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  • Serious Football: Week V

    Oct 2, 2015 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football, Serious Football

    Every once in a while there is a light week during the college football regular season where our entire day doesn’t have to be dedicated to the sport. This week, is not one of those weeks. So much is riding on every play of every game, you can’t afford to miss a snap, even with unranked teams.

    There is a great match-up in each time slot this week, starting at noon. Don’t miss it!

    And don’t forget that as the weather turns to fall (you know that quote you’ve been seeing everywhere about being thankful for Octobers?), so must your wardrobe.  Be sure to layer for the sunshine during the day and the cool breeze for the late game. And thanks to some pending hurricanes, be prepared for rain!

    Happy game day eve!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh

    WEEK V

    Noon:          South Carolina @ Mizzou

    3:30 PM:    #13 Alabama  @ #8 Georgia

    4:00 PM      San Jose Sate @ Auburn

    7:00 PM      #3 Ole Miss @ #25 Florida

                            Arkansas @ Tennessee

                           Eastern Michigan @ #9 LSU

                           Vanderbilt @ MTSU

    7:30 PM       #21 MS State @ #14 Texas A&M

                             Easter Carolina @ Kentucky





  • Belles In Biz: Maddy Glab: The Sideline Belle of The VOLS

    Sep 30, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Tennessee Football

    When the “Belles In Biz” weekly feature began, I knew there were some pretty talented and successful women out there who deserved to be applauded and congratulated on their achievements. Maddy Glab of the Tennessee Volunteer athletics broadcasting team is no exception to the rule.  Maddy is an inspiration to all women involved with sports, or simply just a fan of any game.  Maddy, you make this Gridiron Belle proud and quite frankly, your achievements help get me out of bed in the morning!  Read on to be inspired by this Belle in Biz, we certainly were. Keep up the great work, Maddy!

    Name: Maddy Glab

    SEC Team: Tennessee Volunteers       

    Graduated from: Mizzou

    Name of Your Title: (University of Tennessee Athletics Broadcasting) VFL Films Multimedia Producer/On-Air Talent

    How did you get your start?

    My dad says I had an interest in sports before I could walk— and zero interest in dolls, barbies or the color pink. My apparel preference was T-shirts and gym shorts which was fitting for a girl with a dream of being the first female to play in the MLB. When that didn’t work out, my second best idea was to find a way to talk about sports for a living by being a sports broadcaster. I decided to go to Mizzou for their revered journalism school. I got involved at KOMU 8-TV, the NBC affiliate station in Columbia, Mo and started anchoring sports during my sophomore year. The rest was history.

    After I graduated, I moved to Palo Alto, CA for a job with Stanford as a producer for Cardinal Channel within their athletics department. After a year in California I got home sick for the SEC and here I am now with the most amazing job I could dream of!

    So tell us, what exactly is your role?

    My role breaks down to a little bit of everything. I – along with an amazing team at VFL Films – shoot, write, edit for all different features, segments, stories, interviews, highlights, etc. dealing with Tennessee athletics/Tennessee athletics alums (VFLs).

    I also serve as the on-air talent for Tennessee athletics – you may see me on-camera conducting one-on- one interviews, anchoring highlights and hosting. On top of that, I am the sideline reporter for SEC Network digital plus (aired on the internet) / linear games (aired on TV) for sports like women’s soccer, volleyball, and basketball. It makes for a busy life.

    Most challenging part of your job?

    Every day is a challenge to make something creative and pleasing to everyone who’s watching whether they are sports fans or not.

    Most rewarding? Getting to be a part of all the action through the games I get to cover, the interviews I get to do, the people I get to meet.

    What is the difference in football atmospheres between Mizzou and Tennessee?

    Tennessee has the history and rich traditions that give you chills.  In Knoxville, football is a way of life and I’m in awe of the fan base they have. The sports fan that I am, I feel like I’m with my people here.

    Mizzou is still trying to prove itself, but that works for Mizzou, they love that chip on their shoulder. The Tigers are the new dogs in the SEC and are doing a great job of assimilating to the SEC culture. Both atmospheres are similar this year by both trying to prove themselves. 

    What have you learned about the behind the scenes of the gridiron since you’ve been there?

