Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Dressing (with Team Spirit!)

For those bowl game traveling folks who are on location for New Year's Eve, you might be in need of a party dress with some school spirit.  When you are traveling with the team, you always want to coordinate with your team colors.   I've had many moments, in bowl game travels and in my college town, that have called for a cocktail dress suitable for a university-sponsored party.  While there are many places to get darling gameday dresses (check Gameday Style's "Gameday Uniform Style" category), NYE calls for a frock with a dressier edge.

For a quick solution, you can use

J.Crew is known for their basics with interesting details in many different colors every season (I stock up when my team color is one of their season's colors).  Here are a few sweet party dresses in their Bridesmaid and Party dress collection that you can get in a fun color.

Blakely dress

Selma dress

Sinclair dress

Keep your eyes out for cute bright evening shoes, belts, bags and jewels to dress up bright pieces such as these...or to make your little black dress into a dress with a lot of
 gameday style!

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's & Gameday Recipes In Good Taste

I stumbled upon a fun blog and fantastic recipe resource, In Good Taste by Maris Callahan.  

It is a food blog targeted toward young professionals with contemporary and delicious food ideas.  Gameday Style is especially intrigued by Ms. Callahan's comprehensive guide to gameday recipes.  She confesses to not being a big football fan, but is a big fan of the food involved.  That's just fine...she loves gameday food and parties so she has some gameday style!  While she visits the occasional tailgate, the mainstay of her football partying occurs in homes.  I felt it highly applicable to include her collection of recipes to serve you for any casual at-home New Year's parties and gameday parties you might be attending or hosting.  

Here is the link to the guide...

And here are a few of my favorite recipes from it...

A modern take on snack mix, using brown butter and garlic.  Maris found this at

My husband and I love recipes that use brown (also called browned) butter.  If you haven't tried brown butter, you really need to.  Our favorite way to use it was for making Brown Butter-Sage sauce for pasta, until now.  This snack mix is a majorly different twist for using brown butter!  Read on for Maris' own recipe for using brown brownies!

You will LOVE these special brownies.
(I made mine with toasted pecans.)

I have been contemplating working really hard to document what I put in my chili.  The problem is is that I make it differently every time.  We really like Mexican mole (sauce) at our house and I do my best to replicate that flavor in my chili.  To do that,  I always add some dark beer and dark chocolate.  Maris has shared a chili recipe from Aggie's Kitchen  and after reading the long list of ingredients, it is most similar to the kind of chili we like at our house.  Don't be intimidated by the long is all so very worth it.  I love Aggie's addition of grilled corn.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Snack on the Stadium

With bowl week upon us, I felt it "important" to re-publish October's Snack Stadiums post.  Snack Stadiums strike me as the uber-appropriate addition to a holiday gameday party.  Whip one up in the next couple weeks or start planning for a Super Bowl Snack Stadium.  Enjoy!

You are going to love this gallery of football stadiums made of 
enough food for the entire party.  Holy Taco gives you the instructions to 
create this beauty, complete with the dip field.  Click here for the instructions.

Now this is the time I should let you know that there is an entire website 
dedicated to these pieces of edible art/architecture/engineering feat.  I am not making this up!  
Here's what you'll see over there:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gameday Runway

Gameday Style has a colleague in the blogging world that also started up this fall.  Gameday Runway now has an entire season under their can go over and take a look at all of the real gameday fashion submitted throughout the season by fans with lots of gameday style.   Perhaps you can use to inspire your wardrobe for the upcoming couple weeks of celebrations (and bowl games!)

This past week, Gameday Runway had a fantastic NFL gameday post.  They feature a group of gameday stylish gals having a bachelorette party at the game.  The following is direct from Gameday Runway.  Go to to follow the runway and read more.  Cute stuff, girls!

Redskins Party Girls!

