for game day etc. 

2. Insert the above image into your post (I'd be happy to send you the HTML, or you can download the image from this post)

3. Include a link back to Newlyweds:North -I'll have a link up party ready for you!







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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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