    I am in awe of how hard Tennessee football works to put their program together and in a respectable way that is noticed around the country. From the coaches to the players; from the training staff to the department, they work their butts of day in and day out. It definitely makes me proud to work at UT.

    Greatest part of being on the media team?

    I think the greatest part is getting to be a part of the team. We are One Tennessee, everyone wants to be a part of something great.

    What is one thing you cannot survive without in your career?

    I can’t live without my pen and legal notepad. I’m a note taker, whether it’s writing down a catchy line that pops into my head for my next story or writing down a statistic. I’ve got to have them near me at all times. 

    What’s next?

    I want to be in this business until I retire. Well, when I retire I want to work at Wrigley Field and direct people to their seats. I hope to be with Tennessee for a good amount of time. I want my next step to be big – so in my eyes that’s working for an NFL team or at a network station as on-air talent/producer.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction?

    FICTION. In this business it’s impossible to leave work at work. It’s hard for me to take my work hat off once I’m home. I’m always thinking of new story ideas.

    Career advice to other Belles?

    Don’t take no for an answer. There is always a way around a “no” for women to break into this business. Keep grinding, don’t ever give up and study up! Know your facts and teams so you’re able to talk the talk. Give women in sports a good name!

    Favorite part about being a SPORTS fan. I love sports. My passion for sports could light this world on fire. Sports bring people together, sports tell amazing stories, sports are our weekends. Sports make us smile, laugh, and cry. Sports will be here till the end of time.

    Favorite tailgating snack? Fiesta ranch dip – so amazing. Fiesta ranch dip seasoning packet (can find at walmart/chain grocery stores), tub of sour cream, chopped black olives, chopped green chilies, bag of cheddar cheese. Mix. Serve with tortilla chips. I could eat a whole bowl.

    Game day drink of choice?   Since I work on game days my drinks  – coffee and water. I need coffee to wake me up every day. Gotta have that water to keep you hydrated through a hot Saturday in September!

    Coach Crush?

    No crush. I’m in this industry to cover sports, not have crushes.

    To keep up with the VOLS and everything this Gridiron Belle is getting into, follow Maddy here:  Website, Twitter, Insta


    Sep 25, 2015 CATEGORIES: Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Kentucky Football, SEC Football, Serious Football


    This fall weather has been nothing but welcomed.  Crisp mornings, sunny days, refreshing nights, all have me wanting time to stand still.  Alas, if time stood still we would never get to Saturdays so I’m just planning on embracing said perfect fall weather on game day, too!

    But this perfection will only last so long– take advantage of this weekend’s forecast of highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s to enjoy your tailgate and kickoff before we have to add scarves and gloves.  Layer up (or keep extra clothes in the car) and don’t forget your sunnies!  

    Xs and Os,

    Christie Leigh


    12:00 PM
    • LSU at Syracuse, Noon, ABC or ESPN
    • Southern at Georgia, Noon, SEC Network
    • UCF at South Carolina, Noon, ESPNU or ESPN2
    3:30 PM
    • Tennessee at Florida, 3:30 p.m., CBS
    4:00 PM
    • UL-Monroe at Alabama, 4 p.m., SEC Network
    7:00 PM
    • Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 7 p.m.
    • Texas A&M at Arkansas, 7 p.m.
    7:30 PM
    • Mississippi State at Auburn, 7:30 p.m.
    • Mizzou at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m.
    *ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast the two 7 p.m. games. SEC Network will carry the 7:30 game.
  • Belles In Biz: Kathryn Lucchesi, The Next Big Thing Out of Mizzou

    Sep 23, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie

    When I first visited Columbia, MO to check out the newest school in the SEC, I was skeptical for a variety of reasons… until I met Kathryn Lucchesi. This Gridiron Belle epitomized Southern hospitality, hard work, dedication, a love AND understanding of the game, and a true insider’s perspective about Mizzou football. 

    What started out as an opportunity for Kat to use her video editing skills in 2009, has now turned into a full-time position where she sits in coaches meetings, stands on the sidelines and is responsible for all coverage on Coach Pinkel’s website.  Talk about a high stakes job!

    Meet Mizzou Belle, Kathryn Lucchesi. And yes, keep an eye out for her—she’s too modest to say, but we are betting that she’s going to be the next big sideline talent for network TV!