Why not turn one party into another? That’s what the ladies here did hosting a Bachelorette Party on Gameday! And a box at a Washington Redskins home game proved to be just the place!
 Standing center in a group of friends was the Bride-to-be in a warm and appropriately colored WHITE winter coat.
It looks like a sweater-dress was the “Play of the Day!” The multi-colored  Chevron dress in the middle certainly catches the eye and a solid sweater dress paired with a long accent necklace is always a WIN!  We especially love the long chain Cross-necklace as Crosses are everywhere this season! The 70′s style Floppy Hat is making it’s comeback this year and looks totally chic on this GDR Fan on the left!

Looks like the girls had a great time in the box with champagne and cookies-how cute are those Redskins Helmet cookies!
Best Wishes and thanks for sharing your day with us, Laura! We hope you have a fabulous wedding, honeymoon, and life together!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Caramel Corn

One of my fall standards is Caramel Corn. I make it frequently...sometimes a batch for Friday night game weekend company and after my husband gets in from pre-game, and then another batch for tailgating or after the game on Saturday.  This is my grandmother's recipe that she used at her own version of a tailgate.  Every July, she would make Caramel Corn and put it into a brown paper grocery bag to transport into our box seats at the horse races.  Caramel Corn and lemonade hit up with some vodka reminds me of that fun memory!  

Here is my faithful Caramel Corn recipe.  Wanted to share it with you so that you can use it for the holidays...

beautiful photo by peppercorn

Mama's Caramel Corn

1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1 t. salt
1/2 c. corn syrup
1 t. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla

Melt the above, stirring constantly.  As soon as it comes up to a boil, remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon baking soda.  

Pour over about 8 cups of popped popcorn in a roasting pan and stir thoroughly.  Bake at 250 for 10 minutes at a time, ending at 40 minutes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Everyone is Bowling!

It is time to bowl! Right along with all of the holiday prep that's occurring these days, there are some gamedays scattered here and there for bowl games. In a couple of weeks, we'll have some gamedays of non-stop football action, reminiscent of the fall.  Bowl season is a dominant force in my house, determining our Christmas and New Year's plans.  At this very moment, I am procrastinating packing the boxes and suitcases that will allow my family to celebrate Christmas in a hotel for a week, while my husband is working long hours game prepping at the bowl site.  

To talk bowl games, Gameday Style brought in  They recently wrote about the coveted BCS bowl games and the complicated system used to select the teams playing in those games. 

BCS Bowl Games Bring in the New Year with a Bang!

The 2011-2012 college football regular season has come to a close, which means one thing: it’s time for bowl games galore. This is arguably the best time of the college football season, and it happens to fall around arguably the two best holidays, Christmas and New Years. Starting on December 17 and ending on January 9, teams are competing all across the country in different bowl games.
As stated before in our College Championship Article, the BCS is a computer selection system that creates five bowl match-ups involving ten of the top ranked teams in the NCAA Division 1 conferences, including an opportunity for the top two to compete in the BCS National Championship Game.
There are 5 BCS Bowl Games: The Rose Bowl, The Discover Orange Bowl, The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, The AllState Sugar Bowl and the AllState BCS National Championship. These five bowl games include the best teams in the country going head to head. There are 35 bowl games over the span of three weeks, but these are the big ones, the games that everyone is waiting for!
This year the country’s tops teams that are competing in the BCS Bowl Games are:
Rose Bowl: #6 Oregon vs #9 Wisconsin at 5:00pm ET on January 2, in Pasadena, California
Discover Orange Bowl: #14 Clemson vs #23 West Virginia at 8:30pm ET on January 4, in Miami
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: #3 Oklahoma State vs #4 Stanford at 8:30pm ET on January 2, in Scottsdale, Arizona
AllState Sugar Bowl: #13 Michigan vs #17 Virginia Tech at 8:30pm ET on January 3, in New Orleans
AllState BCS National Championship: #1 Louisiana State University vs #2 Alabama at 8:30pm ET on January 9, in New Orleans
What bowl games are your favorite teams playing in? Let us know!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Coolio Coolers

Need a gift idea for someone that takes their gameday seriously? 
 Perhaps a nice cooler would do the trick.  

It's easy to find a plain cooler and paint it up!  Southern Tide has held a cooler contest for the past two college tailgating seasons and here are what some folks came up with.   

