Monday, September 30, 2013

Bama and Babies

I think I'm getting really old. Like, I can't hang any more. How do I know this? Well, we went out with friends in Birmingham on Friday night, got home at midnight, then went to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, watched the Tide shut out Ole Miss, got home at midnight, and then after church on Sunday went to Huntsville to see the newest additions to the Puckett family. I AM EXHAUSTED. It's 8:35pm as I write this and I'm forcing my eyes to stay open. Last week on Sunday I took a 2 hour nap and I promise you that jacked my sleep up for the entire week, so I tried really hard not to sleep on the ride home this afternoon (Forrest was driving, obviously) and then I made myself run as soon as we got home because I knew if I stayed in the house I would succumb to the siren song of my fluffy bed. Hopefully I will bounce back to life with a little weekly routine in my life--we'll see. Anyway, here are some pics of the past few crazy days for your viewing enjoyment:

First off, this guy:  photo null_zps970d6de4.jpg

I really don't know where to start with him. I mean, I guess I give him an A for sentiment and effort, but I mean, he had to have this made. The University licensing office clearly doesn't know about this shirt. Don't even get me started on the mullet. It should win prizes!!
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There is nothing like Bryant Denny Stadium at night. The air is crisp but not cold and the atmosphere is electric (especially when we are winning). To me, it's quite the lovely sight. This is the band ending their 007 half time show, which I was in love with. After the standard James Bond tunes, they end with "Nobody Does it Better" (OMG don't you LOVE Carly Simon!) and mash it up with our fight song as they run flags with our 15 National Championship years on them.
"Nobody dooooooooeeeeeeesssss it better....makes me feel sad for the rest (not really). Nobody does it......HALF as good as youuuuuuuuuuu, BAMA you're the best!!"
(for now anyway--offensive line, let's get into gear, ok??)

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I mean look at these cutie pies!!! The highlight of the weekend definitely was getting to meet the Puckett twins on Sunday. Little Miss Raegan was quite the cuddle bug and Forrest bonded with Mr. Grayson. The Pucketts are such a darling family and some of our very best friends. I just hate they are so far away and that I can't hold these little ones every day! You can keep up with them on Lauren's blog HERE!

 Ok friends, as I said I'm zonked so I'm going to hit the hay (maybe after some Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making the Team). Hope your weekends were great!!

Sami's Shenanigans
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Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm Loving It

So I saw that Sarah did an adorable "What's in My Bag" post and I totally fell in love with the idea, so that is what I'm loving this week! Show off all of my junk and neurosis? Sign me up! I even scheduled a day for it in my handy planner! Then last week, I was unloading tons of stuff out of it and I thought "well now wait a minute, let's get evidence of this". This was probably one of the "bad days" in my purse. Welcome to my world!!

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Meet said bag. I love it. It's giant and it has tons of pockets inside. I also wanted you to see that I sit in a real grown up lawyer's chair at work.

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Enter the madness:

1. Planner--without this I would be so lost.
2. New visor I ordered from Sweet Tea Stitches that came in that day! I feel like if I put things in my purse they will annoy me and I will take them out. Sometimes I do it, other times I end up carrying visors around on rainy days.
3. 10 lipsticks/glosses/chapsticks. You just never know when you will need a different color! (more than half the time, I'm not wearing lipstick at all)
4. Checkbook in basic cover the bank gives you--because I'm cheap like that.
5. Vera Bradley wallet thing with key chain. It doesn't hold my keys, but it doesn't my 8 million discount cards together. I never carry cash so I only need this to hold my cards.
6. Eleventy hundred receipts, business cards, expired coupons, empty envelopes
7. 2 nail files, one that doubles as a lint brush (I usually have a full sized lent roller in there, but that day it was on my desk)
8. Gum--I always have to have gum
9. Sunglasses in the case. So help me, I will never put those babies in my bag minus case. They wouldn't make it.
10. Roll of mailing tape (to hang posters at my Service Guild meeting)
11. Clinique powder compact--been using this since I started wearing make up--sometimes you need a touch up
12. Phone (ok, its just the case because I took the pic with my phone)
13. Ear buds for running
14. Giant bottle of hand sanitizer
15. Baby powder--this is a left over from when I went to the football game in Texas. It was HOT
16. WalMart gift card I forgot I had
17. President's gavel for Service Guild
18. Rebate coupon for marshmallow vodka I bought that day to go in a liquor cart for a fundraiser. Yes, the giant bottle of vodka spent a little time in the bag that day as well
19. Preview Party tickets for our Service Guild rummage sale (any one want to buy one? They are $10)
20. Compact hair brush you get in your Clinique free gifts--say what you will but I love this brush
21. 2 half empty lotions
22. Random clothes pin (no idea)
23. Clean and Clear oil absorbing sheets (because sometimes you get shiny in the South)
24. Scissors, to cut the tape (see number 10)--obviously this bag would not make it onto a plane in it's current condition
25. Old lady pill box full of Advil (a bottle rattles--this keeps them flat and quiet)
26. Car keys (duh)
27. 2 free Chick fil A breakfast coupons I got at the first Alabama game this that expire next week
28. My business card holder
29. 8 pens and a highlighter, because you just might need that may pens all at once

