Celebrate Every Day

Cherishing today & all the surprises it has waiting for you

10 tips for the workin’ travelin’ and cocktailin’ lady

 

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Business, bachelorettes, family and weddings have provided me the amazing opportunity to travel across the country over the past 2 months. I have had the honor of visiting and experiencing the culture, food and locals in NYC (twice over), LA, Philly and St. Augustine. After 8 weeks of being on the road, I am now best friends with JetBlue and can say I learned a lot about myself and the importance of embracing travel regardless of the challenges. Here are my top 10 tips for any workin’ travelin’ and cocktailin’ lady:

1. CHOOSE A GOOD HOME AWAY FROM HOME – Research and return to hotels you trust and love. They will make your trip more restful, efficient and simple. This goes hand and hand with #2

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Photos of the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and the Palomar Hotel in Philadelphia

2. BE A GRACIOUS HOTEL GUEST – Do not underestimate the power of being a gracious guest. Between free car service, the best table at the restaurant for a business meeting, late night toothpaste deliveries and a much needed hot chocolate after walking through the polar vortex this winter, words can not express my thanks to the assistance I received from my temporary homes these past few months. Thank you Kimpton Hotels, the SLS in Beverly Hills and Casa Monica in St. Augustine.

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Photos of the Casa Monica in St. Augustine and the Hot-chocolate station at Hotel Palomar in Philadelphia.

3. FOOTWEAR – Pack the right footwear for the city and weather patterns you are up against. For me this meant modeling serious water proof Sorel snow boots in New York, my gold, peep toe wedges in LA and my gladiator sandal’s in Florida. Choose footwear that is comfortable, versatile and chic. And remember your running sneakers for #5…

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4. HYDRATE & PILLOW-UP – For the plane, train, bus or car ride remember to pack items to help fight dehydration, germs and exhaustion. Fight dehyrdration with chapstick, mosturizer and a bottle of water. For germs, pack hand and face wipes. And for rest, definitely invest in one of those neck pillows – seriously my neck pillow changed my life!

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5. GET YOUR MOVE ON – Make time for exercise, even if it means walking to appointments in the city, taking an early morning run or hitting the hotel gym. It always keeps me calm and helps manage the inevitable stress that arrives when you realize your flight is delayed or you are lost in your rental car.

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6. SNAG SOME ZZZZ’s -  Ok so staying up late is sometimes the fun and necessary part of bachelorettes and wedding festivities, but with any other days in between try to get your beauty sleep.

7. PACK UP UR POWER BAG – Similar to #3, excellent and durable bags and purses are imperative to successful travel. Make sure you have one chic, structured handbag for meetings and to serve as you carry on. It needs to be a big enough to carry your labtop and InStyle Magazine but cute enough to take to lunch meetings. You also need at least one multi-purpose, cluth for evening events. The right bag can add all the confidence you need for a night out on the town or a power lunch.

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Photo of my power pink bag! Thank you Cole Haan :) 

8. COLLECT FOOD REC’s – Talk to locals about their choice of restaurants, bars and snack locations. This is how I came to love Laurel Hardware in West Hollywood, Nonna’s Pizza in lower east side and the Taco Shop on Saint George’s Avenue in St. Augustine – yum.

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 9. EMBRACE THE HERE & NOW- Whether you are traveling for work, family or friends remember to embrace the moments that make you smile and dedicate time to taking a breath. Remember it is ok to take 5-10 mins to enjoy the view from your run along the beach or from your hotel room in NYC.

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10. TOAST - There is always times to take a few minutes to toast to the good things in life. Toast to your friends, family or a job well done! It adds a little touch of celebration to any trip.

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With Travel and Celebration,
Rae
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Wood Floor Remix

GREAT NEWS! spring is on it’s way! BAD NEWS! it’s not coming fast enough. Recently, I have definitely had the “end of winter blues.” Since it’s still too cold to do any updating on the outside of the house, I have been super busy on the inside. One of the projects I did at the end of last month was an update on the wood floor in our hallway. I have to say, this is easily my favorite update thus far.

Ever since I could remember, I have always wanted a checkered floor. I don’t know what it is about them but I just absolutely love them. Pete has never been too thrilled about a checkered floor in a larger place such as our kitchen or laundry room. Trust me, I have tried, tried, and tried. Normally, I know exactly what I want and if I know it’s going to look good I will make the executive decision and just do it. But honestly, I wasn’t exactly sure and I didn’t want to spend the money on a new floor and not absolutely love it.

So I decided to change up our small area of hallway floor. And I was going to do it with paint I already had. And it was going to be a free update which us my favorite kind of update. And I was certain it was going to look GREAT. So I told Pete I was going to paint the floor and he nearly shi-….well, we can say he looked a little scared. But I reassured him it would be fine. With the help of Pat Benatar, everything would be fine.

