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From October 2016

Christmas Family Photo Shoots

The holidays are right around the corner, so you know what that means! Time to start thinking about your family Christmas cards!

For all of our local DFW friends, the fabulous Gold Dust Girls with Gold Dust Vintage have rented an incredible indoor historic space in downtown Mansfield and in Gold Dust style have designed two amazing sets for Christmas pictures! One geared towards children and one more traditional for families!

Gold Dust Vintage Christmas Set upGold Dust Vintage Christmas Set up 2Gold Dust Vintage Christmas Set up 6Gold Dust Vintage Christmas Set up 3Gold Dust Vintage Christmas Set up 4Gold Dust Vintage Christmas Set up 5

The studio is available for rent in 30 minute private time slots and you can even bring in your own photographer! Spots are filling up quickly, so be sure to reserve your spot here!

Football Tailgate

Football season is in full swing, so you know what that means! Food, friends, and tailgating! To me there is no better way to spend your Saturday or Sunday than setting up a festive spread in the back of your truck with the best football comfort foods, drinks, and friends!

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And with the right set-up and decor, your tailgate can be just as glamorous as it would be at home! To prove it, my friend Amanda with Glitter and Spice and I threw a spirited TCU vs SMU tailgating party for some of our favorite fans! Catch all the details below, including my favorite tailgating products. And don’t forget to check out our tailgating 101 tips and tricks!

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Photography: Paisley Layne Photography
Featuring: Glitter and Spice and The Everyday Hostess
Styling: The Everyday Hostess
Banner: Sprinkle of Confetti
Straws: A Party Through My Eyes
Paper products/Invitations/Cups/Drink Stirrers/Platters/Napkins/Party Decor: Sequins and Lipstick
Cookies: Just Call Me Cookie
Table Runner: Swoozies
 

Tailgating 101

Last year we shared all of our favorite tips and tricks for hosting the perfect game watching party from the comfort of your home – but what if you want to take your party on the road with you and enjoy a game day tailgate?!

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Tailgates are always my favorite way to get in the spirit and enjoy a fun-filled day of football! But if you’re the host, they also come with a long list of to do’s and quite a bit more preparation. To help ease the stress a bit, we’ve put together the x’s and o’s of how to throw the perfect tailgate!

the-everyday-hostess-tailgating-checklist

  1. Arrival Time: Your arrival time will depend on how die hard your group is, but I have found that most fans start arriving around 3 hours before the game starts. Therefore, you should plan on getting to your tailgate spot around 4-5 hours before kick-off. That way, you will have plenty of time to set-up and cook before your friends start showing up.
  1. Supplies: Always keep a toolbox in the back of your car with tailgating essentials such as jumper cables, spatulas, bottle openers, tongs, extra silverware, flashlights, can openers, trash bags, paper towels, hand sanitizer, duct tape, etc. If you’re really serious, consider bringing a generator for your car and a grill! And don’t forget plenty of coolers to chill your food and beer.
  1. Food Prep: Prepare all ingredients the night before. This will make your day of prep and cooking much easier! For example, if you’re serving burgers, shape and pack the burger patties between sheets of wax paper and slice up the condiments and toppings in advance!

Now for the fun part! Decor and food!

  1. Setup: For the perfect display, convert the back of your car or truck bed into a DIY serving station for your guests! This will make your tailgate more interactive and will minimize the work for you. I love the idea of a hot dog or burger bar, so fellow fans can dress their dish however they prefer.the-everyday-hostess-tailgate-41-44
  1. Decor: Class up your tailgate with a few special touches! Consider adding a touchdown paper table runner as an easy way to spoof up your tables. Then add banners, flags, decorative napkins and straws, serving trays, and koozies in your team’s colors to create a game winning display! Check out our favorite festive details from our recent tailgate here!the-everyday-hostess-tailgate-27
  1. Food: When it comes to tailgating food, easy is the name of the game! I keep my menu to anything that can be made on a grill out of our trunk (burgers, hotdogs, and BBQ sliders) or anything that does not need to be heated or refrigerated for a long time (think chips, sliced veggies, dips, fruit kabobs, nachos, jalapeno poppers, puppy chow, seasoned popcorn, cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzels, etc.).
  1. Drinks: Beer is an absolute staple at tailgates, but consider serving a signature cocktail in your school’s color as well! For a cute and easy decorative tip, I love adding washi tape to mason jars in the shape of football strings for each guest’s beverage.the-everyday-hostess-tailgate-5
  1. Seating: Don’t forget to pull out some foldable chairs so your guests have somewhere to relax and enjoy the company and game!