I might should be shamed by all of this nonsense, but really, I feel like I have just about any situation covered with such a variety of items in my bag and on me at all times!!

Do you have any similar crazy things in your purse? What items do you carry always that you couldn't live without???
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chai Not?

My friend Dory from Shop at Home is back with a great recipe for Chai! Hope you enjoy!!

When I think of autumn, I think of hot, sweet chai.

Chai, as we know it now, started picking up tea drinking stragglers several years back with the introduction of prepackaged aromatic mixtures. One sniff of the open box and we were all on our way to enlightenment. And you know how it goes with those gateway sniffs – the next thing you know, you're boiling water and setting up a teapot -- preferably something you bought in a specialty store where things like tea balls and rock sugar are objects of worship. This hot treat became a mass market hit in no time at all.

To get yourself a nice cuppa chai these days, you don't have to go too far: For home preparation, any supermarket will do for the teabags, and your neighborhood Starbucks will be all too happy to prepare a steaming hot cup for you while you wait.

But let’s just assume for a moment that chai can be even more scrumptious than you thought possible -- if you make it yourself. Now, I don't mean you have to pick the tealeaves and harvest the spices on your own -- but with the tiniest amount of effort, you really can surpass the commercial brands in flavor.

I lived in an ashram for 15 years, and every morning we had to prepare the chai for the entire community. What we did for a large group of people can easily be adjusted for one or two sippers. I prefer to use a French press for the steeping of the ingredients, but a regular teapot with a filter will do just fine.

All you need are these ingredients to make one nice pot of tea for two:

·         1 heaping tablespoon loose Earl Grey tea
·         1 heaping tablespoon loose English Breakfast tea
·         5 green cardamom seeds, cracked open (you can do this with the underside of a spoon against your counter)
·         5 cloves
·         1 stick of cinnamon
·         1-2 slices of fresh ginger (cut from bark, with skin)
·         Milk or creamer to taste
·         Sugar, if you like it sweet (I like it very sweet!)

Put your tea and spices into your French press or teapot and boil enough water to fill. Let your tea/spice mixture steep with the lid on for about three minutes. Press or filter the tea and pour into cups. Add milk and sugar to taste.

That's all!

What makes this particular blend so super special is the fresh gincer. Don’t even go near powdered ginger for this. On a chilly fall morning -- or afternoon – or evening -- this chai, straight from the ashram to you, will warm you up and put a smile on your face.

Lotus position not necessary.

Thanks for stopping by Dory!!
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013


A super huge "THANK YOU" to my sponsors for September! I hope that you have taken the time to get to know each one of them! They have graciously agreed to host a giveaway for you, the Bailey Dailies faithful! We have lots of ad space for you to win, so enter as often as you can! If you are interested in sponsoring Bailey Dailies for October, I still have some spots available. Check out the sponsor tab above and email me to get started! I can't wait to have you as a part of my blog!