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Wash the floor and gather your materials first. I decided to use a Pat Benatar record to trace because for my project a record was the perfect size. You will also need painters tape and paint (and paint brush, obviously.)

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Next, draw your lines with a pencil. When you get closer to the edges of the wall, a ruler or yardstick is super helpful to make sure your lines all match up and then you can take it right to the edge.

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Depending on how dark the flooring is, it might be helpful to take a little painters tape and mark the squares you will be painting. Trust me, when you only have pencil lines on the floor things look trickier than they are.

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Begin taping out your first square. Place the tape on the outside of the line. This may seem stupid to say but I’m telling you the pencil lines are a little confusing when you first start out.

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Begin painting! I had absolutely NO bleeding issues. I don’t know if it was because of the tape I used (it specifically said for use on wood floors) or if it was because of the painting technique I used. Either way, it could not have come out better.

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Remove your tape and look at a job well done! I only did one coat on each square because I would eventually be sanding it. Also, I taped out and painted 1 square at a time to ensure the best results. You can place the tape on the painted squares when they are dry to the touch (about 5 minutes.)

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I let the floor dry 100% overnight and then the next night I sanded the squares for a more worn look.

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All done! Now, I have the supplies to put a sealer coat on but I haven’t done that yet for 2 reasons. 1. I have three dogs and I don’t trust them or myself to make sure they don’t walk on the floor for 3 hours. 2. This paint has been on the floor for 3 weeks and I have had no issues with it. Although I want the worn look- the dogs nails haven’t even scratched it. It’s the best! Hope this inspires some if you to take a chance! Don’t be afraid, it’s just a little paint!

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Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

IMG_7097IMG_7096Since I’ve had kids, Valentine’s Day has gotten a lot more fun. I try to come up with creative ways to celebrate with them… but also fun crafts that they can make and share with family and friends. Last year,I shared with you our Handprint Valentines and Tissue Paper Hearts.

To get my son excited for Valentine’s Day, we usually make a special box to put his valentines in. Then I use the box for the rest of the year to store all the cards, notes, etc. that he gets from friends and family. A fun activity and a way for mom to keep some of the clutter around here organized;)

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As for presents, this is my favorite Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever received. Silas made this when he was 2. All you need is a toilet paper roll, pipe cleaners, glue, and construction paper. The wings are two hearts. You can either glue or staple the wings on to the TP roll. We chose to staple, since my son doesn’t typically like to wait for things to dry. For the antennae, we cut a pipe cleaner in half and attached with tape (again, no patience for glue). Then decorate to your heart’s content.

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This year, my son is 3, and we took on a slightly more complicated craft… but still one that could be done in 10 minutes or less. My son loves art but it has to be quick project to hold his attention. We made these candle holders with baby food jars, tissue paper and Mod Podge. My son painted the Mod Podge all over the jar, then he put/threw small pieces of tissue paper onto the jar. We let that dry. Then I went over the paper with another layer of Mod Podge. And voile, a beautiful valentine’s day present for grandparents, our nanny, and a keepsake for me, too:)

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Chocolate Chip Bacon Pancake Dippers. Yeah, they exist.

Here in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, we are experiencing a bit snow. It’s minor, really.

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That means, Pete and I are happily snowed in. While we have plenty to keep us busy, before we started any of that we had breakfast on our minds. For the last week I have been dreaming of this breakfast idea I saw on Pinterest. This was going to be the first thing I tackled today. Enjoy! No, seriously, enjoy this!

Chocolate Chip Bacon Pancake Dippers:

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I think baking the bacon in the oven is perfect for this purpose because they don’t curl and get all squiggly.

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Now, you want to pour some batter in a straight line, add a strip of bacon and press gently. Take your squeeze bottle and squeeze some on top. Now, in the recipe I found they didn’t add chocolate chips. I don’t know why, I think it was a huge oversight on their part. I would suggest putting just a few on top of the batter when you pour. You don’t need too many of them.

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great, now I’m hungry again.

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for the *love* of decorating

Quick Post! Today I decided to decorate for Valentine’s Day. I love Valentine’s Day and all it represents (and it’s not just because it’s also our address- but how cool is that?!) It’s a day devoted entirely for the sole purpose of showing ALL your loved ones how much they are loved (boyfriends, girlfriends, family, friends and yes….even dogs!) Since I had off from work today, it was decided I would use what I had in the house already and make some decorations. Quick updates and some switching around and a few hours later, and no money spent, I was finished. Enjoy! Happy decorating! And crafting! AND HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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Why Mason Jars and Nail Polish may be the perfect touch for your Superbowl Party Plan

Happy Superbowl Sunday 2014! In honor of Celebrate Everyday’s love for football, festive food and DIY flair, I thought I would combine a list of tips and unique sports themed party ideas I have seen pinned and posted about this year. I deem the following list simply fan-Superbowl-tastic!

