Tailgating Essentials and A Tailgate Checklist

Tailgating Essentials for the Big Game

This weekend will be busy for us. With Halloween on Friday and tailgating on Saturday, I need to be organized and ready for all of the activities. We have season tickets for UCLA football, so we go to all of the home games which are held at the Rose Bowl. Luckily, we typically have great weather for the games here in Southern California.

At the Rose Bowl, there are hundreds of people tailgating and the set ups are different, some more elaborate with others.

It is a great way to enjoy the day and gather with friends before the game. While we usually join others that set up the tailgate area, I made a helpful checklist for anyone who would like to host a tailgating event.


  • Folding tables and chairs
  • BBQ or grill (check with stadium rules)
  • BBQ supplies
  • Extension cord
  • Fire Extinguisher


  • Tongs, Skewers, Spatula
  • Ice Chest
  • Trash bags
  • Foil, baggies
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Cutting board
  • Tablecloth
  • Paper products
  • Disposable wipes, spray cleaner


  • Easy Appetizers
  • Main dish
  • Dessert
  • Water
  • Beer/Wine
  • Ice

Don’t forget to bring some sports equipment or games to play too! You also might want to check these fun products for yourself or for your tailgating host. I would like to thank Boom Box Network for sponsoring this post. This posts contains affiliate links.

  • SportBrellaThis portable umbrella sets up in seconds and protects your entire family from wind, rain, sand and in Southern California, the blazing sun. Order it online and pick it up at Walmart.
  • Tailgating CoolerAn ice chest, charcoal grill and all the utensils in one portable package. Shoulder strap or handles, you decide how to carry it, after you order it from Walmart.
  • LED LanternDon’t you love the retro look, but with the safety and brightness of LED lighting? Order it now from Best Buy.
  • BackPack Cooler ChairAll in one – your chair, your cooler, and your hands are free! Pick this up at JCPenney.
  • Football Blanket – Sitting on the bleachers is always better with one of these wool blankets over your legs. Online at Best Buy.
  • Grill LightIt always gets dark before you know it. Clip this almost anywhere and the flexible neck lets you point it where you need it. Buy it at JCPenney.
  • Weather Resistant Outdoor SpeakerGet the sound to everyone with this large speaker that can be placed horizontally or vertically and keep going for 6 hours. You can find this at Best Buy.
  • The Picnic PackEnough for snack time for the whole team and the coaches. 16 Burgers and 16 Franks, all gourmet. Order it from Omaha Steaks and keep it in the freezer until you need them.
  • Football ClawNow there’s the perfect place to keep that Game Ball – on the wall! Order it now so it’s ready when you need it, at The Container Store.

Then you are ready to enjoy the game!

Have you been to a tailgating party? For what team?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . This post contains affiliate links.





Last Minute Halloween Party Ideas


Do you like Halloween parties?  Our neighborhood is always buzzing on Halloween am I am really glad that it lands on a Friday this year. Have you thought about having a little Halloween party for kids and grownups? Even though Halloween is in a couple of days, I have a few suggestions of last minute Halloween party ideas, that require just a tiny bit of effort, and not a lot of time, if you dare…

Simple Decor Ideas

Pick up some styrofoam from pumpkins at the dollar store.


Paint them with spray paint or decorate them with Sharpie markers like I did here.

You can also do a 5 minute decoration for your entry. Decorate your front door with a monster to welcome guests. You can make a real simple decoration with some paper plates. Draw big eyes on two paper plates,


and decorative tape and make a monster door.


And don’t forget those bottle printables from last week. You can find them here.


Simple Party Activities

Grab some Halloween Photo Booth props from One Creative Mommy – she has a free printable for you.
Have a pumpkin decorating contest – one for kids and another for adults
Have a Horror Movie Trivia Contest for the adults while the kids trick or treat
Have a costume contest -with 2 prizes, one for adults, another for kids. Have a basket to collect ballots.

Simple Menu Ideas

Need A Last Minute Costume?

And finally, if you need some last-minute Halloween costume ideas, there are some here. There you go! You are all set for a  fun Halloween Party. Before you go, tell me if you were coming to my Halloween party, what would your costume be?

Spooky Sour Fuzzy Navel


This year Halloween falls on a Friday which means it’s a good opportunity to throw a Halloween party. Not just for the kids, but for the adults too.

You can host a fun party for the adults while the kids play games or watch a movie. Halloween can be a family affair and you can encourage grownups to dress up and offer a prize for the best costumed adult.  In recent years I have gone to Halloween parties as a race car driver, a cheerleader, and little red riding hood.