    We’re proud of you. Welcome to Gridiron Belles, Kat and keep up the great work!


    Name:  Kathryn Lucchesi

    SEC Team: Mizzou Football   

    Graduated from: Mizzou, 2009, Broadcast Journalism

    Title: Multimedia Director

    Explanation of Your Job:  I provide multimedia content for as well as oversee all social media for the football team.

    How did you get your start? Our local sports director called me to inform me that Coach Pinkel and the football staff was looking for someone to create promotional videos about the team for a web site. It’s grown tremendously since then into all types of multimedia, including social media.

    How long have you been in this role?  I started as a graduate assistant with the team in 2009.

    So tell us, what exactly is your role? I am technically part of the coaching staff so I sit in the staff meetings soaking in the Mizzou Football philosophy and finding ideas on what the team should promote.

    What’s it like to be the only woman in the coaches meetings? (I assume you’re the only woman…?)  I am the only female in our staff meetings! 27 guys and me watching film and going over plays. It’s great to see how organized and efficient coaches are in meetings. In a high level, demanding environment a team needs great communication and that starts with a great coaching staff.  I get to be a part of that every day.

    You’ve got a great “seat” for watching the games…What are you doing on the sidelines?  Mostly taking photos and video of our coaches and younger players. I’m also getting bench reactions for social media.

    Hardest part of being a woman in a male-dominated sport?   It’s a bit more difficult to learn football because I’ve never actually played the sport. Fortunately, the coaches are patient and answer questions when I ask (such as, “why did we go for 2 rather than kicking the extra point?”).

    Most challenging part of your job? Trying to stay ahead of the social media world every day!

    Most rewarding? Seeing student-athletes grow through their time at Mizzou

    Coolest opportunity you’ve had while in this position?  (Saw you in front of a helicopter and at the NFL draft… that looked cool.)   Yes, the helicopter is always fun! We take it out while visiting high school football games. The NFL Draft and Combine were interesting experiences that I’ll never forget. Being able to visit every SEC stadium is great, and bowl games are absolutely amazing. At the end of day, seeing the guys grow up from the 17-18 year olds we recruited into young men with families makes every second of the job worth it.

    You work closely with Coach Pinkel every day, what’s his greatest trait?  He is a man of integrity. What he says, he does. It’s not easy for anyone to do this, but I am always impressed by Coach Pinkel’s ability lead by example every single day.

    What is one thing your career would not survive without?  A positive attitude!

    What’s next? Finishing my execMBA degree in May 2016, and then we will see.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction? Fact! I can run half marathons and travel with friends – it takes planning, commitment, and understanding.

    Business/career advice to other Belles? Don’t be afraid to try something new – challenge yourself every day.

    Favorite part about being a Mizzou fan? I wouldn’t call myself a normal Mizzou Football “fan” – but it is rewarding to see the student-athletes succeed!

    Favorite tailgate dish? I don’t remember the last time I tailgated, but if I did, I would love my mom’s chili.

    Game day drink of choice? I drink pickle juice on the sideline before every game!

    What do you always have in your touch down purse? A phone charger.

    Coach Crush? N/A! 

    Heads or Tails? Defer!

    Who wins it all this year? Mizzou of course! ;-)

    Keep up with Kat and all that is relevant to Mizzou Football:  Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram



    Sep 18, 2015 CATEGORIES: Alabama SEC Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Oh My!, Ole Miss Football, Outfits, SEC, SEC Football

    Not sure what to wear to the game of the week this week? We’re here to help!  Any variations of these outfits will do to keep you in GridironBelle fashion. Get creative, be comfortable and wear team colors!   Don’t forget to send us your game day photos to be used in the next edition of Gridiron Belles!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh


    We’re grateful for the SEC for putting together our weekend schedule.  Go ahead and clear your calendar… you have no where else to be that’s as important as watching this week’s match-ups!

  • Belles In Biz: Annabelle Laroque Babcock, Designer of Laroque

    Sep 16, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, South Carolina, Southern Women

    Annabelle Babcock knows hard work. With what started as a sewing project of dresses and skirts for friends and family turned into a local–and now national– success, nearly over night.  But don’t let Annabelle’s laid back first impression fool you.  This Belle is a design and business women force to be reckoned with. Certainly someone to take note of.    After all, trading in the corporate world for a sewing kit isn’t generally the opening line to a success story, but in the case of Annabelle Babcock and the Laroque label, success was inevitable thanks to the drive and dedication from the South Carolina native. 