MASON JARS - Check out these football glasses you can make with strategically placed white tape, mason jars and paper straws.

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BEER TASTING anyone?  For your beer connoisseurs try displaying a collection of stouts, ales and lagers for their enjoyment during every quarter of the game. On a budget? Check out Trader Joe’s or Wegmans for unique and well priced beers at grocery store prices.

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DESSERT and SNACK BUFFETS – Popcorn, baked potato, hot pretzel and chex mix bars all rank high on my fun activity meter.

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NON-FOOTBALL THEMED ACTIVITIES – Ok so maybe you and your friend’s aren’t big sports fans? Don’t let football come between you and an opportunity to connect with friends. You can play Superbowl commercial bingo or even do manicures in the colors of your new favorite team.

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HAVE FUN – Embrace the competitive spirit, toast to friends and family and have some fun tonight.

With Love and Celebration,

Rae

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Burlap Pennants

At Christmas, I made these really cute pennants.
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They adorned my windows all season and when it was time to take them down I was really bummed. Today, since I’m trying to remember what the house looked like before my fall and christmas decorations were up, I decided to make a burlap pennant for my fireplace. I had all the materials already so it was super easy and literally free. Just the way I like it.
Let’s begin!

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Trace and cut the triangles for your pennant out.

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Iron your pennant so it lays flat. I have read otherwise, but I use a bit of steam to do this. I think it works much better and way faster.

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Next up is the glue. You can use the no fray sewing glue, it works nicely. I couldn’t find mine so I used some all purpose clear glue and I had the same outcome. Just run it along the edges of the triangle. This just helps it to not unravel, gives it a nicer edge and will preserve it for much longer.

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While the glue dries, make your stencil. I used my cricut machine to do this because it’s so much faster and easier. You can always use the tried and true way with an xacto knife and a little patience as well.

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Lay the stencil on the pennant and position it where you want it. Sometimes I use a bit of spray glue on the paper before I lay it on the burlap. That way I don’t have to be so careful and worry about it slipping around. I couldn’t find that either today. so unprepared!

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Attach a strip of no sew hem to the top of the back of the pennant and ready your twine to start attaching them together. Bring the burlap with the hem strip up over the twine and prepare to iron them.

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Make sure the hem strip doesn’t touch the twine when you iron it so then the pennants can move freely.

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Afterwards, I had an empty frame lying around and decided to fill it with a piece of burlap. I decided to paint our lucky number on it and I couldn’t be more pleased with its simplicity!

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Hope this inspires you to create something you love!

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Cozy Comforts, Historical Charm, and Homemade Cookies

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Its official, I LOVE Bed and Breakfasts. 2 weeks ago, Kristian swept me away for a romantic birthday adventure. Our final destination? Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine. Its delightful attention to detail, festive decor and romantic suites provided me with all the reminders I needed to write this post…

Rae’s Top 10 Reasons Bed and Breakfasts are simply marvelous! 

1. EGGS AND HOMEMADE SCONES? Yes! Bed and Breakfasts almost always offer a hot breakfast. In Montreal, we stayed at Auberge Les Bons Matins and were spoiled with an amazing breakfast everyday during our city stay. You could even choose the way you preferred your eggs and cafe prepared daily.  And yes, the cappuccino was as good as it looks in the photo we snagged.

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2. COZY COMFORTS include fuzzy bathrobes, slippers  and super soft bedding. Perfect for afternoon napping!

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3. WARM COOKIES, TEA AND HOT CHOCOLATE  are almost always available throughout the day. Check out the festive tea and coffee spread at Captain Jefferds Inn.

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4. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION – You can find B&B’s everywhere… lakes, in bustling cities or in a quaint seaside town. The photos below are of Auberge Les Bons Matins in Montreal and one of our favs, the Boathouse Bed and Breakfast on Lake George in the Adirondacks.

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5. ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR - Crackling fireplaces and champagne, need I say more?

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6. SIT BACK AND RELAX – B&Bs offer that homey charm and hospitality that makes you feel welcome to kick your feet up, take advantage of their common lounge areas and curl up with your favorite book.

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7. HISTORICAL TALES – B&Bs almost always have a long history of architectural rehabilitation, love stories or captains lost at sea. Your Inn keepers are generally well versed in these stories and are more than happy to share the tale over a glass of wine during your stay. The photo below is of Emerson by the Sea in Rockport, MA and is one of those distinctive New England Inns filled with a rich and vibrant history.

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8. DOGS ARE WELCOME  - Ok so not in every case, but with a little online research I am sure you can find the perfect accommodation for you and your best friend. Upon arrival at Captain Jefferds Inn, Sadie was welcomed with a cookie, tennis ball and extra towels. That’s what I call Fido Friendly!