 Ok, now let's get to the good stuff:

The lovely Tayler at Our Fairy Tale is giving away a Large Ad on her blog

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 The beautiful Sarah at To Be Mrs. Collier is giving away a Sponsor Spotlight

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The amazing  Kenya of My Pending Life is also giving away a Sponsor Spotlight
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and I am giving away a Flavor of the Month ad!
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That's TONS of free ad space, if you were doing the math! :)

Happy entering!!!!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thoughts on the Emmys

I love award shows. I really do. The glitz and glamour, the celebrities, the clothes, the dance numbers, the witty banter, I love it all. I don't mind that they last 3 hours or honor shows/movies/people I have never heard of before. I guess you could say they are my guilty pleasure, although, I really don' feel that guilty about watching them.
The Sunday of the Emmys, we were at my parents' house for dinner as usual. After dinner we were all watching this football recap show and it went off so I switched over to the Emmys. I had it recording at home but there was no reason to waste time, you know? My mom kind of groaned and said something like she couldn't believe I watched this kind of stuff. REALLY? Why not? It's not as if I'm watching murders or anything!! All she meant was that she thought it was a lot of fuss to watch celebrities give themselves award for going their jobs. Weeeeeeellllll, I guess she has a point there. I mean, it's not as if they were awarding themselves for curing cancer or giving lots of money to charity or anything, it was just for acting. So, my brain decided to dwell on this topic way into the night, long after the Emmys were over and after I mourned the fact that none of my shows won anything major (HELLO--Mr. Carson was actually AT the Emmys and did you see Don Draper's beard? It deserved an Emmy itself). I am now feeling the need to share my thoughts with you, my blog friends. Let me know what you think.
Ok, so yes, acting is not that "important" in the eyes of jobs. Again, no curing of caner, humanitarian efforts (although many do that outside of their jobs), saving of children, etc. But to me, the "product" they create is SUPER important, at least in my life. I am not one of those people who watches tv all the time. Some nights we don't even have time to turn the TV on! However, sometimes I really NEED tv. I need something mindless, cheerful, and simple to do to take my mind off of my day. The entertainment provided by tv to me is invaluable. Don't you just need to chill out and destress sometimes? I love nothing more than checking out for a while on a Sunday afternoon and watching a comedy or getting into some drama, or even watching a reality show. To me, that kind of rest and relaxation is important, and so I thank those that are able to put it all together for me into a nice, hour long package of tv. Maybe I could take a walk or read a book, but sometimes you just need to watch tv!
As for the awards, yes, maybe it is silly that there are so many awards for actors but let's face it--people watch them. The Emmys and Oscars, etc, bring in so much money I totally understand why the networks, academies, etc put them on. Plus, lots of people out there are like me--star struck. We love seeing the celebrities dressed in their finest. We love seeing who arrives with whom. We get sucked into that Hollywood glamour and we can't get enough! Why not cash in on people like me?

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There isn't anything wrong with seeing Bradley in a tux a few times in a year, is there??

Overall, I came to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with actors giving themselves awards because it makes people happy and that is a good thing. They put forth their talents and art for us to enjoy each and every day and I for one am grateful!
What do you think? Do you like the awards shows? Do you think they are silly? What is your favorite part of the shows?
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Happiness is....

Sleeping fur babies....

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A magical evening with some of our favorite friends, topped off with Bourbon lollipops
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Game days reunions...
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Tuscaloosa sunsets...
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and more sunsets..
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More sunsets
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Sami's Shenanigans

Happy Monday friends!!!
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Best recipe ever!!

Welcome to this (RE-VAMPED) edition of....

Mouthwatering Mondays

I along with a couple other ladies have joined forces to bring you this exciting weekly linkup. Every week we will have a theme to follow. The schedule for the coming weeks will be posted at the bottom of the linkup so you can plan out your posts in advance. Find your favorite recipes to go along with the theme and be sure to take lots of pictures!!

There are only a couple rules to play by!

1. Follow all your beautiful Hosts!

Image Map

The Campbells

Babies, Bosses, & Boyfriends

Lost In Boston
Spatulas on Parade

The Semler Life

Bailey Dailies


2. Grab a button, place it on your blog, and link up your post for your favorite recipe following the weekly theme!
Mouthwatering Mondays

3. Check out some of the other fantastic links & Have a blast!

And it is as easy as that! So get your favorite recipe book out and practice up! NO strings attached just a fun and friendly weekly linkup for working moms, single moms, Stay at home moms, housewives, young married couples, or even the single lady looking for a great idea!!