    Meet Annabelle.  You–and your wardrobe– will be glad you did. 

    Name:  Annabelle Laroque Babcock

    Name of Biz:  Laroque

    SEC Team:  South Carolina… but slowly learning to pull for Clemson… I married a Clemson fan.

    Explain your role:  I am the owner and designer here at LaRoque in Columbia, SC.  I run a retail shop where we only sell LaRoque pieces. I also design two wholesale collections each year that are shown at the Atlanta market. 

    How long have you been in this role? 8 years.

    Most challenging part of your biz?: The most challenging part of my career is managing a balance between my personal and professional life. Now that I am a wife and a mother I have to delegate more.  Before I wore many hats and now I try to focus on design. 

    Most rewarding?: The most rewarding part of my career is when I see someone truly happy in a piece that I have created. There are so many talented designers in the world, when someone chooses my creation for a special event there is no greater feeling. 

    Business advice to other Belles? Have a clear goal. What do you want to create, do or help you audience with?  If you have a clear vision and passion no one can stand in your way! 

    What’s next? Expanding the wholesale collection. We’ve also started a “Mini Collection.”  (Shown here on Annabelle’s adorable daughter!)

    Favorite part about being a Gamecock fan? The best part about being a gamecock fan is living and owning a business right here in the heart of Gamecock country. Being in Columbia during the fall is so much fun! Everyone is so excited to cheer on the gamecocks; the energy that football season brings is unmatched.

    Favorite tailgate dish? Fried chicken from Lizards Thicket! 

    Game day drink of choice? Rum and coke.

    What do you always have in your touch down purse? Always a camera.  I have so much fun capturing all of the tailgate and garnet moments on a game day. The best part is when I spot another fan in one of my pieces! 

    What do you wear on game days?  Can’t go wrong with a flow silk top–or our Ivy Top (below) and a pair of skinny jeans.

    Heads or Tails: Heads

    Coach Crush? My all time favorite coach is Ray Tanner. He was our baseball coach and led the Gamecocks to the national championship several times. He is now the athletic director here at USC. I really admire his loyalty to the Gamecock and South Carolina. (Pictured here)

    Who wins it all this year? The Gamecocks of course! Well, or maybe Clemson!

    Don’t miss out on seeing  all the game day outfits—and much more–that Annabelle has created for Laroque and stores near you!

    Website,  Facebook , Twitter,  Instagram


    Sep 11, 2015 CATEGORIES: Georgia Football, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, Mississippi State, Serious Football, Starkville, Tennessee Football, UGA, Vanderbilt


    All finally felt right in the world last Saturday as Week-1 of college football resumed. Traditionally, the first three weeks of football season are full of Power Team v Cupcake Team  match-ups and leave us viewers unimpressed and still longing for real football.  This season, the excitement is here on Week-2 and I don’t want anyone to miss it.

    Our favorites:

    Kentucky and head coach Mark Stoops head to South Carolina on Saturday. But that’s not the only Stoops brother who will be in the SEC this weekend.  Mark Stoop’s brother, Bob Stoops, who is the head coach of Oklahoma, is coming to Knoxville in an attempt to get an SEC win on his schedule. Both Stoops brothers are great guys and daggum good football coaches, but we only hope one of them wins.

    #14 LSU is making the trip to Starkville for their “first game of the season” to line up against #25 MS State. The cowbells will be ringing for this early season SEC West matchup.  Could we be more excited?

    #10 Georgia @ Vanderbilt is high on our interest list for two reasons:  1) Vandy always shocks someone each season and I’m wondering if it isn’t SEC-East-Predicted-Winner Georgia; 2) Gridiron Belles is heading to Nashville for the game to tailgate and to take Vandy and UGA photos for the next book.  Be sure to let me know where you’ll be tailgating so I can stop by!

    Any way you slice it, it’s Week-2.  Summer is over. It’s time to dedicate your Saturdays to the Gridiron.  Here is your schedule for Saturday.

