Hospitality, that’s our name and that’s been our game A LOT here lately! Evan and I hosted another party this past weekend. This time it was for our good friends, Anna Claire and Justin. We knew they had already been given a lot of other showers with gifts, so a few of us got together and decided on a, “Stock the Bar Party.” We are all looking forward to their big day in December!
As I have mentioned before, Evan and I love to host friends and family in our home. A couple of weekends ago was no different. Evan and I hosted a 30th Birthday Party for our good friend, Jenn. We planned it around the Tennessee/Georgia football game. It was a beautiful afternoon for a small get together.
It’s still so hot here in the south, so I could not make myself put on my jeans. My favorite gingham skort from American Threads saved the day. Also, these platforms have been my go to shoe ALL summer, as I am sure you can tell. I wear them constantly!
Our back patio is the perfect spot to watch football with friends. We have enjoyed this space so much. I have managed to keep my big Kimberly fern alive all summer long and lots of potted flowers as well. (patting myself on the back) They really make the space more “home-y”, along with the mad mats!
Patio Furniture: Best Choice Products
We had quite the spread for the party on my island. Jenn’s favorite is the ever famous sausage and cheese plate, so that was a must have. I cannot forget the wickles pickles to go with it. If you haven’t tried those you are seriously missing out! I have recently started making spinach artichoke dip for all occasions and it has been a hit each time!
- Wings; Mild and Hot
- Spinach Artichoke Dip and Pita Chips
- Salsa and Chips
- Captain Rodney’s Dip and Crackers
- Sausage, Cheese, Peppers, Wickles Pickles
- Birthday Cake
A good friend of mine from High School, Caitlin Pemberton, made the cake. She did a fabulous job and it tasted so good. Send me a message for her contact information.
Jenn is my very best friend and I would do anything to make her birthday a happy one! Fun was had by all even though our poor football team let us down once again. Our husbands turn 30 in May and we are looking forward to throwing them a fun joint birthday party.
Tennessee, what a love hate relationship we have! The last several years have been tough for Tennessee fans to say the least. My family and I are not fair weather fans though. We have endured the good and the bad together. This weekend was just a prime example of the BAD. The VERY BAD.
The Tennessee/Florida game has become a traditional game to attend in Knoxville ever since my brother started dating (and eventually marrying) a Gator (Melissa). It has also become a tradition to eat dinner together, on the Friday night preceding the game at The Chop House, in West Knoxville. We enjoyed our dinner Friday night, as always, and ended up meeting friends downtown afterwards. We met our Covington crew for libations in Market Square at Scruffy City Hall. If you ever make it to Knoxville, I highly recommend checking out the Market Square area. There are so many awesome restaurants and bars in downtown Knoxville!
When we go to Knoxville, we make a special trip to see Evan’s Granny. Since it was a late game this year, it gave us plenty of time to go visit with her Saturday morning. She had all three of her Covington grandkids in town, and you could tell how much that meant to her. We enjoyed sharing pictures and updating her on our busy lives.
My dad has owned season tickets and a parking pass for as long as I can remember. If you know us, you know this already, but my dad always parks in the same spot in the parking lot. Most years that’s true, but sometimes someone beats us to the spot. It makes it easier for people to find us when we park in the same spot year after year. This year someone beat us there, so we just parked a few spots away.
Tailgating in the south is pretty much an all day affair. We typically start the tailgate 4-5 hours before game time and sometimes stay for a while after the game too, waiting on the traffic to die down. Some of us just enjoy socializing and grazing over the food table, while others make a trip to the book store or Vol Walk.
Believe it or not, the McGowan tailgate started out pretty small. In the early years, my parents would just bring a bucket of chicken and subs from a local sandwich shop. It has grown so much over the years. We always start our tailgate with the basics, but friends always end up bringing extra appetizers, so we have more than enough for everyone who stops by.
- Grill (and grilling essentials such as utensils, tinfoil, lighters, charcoal, etc.)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Trash bags
- Sternos to keep your food warm
- Plates, Napkins/paper towels, Cups, Plastic Silverware
- Plenty of Ice
- Grilled Burgers and Balogna*
- Hummus and Vegetables
- Spinach Artichoke Dip and Pita Chips
- Cheese Ball shaped as a Power T garnished with Grapes and Wheat Thins*
- Captain Rodney’s Dip*
- Tennessee Checkerboard Rice Krispies
- A variety of cookies; including Melissa’s homemade decorated cookies
- A variety of drinks and water
*McGowan tailgate staple
Although the actual game was awful, we still had a great weekend with family and friends! Will we be going back this year? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be back next year! #VFL
Let me know if you are interested in buying tickets to any upcoming home games!