Tailgate Party Time!

Football season is here and we all know what that means right! It’s time for a tailgate party!

A tailgate party is usually at the stadium in the parking lot with your good friends and some great food! Yet, lets just say your favorite team is not playing where you live? Go Chiefs! So when that’s the case my “Tailgate” party will be at home!

We like to host a few football parties during the football season when our favorite teams are playing. Of course being that my husband, JJ Birden, played in the NFL we are partial to the teams he played with. For any of you that might now already know he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1988, from there he went to the Dallas Cowboys briefly, Kansas City Chiefs for 5 years and retired after playing 2 years with the Atlanta Falcons in 1997. Those were some exciting years watching him play. 

Every year there is an NFL draft and then of course the NFL Fantasy League draft. How about a tailgate party draft?  Man Crates asked me to draft our squad of essentials for a NFL tailgate party. They’re a new company that specializes in gifts for men; they have a lot of different themed crates you can send to your man and watch him open with a crowbar! I love this idea, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my “Tailgate” party ideas with you for the ultimate parking lot party! I am sure you will be able to use some of these ideas at your home cook out too! 😉

Man Crates gave me this great graphic to use for my draft. I am going to use the items from it to draft my tailgate party. My goal is to keep it under $25 using the graphics prices. Let’s do this! (my line up is below graphic)

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My tailgate line up:

  1. Hot dogs/Burgers – these are definitely a must, when I think of football food this is what first comes to mind. It is also an easy food choice for that portable grill at the stadium.
  2. OPTION PLAY: Chips & Guacamole: We love our guacamole! So our tailgate party is not complete without my guac & chips to munch on! I grew up on my Mom’s homemade guacamole and now my siblings and I have our own tweaked versions of Mom’s original recipe that our families love.
  3. Drinks: I have to admit we are not really beer drinkers in this house, so I would say my substitution for beer would be water & Arizona iced tea. It is hot in Arizona so you must have water or some kind of liquid that keeps you going in the hot sun.
  4. Music: Music is always a must for our tailgate party. The music keeps the party lively and gets you pumped up for the game.
  5. Football: We have to have a football, whats a tailgate party without that! My husband and our children like to throw the football around, it’s a good way to warm up for the real game.
  6. NFL Barware Man Crate: I would choose this Man Crate because although we are not drinking beer, those team glasses are awesome for any type of beverage and there are some great snacks in the Man Crate to munch on with my guacamole & chips, while we wait for those hot dogs and burgers to finish grilling.

That’s my lineup!

I would love to hear what you like to have at your tailgate party. Leave me your ideas in the comments below.

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.”
~ Vince Lombardi

How to throw a Party!

So many graduations! We have had and have the privilege of raising our 3 children along with our 5 nieces & nephews. (See previous blog for that story!) We have watched 7 of our children walk down the graduation aisle. But with graduation comes the Graduation Party, right? I have put together quite a few parties in the last 6 years. So I thought I would share with you some highlights and ideas for your next party.

I like to have the graduate pick a theme. Two of my boys knew exactly what they wanted to do for their parties, but it was a little more of challenge with the other children.

What to think about when you are organizing your party:

  1. Theme
  2. Location
  3. Food
  4. Dessert
  5. Entertainment/Music/Visual
  6. Decorations
  7. Guest list

My first child’s graduation party was a “Pool Party”, this pool party was in Oregon, and if you live in Oregon you know how unpredictable the weather is. You can count on rain, but sun is another story. So we delayed his party until August hoping for a warm party. We rented out a local community pool, and we decided on a potluck style dinner. All our friends pitched in and brought a dish. My husband set up a screen and projector to show our sons “through the years” video I created. For every graduate I create a video highlighting them from birth to the present time. We had some speakers for the video and to listen to music. I bought a bunch of waterproof disposable cameras for the guests to have fun taking photos. It was a little bit on the cold side that day but the pool was heated and the kids had a blast.

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Our second son graduated in Arizona and chose skating as his theme. We rented out a local skating rink. The rink provided pizza & drinks. Dessert was Sprinkles Cupcakes at the request of our son. It was a very easy party to host and a lot of fun for everyone.

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The last three parties we have hosted, have been at our home. Our niece wanted a “Pool Party”.   We dressed up the yard with tiki torches and some twinkle lights on the fence. The boys put up a volleyball net on the grass. We used the screen and projector for her video of course and we used it to watch a movie later in the evening. We BBQ’ed hamburgers & hotdogs and she requested “Nothing Bundt Cakes” for dessert. I have found that with all the other food I have to make and the party prep that getting dessert from somewhere else is not such a bad idea. 🙂

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We had a year break then my daughter and nephew graduated together. After much discussion they decided on a “Carnival” theme party. A couple friends really helped me pull this one off. We made carnival games, rented a dunk tank, popcorn and cotton candy machines. We found a great idea on pinterest for a Italian soda bar. This party had everything! Our second son dressed as a clown until he was dunked in the dunk tank! We created a photo booth, had a yummy candy table and of course we had dessert and this time it was Sprinkles again. Do you see a theme here? We decorated with the Carnival theme everywhere as you will see in the pictures below. This party was definitely the most work but it was well worth it!

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Whew! That was a lot of work and now we are to the year 2015. “Hawaiian”  was the theme for our newest graduate. We went all out for this one too. Hawaiian decorations, photo booth, candy table, pulled pork on Hawaiian rolls along with a lot of other food. Dessert was “Nothing Bundt Cake”! You can see all the decor in the pictures below. It was again a fun party filled with family and friends.

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Whew, that was a lot of work and fun! We have one more child to go, but I get a 4 year break before we plan her graduation. I hope this gives you some fun ideas for your next party.

“Darling, it wouldn’t be a party without you.”
~ Unknown