Customizing a cooler with one's favorite team would be a popular gift.  Need some help doing so?  There is an entire Facebook page dedicated to the painting of coolers right here...

Here are a couple of darling team themed coolers from the Facebook page. 
You'll find more photos and tons of tips at the page.

Undecorated and simple, here is the best cooler your money can buy...a YETI.  Read about this "super cooler" right here at Bearings online magazine:

This cooler is an investment but the recipient of it will be claims to keep ice frozen for up to 14 days.

You can also keep it classic with a Coleman Vintage.  Add a tasteful sticker to this metal guy and it becomes spirited.  You can purchase this Coleman from Orvis.
Finally, maybe you're looking for a unique cooler?  The Peterboro Basket Company makes this beautiful woven piece.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Be the Belle of the Bowl with Sportsanista

Sportsanista gives us the lowdown on getting our bowl game packing list together.  
I've been working on mine...we leave for our game in 9 days!  Although I need different colors than her WV old gold and blue, this gives me enough inspiration to get some new pieces ordered before the team plane takes off from our college town.  Use her bowl game advice for wherever you're packing for!

Be sure to click on over to her blog at for some more fashion advice.  She addressed the great winter wardrobe debate just yesterday...pantyhose or no pantyhose?

Be the Belle of the Bowl!

With Bowl season only weeks away, the only thing on my mind is what do I wear?!?! For me, attending a bowl game was always one of the only opportunities to be a spectator and dress like one! With seeing the brand and wearing it to work on a daily basis, the last thing I wanted to do was wear a large logo on my chest. There are different ways of showing your school spirit other than wearing the logo on every inch of your body right?? Why not take a spin on your bowl outfit this season and try something different. You know what everyone else will be wearing, so why not be different and stand out!

Lesson from Jackie O..... she once threw a cocktail party with a strict all black attire. The rules applied to everyone at the party but herself. Jackie shinned, literally, at the party in a green emerald sequin dress. There is your Jackie O nugget for the day.

Below are a few of my favorite bowltastic items. Now I may have been a little biased with the colors, but  you get the idea :)

Its never to late to add these to your Holiday list. Lets hope that you haven't been naughty this year....

I heart this Jcrew shirt and heart it even more with this puffer vest and pashmina .
Looking for the cherry on top? Try these vintage bangles

Want a more edgier look? Try this top from BCBG and pair it with these super comfortable Gap legging jeans.   Rebecca Minkoff is one of my favorite bag designers; this bag will fit your tickets, phone, camera and gloss! This necklace/bracelet, aka the transformer, is something you NEED.....nothing more to say.

Want something a little more classic? Wear this Tinley Road tunic with a pair of skinny jeans and these leg lengthening wedges by Report. I spotted this Juicy shoelace bracelet on the Upper East Side in called my name...I swear. 

Tis the season for sequins! I say have your Jackie O moment at the stadium.....why not! I know I said to steer away from wearing a logo, but Im going to make an exception for this darling cardigan. Try this sequin tank alone or pair it with a black blazer. Pull a reverse and try this sequin cardigan with a white tank underneath. 

Happy bowling and be sure to send your pictures to my twitter page...@mkSportsanista!  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ornamental Gameday Style

You can google "(fill in the blank with your favorite team) University Christmas ornaments" and get all kinds of choices.  You can run to a campus bookstore, downtown spirit store or even Wal-mart and find all kinds of ornaments rooting for your team.  But head on over to Etsy and you'll find ornaments that are unique.  Everyone should be cordially fighting over these at this season's ornament exchanges!

Click on each photo and it will take you right to the item on Etsy.

This is Ole Miss ornament is called a Pinecone ornament.  
Perhaps inspired by a pinecone found in the Grove?

My boys would love this ornament personalized with 
their favorite Falcons player, #56 Sean Weatherspoon...

For another Georgia team over in Athens...

What a neat jersey ornament!  Order it personalized for little and big guys.

Alabama residents will love these burlap cuties...

Some more burlap in orange...

And finally, a cute Anthropologie-esque felt ornament that shows your state pride...most sellers on Etsy will customize if you favor a state other than Minnesota...

Have a fun day!