    11:00 AM

    Auburn v Jacksonville State 

    2:30 PM

    Georgia #10 @ Vanderbilt

    Fresno State @  #17 Ole Miss

    3:00 PM

    Middle Tennessee @ #2 Alabama

    Toledo @ # 18 Arkansas

    5:00 PM

    #19 Oklahoma @ #23 Tennessee

    6:00 PM

    Ball State @ #16 Texas A&M

    #21 Missouri @ Arkansas State

    East Carolina @ Florida

    6:30 PM

    Kentucky @ South Carolina

    8:15 PM

    #14 LSU @ #25  MS STATE

    More articles

    ESPN Week Two Game Breakdown

    Auburn develops a way for players to stay cool

    Early Morning Kickoffs Call for This

  • Belles In Biz: Bebe Goodrich Brews Up Icebox Coffee

    Sep 9, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, New Orleans, SEC Football

    Bebe Goodrich hails from the Big Easy but knows there is nothing easy about starts-up. Founder of the smoothest iced brew in the south, Bebe gave us some strong words of encouragement of having a work-life balance and how she’s turned a hankering for the taste of home into a growing business that is in specialty stores and Whole Foods Markets throughout the south.  

    If I ever thought I was too busy to fulfill my dreams, one conversation—or a few lines of questioning—later,  had me knowing that it may take just  one idea to launch a start-up but it takes a village led by a strong belle to make it soar.   

    The Gridiron Belles order of decaf and regular is being placed for our upcoming morning tailgates.  ( You should follow our lead by ordering here.)  After all, what tastes better with grill-fried bacon and eggs than a true Southern brew to wash it down and cool you off?

    Name: Bebe Goodrich

    SEC Team: We have Alabama tickets, but I like the underdog in any game.

    Graduated From: Washington and Lee

    Name of Your Biz: Icebox Coffee (website:

    Explanation of Your Biz:  Icebox Coffee is a handcrafted, cold-brewed coffee concentrate that’s rich in flavor. Our brewing process leaves us with a low acid, flavorful concentrate that can be diluted to make any coffee drink you can imagine or it can be used as a baking ingredient to add a coffee flavor to any dish.

    How did you get your start? In 2012 I went searching for the cold brew coffee I grew up with in New Orleans. When I couldn’t find something as smooth and flavorful as the coffee back home I decided to make it myself. Icebox Coffee was born.

    Most challenging part of your job?  
    Start-ups are never easy, they require a lot of non-stop hard work but every step forward is exciting.

    What is one thing your biz would not survive without? A hardworking team; I wouldn’t be here without them.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction? Fact. Business will come and go but family is forever. Three generations deep, my family has had two working parents. Each generation has turned out better than the one before it because of a great balance and shared responsibility.

    In our house, my husband Thomas shares the load. Sometimes, our boys are at work (they’re under two, so consider how smoothly that goes!) and sometimes it’s coming in on the weekends. At the end of the day, building a family and building a business are the same, it takes time, attention, and an understanding that failing on some tasks is going to happen. Just stay focused on what’s important.

    Career advice to other Belles? Never stop learning. Go to seminars and find mentors. Listen to everyone who’s willing to talk, whether they’re the bag boy at the grocery, a college intern, or a Harvard professor. Everyone has something you can apply to enhance your business and life.

    What’s next? Icebox Coffee in every home, office, and restaurant throughout the southeast for starters; then we’ll keep moving until we’re in everyone home, office, and restaurant in the country. We’ve got work to do!

    Favorite part about being an Alabama fan? Winning.

    Favorite tailgate dish? Buffalo chicken dip, but Icebox Coffee popsicles are a close second.

    Game day drink of choice? Icebox cocktails are perfect for an early game-day drink.


    Take 8ounces of coconut milk or half&half

    Add:     Two shots of Icebox

                 One shot of Tito’s Handmade Vodka

    It’s delicious and oh so easy to pack our concentrate bottle with the tailgate supplies.  (For more delicious Icebox recipes, visit Icebox on Instagram)

    What do you always have in your touch down purse? Having grown up in New Orleans I always have minis and snacks. My purse is a mobile pantry.

    Coach Crush? Tommy Tubberville (does he still coach?)

    Heads or Tails? Heads

    Who wins it all this year? Ohio State has the best chance and easiest road… so my husband told me. 