9. Most importantly! Introduce yourself to your neighbors, share a few drinks, and enjoy!

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Decor:
“Go Team!” Banner: Sprinkle of Confetti | Straws: A Party Through My Eyes | Paper products/Invitations/Cups/Drink Stirrers/Platters/Napkins/Party Decor: Sequins and Lipstick | Touchdown Table Runner: Swoozies

 

 

Smoking Blackberry Margarita

This smoking blackberry margarita recipe is scary good for Halloween!

But don’t worry, it won’t spook your tastebuds — it’s the perfect potion to enjoy after the kiddos are done trick-or-treating!

The best thing about this drink is that it only takes eight ingredients and it’s easy to make. Check out the video above and learn how to whip up this tasty beverage this Halloween!

Smoking Blackberry Margarita
Yields 1
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 blackberries
  2. 4 sage leaves
  3. 1 tsp sugar
  4. 1 tsp maple syrup
  5. 2 oz tequila
  6. 1 oz lemon juice
  7. 1 oz Grand Marnier
  8. 1 dash orange bitters
  9. 1 chunk of dry ice
  10. Cocktail shaker and muddler needed
Instructions
  1. Put blackberries, sage leaves and sugar in cocktail shaker and muddle together (if you don’t have a muddler, a large spoon will suffice… the idea is to crush the berries and leaves to get the juices out)
  2. Add lemon juice, Grand Marnier, bitters and tequila
  3. Shake well
  4. Place chunk of dry ice in a glass (a little goes a long way here, and use tongs to grab the dry ice! You’ll regret touching it with your bare skin)
  5. Pour mixture over dry ice for smoking effect
  6. Serve with a straw and enjoy!
The Everyday Hostess http://www.theeverydayhostess.com/

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

Chocolate dipped pretzel rods are one of my favorite go-to party snacks! They are the perfect sweet and salty treat and are always a crowd pleaser! Plus, they are super easy to make and can easily be customized to the theme of your event!

the everyday hostess chocolate dipped pretzel rods

Milk chocolate dipped pretzels with white chocolate drizzled on top is always a classic, but with a little bit of food coloring and sprinkles, the options are endless! I always love experimenting with dyeing the white chocolate bright colors (think light pink for a princess party, green for tailgates, or red for Christmas) and adding coordinating colored sprinkles to make this sweet treat extra festive!

the everyday hostess chocolate dipped pretzels tailgating party

Whip up a batch of these chocolate dipped pretzel rods for your next event, and I promise they will be the talk of the town!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
Yields 16
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup melting milk chocolate (Ghirardelli)
  2. 1 cup melting white chocolate
  3. 16 pretzels rods
  4. Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Line the inside of a tall glass with Saran wrap.
  3. Melt the milk chocolate according to the package directions and pour into the tall glass.
  4. Dip the pretzel rods in the milk chocolate and use a spoon to pour the chocolate as high as desired. Lay on the parchment lined baking tray until fully set. (Optional: add sprinkles to the wet milk chocolate)
  5. While the milk chocolate is hardening, melt the white chocolate according to package directions and pour into a small bowl.
  6. Using a spoon drizzle the white chocolate over the milk chocolate pretzel rods. (Optional: add sprinkles to the wet white chocolate)
  7. Allow to fully set. Once completely hardened (30-45 min), remove the pretzel rods from the parchment paper and enjoy!
The Everyday Hostess http://www.theeverydayhostess.com/

Football Puppy Chow

Puppy chow snack mix with a festive football themed twist!

The Everyday Hostess Football Puppy Chow

Puppy chow, aka Muddy Buddies, has to be one of the most addictive snacks of all time! I mean what’s better than taking your favorite bite-sized cereal and covering it in rich peanut butter and chocolate-y goodness and topping it with even more sweetness and powdered sugar?! I can’t think of much….except “football-ifying” this same tasty snack!

We’ve taken everyone’s favorite party treat and given it a football themed twist, so it’s the perfect addition to every tailgate or game watching party! With the addition of white chocolate puppy chow and our favorite football candy decorations from Wilton, football field flags, and our football chili bowls,  this recipe is game ready!

Cheer on your favorite team with this sweet game day treat, and it will score a touchdown with your guests!