There’s just something fun about getting dressed and playing a character for the evening. So today I share with you A fun cocktail recipe to offer your adult guests.
Disclosure: I received compensation and/or product for review and testing. All thoughts/opinions are my own. This recipe is intended for individuals of legal drinking age.

This drink is made using Smirnoff® Sour Fruit Punch. If you haven’t seen these, they’re pretty cool the bottles appears neon under a black light, and it honestly taste like fruit punch with a little hint of sour. Note, this is not with a black light, but the bottle still looks really cool.




I made a version of a Screwdriver by using the Smirnoff® Sour Fruit Pumch and some orange juice and blood oranges. Smirnoff Sours Fruit Punch combines Smirnoff No. 21 triple distilled vodka with the tart taste of cherry and berries. So when you taste it, it makes a nice fruity and tangy cocktail.

I like to think of it as a Vampire Steak Driver. Get it? No, I think it is better to think of it as Fuzzy Sour Bloody Navel.

To see more about the Smirnoff Sour Line of beverages, check out the Smirnoff Website (must be 21 to enter). The sours come in Fruit Punch, Green Apple and Watermelon.

Fuzzy Sour Bloody Navel

1 ounce Smirnoff®  Sour Fruit Punch

2 ounces orange juice

blood orange slice


Fill glass with ice. Pour Smirnoff Sour Fruit Punch. Add orange juice. Add a twist of blood orange and float a slice in glass. Stir gently.

Cheers! Enjoy and remember to always drink responsibly.




Whe is the last time you dressed up for a Halloween party and what did you go as?


Sweet Baked Butternut Squash


One of the things I love about fall is the abundance of apples, pumpkins and squash at the farmers markets and grocery stores. There is something so comforting about cooking and baking with these ingredients that make the season special. Some of my favorite recipes this time of year are Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies and Pumpkin Pepper Soup.

I found a great deal on squash at the market, so I made Sweet Baked Butternut Squash in the oven the other evening. Butternut squash is different from the summer squash because of its hard skin and pumpkin-like features. I like it because I find it heartier than say, zucchini or yellow squash. It is a little trick to cut, so be careful when cutting it up. I do not peel my squash when baking in the oven, but you can if you prefer.

This is a super simple recipe that can be built upon, but sometimes I love the simplicity of just being able to enjoy its natural flavor.



Sweet Baked Butternut Squash

1 butternut squash

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup brown sugar

pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 400 °.

Wash the exterior of the squash and pat dry. Even if you are going to only eat the interior, you always want to wash them to avoid contamination with a knife.

Cut off ends fo the squash. If desired, peel the squash with a potato peeler.

Cut squash in half and remove seeds.



Cut squash into cubes (about 1 – 1 1/2″) and place into a casserole dish or baking pan.

In a cup or bowl, mix butter and sugar together, then pour over cubes and toss to coat.



Bake in oven 20  minutes.  Stir squash and bake an additional 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve. Serves 4.




What is your favorite fruit of the season?








Scary Bottle Labels Free Printable


This weekend I had some extra crafting time because my husband was out of town. I don’t know about you, but when I sit down to do crafts I need several hours at a time because I like to spread  all my supplies out in front of me. I like to see all the supplies so that I can start playing with stuff and deciding what I want to make.

When the kids were younger, I used to meet with some other moms and we would scrapbook and rubber stamp for hours. I miss having that crafting time. I don’t scrapbook so much anymore, but I still enjoy making crafts, especially ones that are used to decorate for the season.

I wanted to finish the Halloween decorating this week, so I decided to make some scary labels for some extra empty bottles I had in my recycle bin.

Free Scary Bottle Labels for Halloween

 Scary bottles

These were my supplies.

Crafting supplies
I ended up using a barbecue bottle, a mason jar, and a spirits bottle. I washed the bottles and dried them and took off the expiration dates that were stamped on them by gently rubbing them off with an emery board. I made some scary bottle labels using PicMonkey and attached them to the clean and empty bottles with Mod Podge.
They really helped me set a spooky scene in our living room. On Halloween, I will fill the bottles with some colored water for added effect. In case you aren’t done with your decorating I have attached the principal for you to download below.
You can also print these out on sticker paper and attach them to bottles of soda or mixers for a Halloween party.
Download the printable => Scary Bottle Labels.
Do you love crafting like I do? What’s your favorite craft time activity?
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