    Follow Icebox Coffee:  Instagram , Facebook, Twitter

  • Belles In Biz: Kelly Plank-Dworkin of SWOOZIES

    Sep 3, 2015 CATEGORIES: Belles in Biz, Swoozies


    It’s time that all Gridiron Belles be introduced (if you haven’t been already) to Swoozies. It is THE one stop shop for all things celebratory. From baby announcements to birthday parties; from backyard BBQ supplies to Christmas decorations; from bachelorette party favors to our favorite… tailgate must-haves.  Walking into a Swoozies location (9 across the south– and Colorado), is like walking into a fairytale where all of your hosting, gifting, and celebrating dreams come true.  

    I’ve been a fan of Swoozies since 2011 when I won my first tailgating contest with them. Then Gridiron Belles partnered up with “The Swoo”  for a book tour and endless book signings. So you’ve probably seen me mention them a time or two by name.  But in case you’ve been sleeping, or are just joining us, today’s feature is on the Belle Behind the Biz, Ms. Kelly Plank-Dworkin who is the fearless leader of making the magic happen.

    Note:  Kelly is so humble in her accomplishments and thankful for her team,  that she opted out of solo shots for the post and only included ones of her team.  She also offered to do a “Swoozie Up Your Tailgate” Giveaway with $100.00 to use for one of our lucky readers’ next tailgate party. (See below for details). 

    Enough already, let’s meet Kelly!

    Name: Kelly Plank-Dworkin

    SEC Team: Alabama

    Name of Your Biz: Swoozie’s

    Explanation of Your Biz: Swoozie’s is a destination specialty store for gifts, party décor, invitations and personalized gifts and more. The company was founded on a few basic fundamentals – brilliant product, personalization that sets the standard, outstanding customer care, and giving back to our communities.

    How did you get your start? I was very blessed in my career to work for some of the best minds in the retail business who are still making waves and doing brilliant things 40 years later. I started in retail at a young age and fell in love with the ability to work creatively, statistically and with people. It is because of my early experience that I had the foundation and opportunity to start my own company.   David, my late-husband, and I opened up the first Swoozies in February 2001.

    So tell us, what exactly is your role?

    For almost 15 years I have been leading the merchandising assortment and marketing.  While my title is technically the president (and the visionary), I have always had a brilliant team that I get to work with to support the vision David and I had.  There is a wonderful group of women that work at Swoozies and we love our customers—the Swoozies community has become my family.

    Most challenging part of your job?

    Often times our biggest challenges and weaknesses are our biggest rewards and strengths.

    In my business, our customers are our biggest challenge and our biggest reward. Each time a customer comes into the store, I want them to have a flawless experience: find the perfect gift they were looking for, connect with our staff and stay with us through all of life’s moments and celebrations. Sometimes we make a mistake though, and those hurt. I hate to hear of any customer that is disappointed. I do, however, see every single comment online and take the time to review them with the team. Those moments make us better and we learn from them.

    Most rewarding?

    Learning how to be a better company is what makes makes our relationships with our customers the most rewarding part of my job. We wouldn’t be here almost 15 years later, growing, if it weren’t for the loyal customers – the people that we get to help everyday.

    What is one thing your biz would not survive without?

    Customer feedback – we listen to feedback and react to it daily.

    What’s next?

    Continue to drive and lead our recent merger with Beau-coup.

    Work-life balance, fact or fiction?

    Everyone has their own interpretation of what that balance is for them. I may not have it to other people, but I have a mission and so much of my life is my work. I like to believe fact.

    Business/career advice to other Belles?

    Work hard. Trust your gut. Never stop learning. Surround yourself with smart people – and kind people.

    Favorite part about being an Alabama fan?

    I was not always an Alabama fan, but when my son went there, I quickly drank the Crimson Tide Kool-Aid. The energy of that stadium and not to mention the years he was there were some of the very best – there was no way I couldn’t be a fan. I have some wonderful memories of those games with my kids.

    Favorite tailgate dish?

    I love everything about a tailgate. Not just one dish – it is the combination of all the dishes that make a tailgate so fun. Being able to sit outside, relax, hang out with friends and graze all day is my perfect Saturday. If I had to pick though, I love a great layered dip.

    Game day drink of choice?


    What do you always have in your touch down purse?

