Saturday, January 31, 2015

5 Easy Superbowl Party Planning Tips (Even Last-Minute!)

Who's excited for tomorrow's big game?  I just got back from my second NYC visit this month and Alex will be returning from London tomorrow!  So at least we'll be able to watch the big game together but we won't be having a big ol' Superbowl shindig like last year... but that doesn't mean we won't be getting a ridiculous amount of food for just the two of us :)  That's part of the fun right?!

Anyway, I'm kinda going to miss the party planning part this year because last year's ended up looking fantastic AND it was pretty easy!  I felt really proud of it so I wanted to share what I learned in case anyone out there doing last minute party prep needs some help!

Here are the five key things that really upped my Super Bowl party game last year:

#1 Butcher Paper
This is genius!  Butcher paper/ food safe paper is cheap, you can decorate it how ever you'd like (gets you away from the cheesy football themed decor- yuck!) and it makes for EASY clean up.  You can cover your entire table with it and place food directly on it if you want to.  What I liked the most about it is that we used it as a key decor element along with black+white.  It'll add a super sophisticated touch to your party and you'll be thankful you used it at the end of the night when it's time to clean up!

#2 Grab-N-Go Paper Snack Bags
Yep, your plain old basic paper lunch bags.  The look ties back to the butcher paper so you'll be looking oh-so clever!  Take them and cut them down to about half the height (I used my pinking shears from my sewing kit to get a zig-zag shape at the top).  Then fill them up with whatever Super Bowl treat you'd like and line them up on your table.  We filled ours with different kinds of popcorn, but another really fun idea would be filling them with thick-cut french fries and letting guests top them they way they like!  Whatever you fill them with, it's a really easy grab and go treat for your guests and MUCH cuter than a big old serving bowl filled with popcorn, chips, etc.

#3  The Bloody Mary Bar
This is an interesting one, more than likely half your guests love Bloody's and the other half hate them.  Nonetheless, everyone will be impressed when they see it and even some of the haters will want to try one.  The DIY drink approach makes people curious :)  For our fixings bar we included pickles, stuffed olives, cheese sticks, pepperoncini, beef jerky or Slim Jims, Tabasco, and Worcestershire with Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix and Absolut Peppar vodka.

#4 Chalkboards
Okay, I bet most home owner in the US own a chalkboard these days but if you don't you can easily make one to incorporate into your food and/or bar set up. We have quite a few but the ones we used at our Super Bowl party were made the night before- really it's true!  We have a TON of scrap wood in our basement from old house projects so I took a couple plywood pieces (Alex cut them back when he added the wainscoting in our dinning room) and slapped on two coats of chalkboard paint, let them dry overnight and they were ready the next morning!  We used them to list Bloody Mary and Margarita bar directions for our guests.  Decor and inform?!  How can you beat that?!

#5 "Did you try the (fill in the blank)?" Food Fun
My fifth and final tip has to do with the food- and this was something I didn't share photos of last year!  Supply the basics (hot wings, pizza, cheese dip, chips, etc.) to keep everyone happy but include something signature to you and/or whoever you are hosting with.  In my case it was my husband and knowing a lot of his buddies from work were attending he wanted to make the hottest, spiciest chili imaginable just to see who would man up and suffer try it.  He even gave it a name and although it was inappropriate, it added to the fun of the night.  "Did you try the chili?" was the question of the night when it came to the food, so include something that isn't at every Super Bowl party and you'll hear it too!
Not intended to offend, this is an example of the kind of humor I deal with frequently when it comes to Alex & his buddies.

That rounds out the play-by-play for my Super Bowl party tips.  I hope some of you last minute party planners found it helpful!  Even if you just use one of the ideas it might add a fun touch to the elements you've already finished up?!  Hope you have a blast!  Enjoy the game (and commercials, that's my fav)!

What are your key Superbowl party planning tips?
Are you using any of these ideas for your party this year?  Which one(s)?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Hammer-Less January

2015 kicked off with a real BANG and I mean "BANG" like someone lit the fuse on a cannon and out I flew at high speed - high heels and all - headed toward the horizon without any hammers... for a little while.

Now, I realize that the whole cannon cartoon going on in my head probably doesn't make much sense to anyone else (usually the case for many other things) so what I mean is that there isn't much of my "Hammers" side going on because things have been quite busy in my "High Heels" world- aka my job.  I spent a couple days in NYC last week for work and will be headed back at the end of the month.  So...
NYC sunset & Empire State Building view from the Standard Hotel after a long day

Because I won't give up my fun husband/family/friend time (and no one should!), blogging and house related things are taking a backseat and I've accepted that I won't be getting much done at home until Feburary, wa-wa :(  At least I got caught up with laundry yesterday because I couldn't find a clean pair of matching socks and all my "1st string" jeans were MIA over the weekend.  It's pretty sad moment when you realize that you're stuck with ill-fitting pants and mismatched socks which leads to the realization that a MOUNTAIN of laundry is waiting for you downstairs.    -SHUDDER-

Anyway, 20 days sans blogging felt a little strange so I just felt like saying something!

What had your January been like?  
Easy going?
Or did the year kick off crazy (ill-fitting) pants style like mine did?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Look Back at the Old, Looking Forward to the New

With the new year upon us, I am beginning to take down the remnants of the 2014 holiday season and it made me feel a wee bit nostalgic about the past year.

Looking back at some of our 2014 posts, I realize that the blog we began about our home in 2010 shifted quite a bit with more of a mix about the daily happenings in our lives.  I am not sure what the blog will look like in 2015 but I do know it won't look anything like 2014 because life keeps moving and changing as it should.

I look forward to our new 2015 journey ahead but today I also want to celebrate some of the moments  & projects that made the past year so special.  Here's a look back at a few of my favorite posts from 2014!

That's a wrap on 2014 for us!   Thank you for joining us on these adventures, hope you made the most of 2014 too!   Cheers to all the 2015 moments ahead!