The schedule for the coming weeks:

September 16: Favorite Fall Recipe
September 23: Favorite Recipe EVER
September 30: Favorite Beverage (ex: coffee, tea, adult beverage, punch, etc..)

 Link up your recipe below!!
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Friday, September 20, 2013

I'm Loving It!

I'm not sure how we did it, but we made it to Friday. Now that football season has started, I'm perpetually tired and perpetually behind, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

This week, other than sleep and catching up on my life in general, there was a LOT to love!

Fur Babies

I always miss our pets while we are away. Something about not being covered in pet hair makes me sad! Ok, totally just kidding. But I did miss these love bugs while we were in Texas last weekend!

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How could you not miss these sweet faces?


I was beyond thrilled when I was chosen to receive an Influenster VoxBox! I felt like I had won the lottery! I was even more excited when I found out my freebie was cheese! Yes--cheese!! In our boxes we got a coupon for a free pack of Sargento cheese sticks, another $1 off coupon, and a little cheese stick cooler (which you know I love because I'm always afraid of food poisoning myself, although, I don't think you can do that with cheese sticks very easily). When I found out I had high cholesterol, I told the doctor I could give up whatever food he told me to, except cheese. I love cheese on everything and I even eat a cheese stick with my apple every day at work. Clearly, it was the perfect VoxBox for me! Sargento's cheese snacks are really yummy AND they come in a variety of flavors. My favorite is the sharp cheddar but I also got a cheddar and mozzarella swirled one! They even make pepper jack, which is Forrest's favorite. I really hope you check them out. Yes, they gave me free cheese, but I'd tell you to do it anyway!

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Wild Kingdom

So apparently we live right out in the wilderness. I'm sure you've seen me posting about our neighborhood turkeys (Aladdin and Gabriel), and then there was the honey badger (aka beaver) at Farrah's last week, and then this week Forrest and I saw and owl in our back yard! We have known he lived there but were lucky enough to be able to spot him on Wednesday night. He was really beautiful and HUGE!!

 photo null_zpsf6184232.jpg  photo null_zps264de0ca.jpg      One of the turkeys                                                       Honey Badger/Beaver
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Look at him! Isn't he (or she I guess) lovely?!!

Tailgate Food

Fall equals tailgate food--plain and simple! I love love love tailgate food--it's small, it's usually cheesy, I can pick at it all day long. Today I am honored to be posting about my favorite tailgate foods to bring to the games on Alabama Women Bloggers! I'm giving away my recipes for my favorite tailgate snacks, desserts, and drinks! Please go check it out and show them some love! I also am going to be their featured blogger for October! Yipee!!

Hope all of you lovelies have a fun weekend ahead! Catch ya back here on Monday!! 
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

How to do a football road trip up right (and cheap)

I must admit we have taken some fantastic road game trips over the past several years. I absolutely love going to away games--they are a great excuse to travel, explore new places, and of course, see your team in a different venue. However, this kind of travel can get really expensive. You're talking about hotel, food, travel expenses like gas (and snacks of course), and of course your football ticket. In order to be able to travel as much as we do, Forrest and I pride ourselves on traveling frugally but traveling well. I will not stay in a sketchy hotel just because it is the cheapest, and I want to eat something local instead of fast food if possible, but I will sit in the top row of the stadium (heck, I'll man that camera that flies above the field if it's the only way in). Here are my suggestions for planning an epic, yet cost efficient road game trip.

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Plan early, plan smart
You are not going to have a cheap weekend if you wait until the last second to plan (usually). After the season ends, we typically start looking at the next season's schedule and start planning out which road trips we want to take. Right now, we are focusing on visiting different schools so we feel like we aren't paying money to go places we have already been 100 times. Sometimes I feel like if we make it out of the game with a win, I can be happy to never return. If we lose, I have to go back until we win again. That's crazy--I know. Ignore that. BUT--knowing in advance where you are going helps you save AND get the best deals on hotels, flights, etc. Start checking travel sites early on, and even sign up for Groupon in your destination. It's a great way to find fun activities to do for cheap!

Last year when we went to Tennessee for the weekend, I got a fantastic deal on horseback riding through Groupon. 