    My lipstick

    Coach Crush?

    Pete Carroll (my girls went to USC)

    Heads or Tails?



    Enter to win $100 to “Swoozie Up Your Tailgate” ! 

    Here is how you win:

    1) Must follow @GridironBelles on either Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

    2) Tag @Swoozies and  3 friends who you think would also enjoy this giveaway!

    3) Winner will be selected at random on Wednesday, September 9. GOOD LUCK!

    Stay in Touch With Swoozies:  Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

  • Belles in Biz: Haute Threads Boutique GIVEAWAY!

    Aug 27, 2015 CATEGORIES: Arkansas, Belles in Biz, Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie, SEC Football

    This week’s Belle in Biz is Arkansas’ very own, Amber Ham of Haute Thread Boutiques.  She’s innovative, creative, a mother, a business woman and a fan!  Read below to be inspired by her ambition and to see how you can win your very own Haute Threads Boutique game day dress!

    Head Belle In Charge of Haute Threads Boutique, Amber Ham, showcases one of her dresses as she cheers on her Razorbacks!


    Name: Amber Ham

    Team: Arkansas Razorbacks

    Graduated from: University of Arkansas in 2003                             (Bachelors in Nutrition); Texas Tech in 2011 (Masters in Education)

    Name of Your Biz:            Haute Threads Boutique  

    Explanation of Your Biz:   I convert regular college/team t-shirts into game day dresses and rompers to help each girl be the cutest girl in the stadium on game day.






    How did you get your start?  I had a pile of old t-shirts from college sitting in my closet and knew I needed to repurpose them so I would wear them again.  I cut up a few shirts and quickly designed the dresses that I still make today!  After I made a couple for myself, my friends started asking for them… and then someone pinned me on Pinterest… and it’s been an amazing ride ever since!  It’s been about four years since the business really took off.

    Explain your role:   I’m pretty much a one-woman show.  I own the business, do all of the marketing and advertising, research new trends and designs in fashion, as well as shop for all of the latest trendy fabrics.  I work one-on-one with each customer so they can custom-design their own dress from beginning to end; I cut all of the dresses/rompers out myself as well. 

    Most challenging part of your biz?:  Finding enough time in the day to get it all done.  During football season, I could spend 8+ hours a day working on the business; however, that’s also the time that school—and my responsibilities as a teacher– starts back up. Making time to run my dress business on top of everyday life can be challenging some days.

    Most rewarding?:  When customers send me pictures of them wearing their dresses. I love seeing women enjoying my creations and feeling like they are the “belle of the ball.” The fact that it’s a custom dress that THEY got to help design really gives them ownership over it and makes them truly feel unique in their dress.

    Business advice to other Belles?   Don’t wait around.  I read a quote from Coco Chanel right after I began my business.  It said, “If you want to be original, be ready to be copied”… and that couldn’t be any more true.  Get out there full force and make your dreams yours so you can be the original and people come to you first.

    Favorite part about being a Razorback fan?   Gameday.  The feeling in the stands when everyone unites for one day to cheer on our team… it’s electric.  I grew up going to Razorback football games in the same seats we’ve had since I was 3 years old. Fayetteville is an amazing place.

    Favorite tailgate dish?  Sausage Crescent Wraps.  Ground sausage mixed with cream cheese… rolled up in a crescent roll and baked.  Delish! 

    Game day drink of choice?  If I’m tailgating, you can guarantee I’ll have a bottle of Prosecco close by! 


    What do you always have in your touch down purse?  Business cards.  You never know when someone is going to stop you and ask, “Hey, where did you get your dress?”   

    Who wins it all this year?  We have had a few rebuilding years and I think we will do a lot better than a lot of people think we will this year… so I’m going to stay true to my roots and cheer on my Hogs for the big win!

     You can win your own Haute Threads dress or romper by winning our giveaway!  Simply share this link via the Gridiron Belles Facebook page , Twitter (@gridironbelles) or our Instagram (@GridironBelles) post more times than any other Gridiron Belle and you can have your very own favorite team shirt transformed into the perfect game day dress!  #GBHauteThreadGiveaway

    You can follow Haute Threads Boutique on Facebook  or order your custom dress on her website !

    Happy shopping, Belles!

    Xs and Os

    Christie Leigh


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