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9. BUDGET FRIENDLY –  B&Bs tend to be a budget friendly option when compared to hotels. Did I mention that breakfast is included? This means more $$$ for adventures like deep-sea fishing!

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10. PERSONAL ATTENTION – In most cases B&Bs only have 5-20 rooms available to rent, which means more personal attention for you. Plus, with less guest competition, you can always find the perfect place to sit and enjoy the sunset on site. Below, is a photo taken from the shore of the Boathouse B&B on Lake George.

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Here is a list of some of the best Bed & Breakfasts we have enjoyed and definitely recommend.

What are your favorite accommodations? If you are a fellow Bed and Breakfast fan, I would love to hear your recommendations?

With Cozy Comforts and Celebration, Rae

Remember to Like Celebrate Everyday on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for celebration tips & “joie de vivre”! 

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Bing and Muppet up the Holidays!

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For this special holiday post the Celebrate Everyday Team collaborated to bring you our favorite merry movies (no judgements please, hehehe) and the cocktails we thought would perfectly pair with our film choices. We are confident that your holiday needs will be met with one of our film/boozy combos. Enjoy!

CHRISTMAS CLASSY

If you are in mood for a good old-fashioned holiday classic, it is time for a little Bing Crosby in White Christmas and perhaps a touch of Miracle on 34th Street. Then be sure to toast to snow, sisters and Santa with White Christmas Dreams 

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 JINGLE AND LAUGHING ALL THE WAY

In the mood for a holiday chuckle? Check out Elf and Home Alone. If you and your friends don’t die from laughter or too much maple syrup, shake up Happy Elf Cocktails for everyone to enjoy.

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FEELING LIKE A KID AGAIN

If your are feeling nostaligic for your childhood?  Mix up Peppermint Egg Nog and watch the Night they Saved Christmas and The Christmas Story. The adventure and leg lamp memories will just coming rolling back.

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FESTIVE FAMILIAL FRENZY

Tackling challenging family dynamics and a wide spectrum of personalities this year? Warm up with National Lampoons Holiday Vacation, Four Christmases and The Muppet Family Christmas (my personal fav!). With a Merry Cranberry Margarita recipe and these films under your belt, you will be prepared for everything from fires, electrical black outs, jump jumps to slippery patches.

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SNOWFLAKES and SNUGGLING BY THE FIRE

If you want to spend the night snuggled by the fire with the kiddos, pop in the claymation version of Rudolph the Reindeer and Charlie Brown Christmas. For the kids, whip up some hot cocoa and for you definitely go for hot cocoa and Kahula. These films will warm the hearts of you and your kids.

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HEARTFELT HOLIDAY

If you are looking for some romance try Love Actually and The Family Man. Love will be in the air when you toast to your Christmas Valentine with Kir Royale’s.

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So now it’s time to hear from you! What are your favorite holiday movies? What cocktail would you pair with your films?

With Holiday Cheer and Celebration,

Rae

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Tailgating Wingding

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On November 3rd, Kristian, my dad and I had the honor and pleasure of joining the MacNeills for a tailgating wingding, followed by a lively Patriots-Steelers game in Foxborough. Season ticket holders, Matt & Anna, are die-hard Boston sports fans, which makes them natural pros at tailgating. We learned a thing or two and I thought I would pass on their priceless knowledge. Here we go…

1. Catch a ride with a friend who drives a truck big enough to transport all your tailgating gear, food, and fan supplies. Check out the MacNeill mobile. This Ford means serious football business!

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2. Dress with plenty of warm layers and showcase your team colors and/or jerseys with pride.

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3. Arrive early (preferably 4hrs before kick-off) to ensure that you snag a parking spot close to the stadium and in the middle of the action.

4. Upon arrival it is time to set-up camp :) Remember to pack your sport fans folding chairs, a tent in case of rain, an iPod for pre-game tunes, Tums for anticipated heart burn and hand sanitizer & toilet paper for your trips to the porta johns.

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5. Celebrate the pre-game with a Grill Master…and without further ado let me introduce you to our master, Matt

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7. Drink menus will vary tent-to-tent; bu for our bar we went with beer to wash down steak tips,  champagne to toast to family & friends, and Spiked Hot Apple Cider to kick the chill in the air.

8. Head to the stadium at least 30 minutes before kick-off. Security is tight and makes for a long line at the entrance. With the MacNeill’s help, we made it our seats in time for the national anthem and the coin toss.

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9. Conduct some quantitative research with fans or your host to understand the traffic patterns. This way you can make the most of your post game celebration and conclude the day without traffic on your drive home.

10. Most importantly, have fun, enjoy the time with your tailgating mates and embrace the competitive spirit!

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With Competition and Celebration,

Rae

Remember to Like Celebrate Everyday on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for celebration tips & “joie de vivre”! 

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