Be Flexible
The key to being cost effective is being flexible. When we went to the National Championship game, we left at 10:30pm out of Atlanta (which is 2 hours away from where I live) to fly into Miami and then we had to drive to Tampa to fly home. Why? Well if we did round trip from ATL to Miami, it was $1000 a person. Our way was only $300 a person. You are welcome, bank account. I really wanted to go but I did NOT want to spend a ton of money, and this helped immensely. (I know that doesn't count as a road trip but once we got there we definitely road tripped around Florida.) I could also call this section: "Don't be snooty". My dad is a snooty traveler. He wants everything to be quick and easy and doesn't care if that way is the most expensive way. As a cheap person, I will bend over backwards to get the best price. Of course, it has to really be worth it, like this cost reduction was. I wouldn't drive to Tampa (like a 3 or 4 hour drive from Miami) for $50 in savings--but I would for $700. If you are flying, look for flights in and out of different airports, or flights that go to an airport near but not at your destination. When it comes to hotels, we almost always Priceline them. If we fly, we choose one close to the airport because they are cheaper one on the way to the game but not in the college town, because those are always really expensive. Our motto usually is that it is cheaper to rent a rental car than it is to stay by the stadium, so we go that route.Also to make sure to check out hotel special rates. Sometimes military, government workers, or teachers get reduced rates so make sure to check. Also, if you followed the first suggestion and planned early, you might be able to find a weekend stay for cheap on Groupon or Living Social Escapes

Ask someone who has been there before
This goes without saying, but I'm going to say it. Sometimes, there is really nothing to do in college towns other than going to bars. Make sure to ask someone who lives there, went to school there, or goes to games there about where to eat, what to do, and what not to do. Then you will know how best to spend your time and money. Also, consult the Trip Adviser app and read reviews. They really are helpful. You are also going to need to know where to park at the stadium and how much it is, if there is food available near or on campus, etc.

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I asked my friend Carla about where to eat in Key West (when we road tripped from Miami before the National Championship) and she said Paseo, without a doubt. Turns out, Trip Adviser had it listed as the number 1 restaurant. It was some of the best food I have ever eaten, hands down.
I went on Pinterest and searched Key West and found Better than Sex restaurant. A highlight of the weekend!

Ticket reality--cost and not panicking
Ok, let's face facts. Not all games are created equal. You need to have a little sit down with yourself about the reality of the price of tickets and decide what amount you are willing to spend. When we went to the Alabama v. Duke game, we bought tickets early for face value, and when we got there, people were literally giving them away. That was not smart. We should have waited and gotten them there, because that was not a big game. I'm a big supporter of buying your tickets at the stadium. You have to be patient and willing to miss the first part of the game, but you will typically get them. I've found it's best to try to find them sans husband/boyfriend and while wearing a cute game day dress and a perky smile. (Not kidding). You also need to know the face value cost of the tickets. If you are willing to spend $100 each on ticket and they in fact ARE $100, you are going to have to be much more patient. Our tickets to the national champtionship game were something like $375 face value. For that game, you aren't getting them less than face, I'm sorry to tell you. If face is too high for a big game, then cut your losses and throw a big party at your house. BUT, if you are willing to pay at least face value for a big game ticket, I would recommend waiting until you get to the game to buy them (although maybe not at the championship--I've never tried that. My sister got handed some for free in Miami, but she is Miss Alabama USA). I got 4 tickets at face value right before kick off to a Bama v. LSU game in Baton Rouge. I had to sit with LSU fans (and was cussed out by an LSU cheerleader) but I was in. This again is when it helps to be flexible.
Also, literally tell everyone you know that you are going to the game and need tickets. I send out texts and facebook messages like a psycho when I don't have tickets to the game. You never know who will have some they are willing to unload for a reasonable price. That's how we got our National Championship tickets--otherwise, we wouldn't have been able to go.

While trying to get tickets to the Florida game in Gainesville, Farrah and I ran into Paul Finebaum!