Football Puppy Chow
Yields 8
Puppy chow snack mix with a festive football themed twist!
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
White Puppy Chow
  1. 4 cups chex cereal
  2. 1 cup white chocolate chips
  3. 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  4. 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 cup powdered sugar
Brown Puppy Chow
  1. 4 cups chex cereal
  2. 1 cup chocolate chips
  3. 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  4. 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1cup powdered sugar
Additions
  1. Wilton Football Icing Decorations
  2. Football Field Toothpick Flags
White Puppy Chow
  1. Pour 4 cups of Chex cereal into a large bowl.
  2. Combine the white chocolate chips, vegetable oil, and peanut butter in a medium sized glass bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments. Be sure to stir between each increment until fully smooth and melted.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl with the Chex Cereal. Toss lightly until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and gently fold. You can also pour the mixture into a plastic bag, zip and shake. Pour the puppy chow onto a cookie sheet and allow to sit out for 30-45 minutes until fully set.
  5. Set aside.
Brown Puppy Chow
  1. Pour 4 cups of Chex cereal into a large bowl.
  2. Combine the chocolate chips, vegetable oil, and peanut butter in a medium sized glass bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments. Be sure to stir between each increment until fully smooth and melted.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl with the Chex Cereal. Toss lightly until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and gently fold. You can also pour the mixture into a plastic bag, zip and shake. Pour the puppy chow onto a cookie sheet and allow to sit out for 30-45 minutes until fully set.
  5. Once set, combine the white and brown puppy chow on a serving tray or large bowl. Add in the Wilton football decorations and football field toothpick flags!
  6. Serve and enjoy!
The Everyday Hostess http://www.theeverydayhostess.com/
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How to Take the Perfect Engagement Photos

After getting your bridesmaid and groomsmen on board, one of my favorite parts of the engagement process is taking your engagement photos! This is the perfect opportunity to capture your love in some of your favorite hot spots and get some casual professional photos to display at your home or on your save the dates!

The Everyday Hostess - Kate Jolliffe and Landon Haaf Engagement Photos with Jackie Cooper 9The Everyday Hostess and Jackie Cooper Photo Engagement Photos

Since Landon and I can’t get married in the Fall (dang it football!), I was determined to take our engagement photos during the peak leaf color changing period this autumn no matter what it took! For us that meant, a red eye flight on Monday to Denver, a two hour drive to Vail on Tuesday AM, a 4 hour photo shoot, a 2 hour drive back to Denver that night, and then a 5am flight back to Dallas on Wednesday to get to work on time. All just so we could get the perfect yellows, orange, and red trees in our mountain engagement shoot! And my goodness it was worth it! 

The Everyday Hostess - Kate Jolliffe and Landon Haaf Engagement Photos with Jackie Cooper 2 The Everyday Hostess - Kate Jolliffe and Landon Haaf Engagement Photos with Jackie Cooper 3The Everyday Hostess - Kate Jolliffe and Landon Haaf Engagement Photos with Jackie Cooper 5

Our photos absolutely exceeded my expectations. Jackie, of Jackie Cooper Photography, just killed it! It was such a pleasure to get to know her better before our big day, and her work is absolutely incredible!

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In preparation for this session, Jackie provided me with some excellent tips and tricks below to prepare for our shoot. (After all, we were only there for 24 hours, so we had one shot!) All of her insight was extremely helpful, so I wanted to share it with you all as you prepare for your next couples session! Enjoy!

The Everyday Hostess - Kate Jolliffe and Landon Haaf Engagement Photos with Jackie Cooper 11View More: http://jackiecooperphoto.pass.us/kateandlandon

6 Tips on How to Take the Perfect Engagement Photos with Jackie Cooper!

Collaborate + Communicate

Your photographer wants to know if you have a particular vision for the shoot, so don’t hesitate to communicate what you want before and during the session.  That said, you’ve hired your photographer to create beautiful images for you, so be open to his/her ideas during the session as well.  Collaboration is a wonderful thing; work off of each other!

Location

Often couples will have a particular location in mind for their session, which is great!  It’s fun to have photos from a location that has meaning to the two of you.  If you don’t have any ideas, though, ask your photographer.  We often have ideas for places that we’d love to photograph and would be happy to make some recommendations according to what would suit your style!

Outfits

I suggest that couples choose up to three outfits for their engagement session.  Depending on your location choices, you may find that simply one or two will be a good number.  By limiting outfits, you allow yourself to relax into the groove of the shoot more quickly.

Pack a Beauty Bag

Often your photographer will have an “emergency kit” of some sort, but it doesn’t hurt to bring a bag of supplies that might come in handy with the particular outfit, hair style and makeup look you’ve chosen.  For example, static guard comes in handy in drier climates if you’ll be wearing lightweight, clingy fabrics. Hair products and pins are good to pack for uncooperative hair and chapstick/lipgloss keeps lips from looking dried out.  And don’t forget to pack any makeup that you think might need to be refreshed during outfit changes.

Hair & Makeup

If you aren’t sure you’ll be happy with doing your own hair and makeup, it’s never a bad idea to hire a hair and makeup artist for your engagement photos.  This is a great time, too, to work with some vendors you may be considering for your wedding.

Have fun!

Many couples haven’t had professional photos taken together (or even individually since their senior portraits!), so it’s natural to be a little unsure of what to expect.  Just relax and be yourselves as much as possible, and you’ll become more and more comfortable throughout the shoot.  Another way to make your engagement session more special is to plan a date night out afterward since you’ll be looking your best and will have just spent a good hour together being sweet and lovey!