Ya Gotta Eat
You are going to spend money on food when you travel--plain and simple. For a car trip, we like to pack a cooler of drinks and then have a snack bag so we don't have to keep stopping and purchasing expensive snacks on the road. Yes, this takes up room in the car but yes, it is worth it. The game time usually determines when and where we eat. We have a tradition at eating at Outback at some point before an away game because we think it brings us good luck (sorry team in 2010 at LSU--we failed you). We did that because we were on the road and wanted to eat something sit down but that we knew we would like and that was right on the interstate. If we arrive at our destination at dinner time, we will eat somewhere fun and local for dinner and then squeeze in Outback for lunch. Or maybe we will eat somewhere fun for brunch. Basically, we plan around the game, making sure to get a nice local meal in there somewhere if possible, and of course, good luck Outback (when we went to the Championship and I got the stomach virus, Farrah brought me a loaf of that really good brown Outback bread to pick at so as to not mess with fate). We always look restaurants up on Trip Advisor so we can pick the best one for the best price.
About to enjoy dinner at Ralph's on the Park in New Orleans

Maximize your time--and savings
Typically, you aren't going to have a lot of time in a city when you are there for a game. We try to miss as little work as possible, so we leave as late as we can on Friday, and we hate getting home late (although we will, if it is the cheapest flight) so we try to leave as early as possible on Sunday. If we are driving, we are looking usually at a full day of driving on both Friday and Sunday, leaving only Saturday for exploring the city AND going to the game. When you are driving, plan your route so you can stop and eat something good in a city you have never been to. Or, leave an extra hour earlier so you can eat somewhere nice and local where ever you are going. Check out the events calendars of the places you are going to see if there is a fun festival or something the night you arrive, and make sure you leave early enough to attend. I figure if you are going to miss a whole day of work, you may as well leave early enough to enjoy it (of course, I never drive--I just sleep the whole way there). Also, try to stay somewhere fun NEAR the game site instead of AT it. When we went to Baton Rouge, we stayed in New Orleans. For Tennessee, we always stay in Gatlinburg, and I'm sure by now you all know we went to Key West before we ended up in Miami. We like to use our game traveling as a way to see other parts of the country. To me, that makes the cost doubly worth it.
If the game is close and the game kicks off later in the day, drive over the morning of the game. You are going to save a night in the hotel and a night of food on the road.

Similarly minded friends
This is probably the most important thing on this list--do not travel with people who cannot roll with your travel style. We are truly blessed to travel with the Hayes because we share the same travel style--frugal and fun. A frugal traveler cannot travel as well and efficiently as a "snooty" traveler. Try to travel with people who are not just your friends that cheer for the same team, but can have fun in the same ways. This may sound silly but to me, it's huge. When we travel with the Hayes, we know they eat anything, just like us, so we can go to any restaurant. We know they can "roll with" whatever traveling frugally may throw our way, like getting to Key West without a hotel. We also know that they aren't going to be upset when we aren't dropping $500 on dinner because it is THE place to eat. It's just easier, to me, to do it this way.
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Kicking off another great year of Bailey/Hayes road trips and Bama Football at Texas A&M. Roll Tide!

Here is a list of our road trip essentials...

Road Trip packing check list
1. Cooler of drinks and waters
2. Snack bag (make sure to bring another bag for trash and several napkins). I like to get things we can leave in the car all weekend that won't melt, like gummi bears or sour worms, nuts, chips, and trail mix.
3. Pillow and blanket--the boys inevitably want the car cooler than I do, so I always need a blanket. Sometimes I use it as a sun shade when it's hot. And of course, since the boys drive, the pillow is for snoozing, although sometimes it's nice to have to put behind my back on long trips.
4. Kindle--I can't read in the car but it's nice to have when we arrive, and I always have it on plane trips.If you are lucky like me, you can get your friend who doesn't get car sick to read to you all the way home from Orlando.)
5. Ipod--the more iPods in the car, the more fun. I think a great road trip play list is key! You need some "pump you up" game day music as well as fun songs that everyone knows to keep people smiling the whole way there!
6. Game day car decor--flags, magnets, shakers, the works! I like to keep a shaker in the car with me so I can "Roll Tide" fans I see driving down the road. Our car magnet has traveled to as many states as we have and even gets packed when we fly. We like to arrive in style.
7. Phone with GPS (duh). Remember you are going to be somewhere you have never been and may need to quickly find an alternate route, avoid traffic, or find the nearest restaurant. A good map app is KEY! (make sure to bring a car charger--you will need it!)

Happy road tripping!!

What do you like to do on game day road trips? Do you have any special rituals/traditions? What else would you add to my list??

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