A few months ago Matt proposed the idea of us throwing a party to watch an Ohio State game with our friends. Our fall is pretty packed out so at first I wasn't entirely sold on the idea. Then Matt proposed that he would throw the party and that I wouldn't have to do a thing. Naturally, I quickly said "okay, fine! We'll throw the party!" And so this party came to be! It was such a success that afterwards Matt and I agreed we'll probably replace our annual summer soiree (which happened only once) with an annual football party.
We kicked off the party at 4:30 pm for the "family portion" of the two-part event. We inflated the bounce house, pulled out all the toys and let the kids run wild.
In attendance we had all the usual suspects, some classmates and a few neighbors!
We kept dinner simple with a hot dog bar. On the bar we offered chili, cheddar cheese, onion, coleslaw, pickles, baked beans, chips and all the condiments.
For dessert I made Buckeyes at Matt's request. These are always a labor of love to make but they were too appropriate for the occasion not to whip up. Plus Matt stayed up late with me the night before the party to roll out 60 of these delicious things. And everyone at the party raved about them so it was worth the extra effort.
Couldn't pass up the football cookie cake at the grocery store during my shopping trip.
As for the table decor, I rolled some paper across the table and drew out some game plays for a cute table runner (tutorial here). I also found some festive plates and napkins that were perfect for the party. For the final touch I picked up some fresh fall flowers from the farmers market. Voila -- easy tablescape and party buffet.
For the first time ever I traded in my Gator gear to join the family in Ohio State colors...
Fun fact: I hate wearing the color red. I actually don't own any red tops either so I ran out during my lunch break on Friday to a boutique next door to my office and snagged this cute red top.
I set out a few apps around the backyard for guests. Of course I had to make my favorite fall snack - pumpkin dip!
The hot corn dip was demolished within 30 minutes.
As was the pirates booty. Pretty sure my kids were responsible for polishing off the entire plate.
Laura brought over pimento cheese and pretzels too!
For the drinks we loaded up a cooler with lots of local and fall brews, chilled a few bottles of wine and set out some baby booze -- juice pouches.
I couldn't believe how well Thomas did in the bounce house this party. He held his own even though he was the smallest jumper.
The water table is always another huge party hit among the kiddos. Guaranteed to leave every toddler soaked.
My kids after too many juice boxes.
Once the witching hours arrived the toddler party animals were pretty much spent. Matt invited all of the guys to stick around (or return after getting their kids down for bedtime) for the second half of the party to watch the game on the big screen! We reloaded the coolers and fired up the projector. Nine guys returned for the late night festivities.
Matt's only request for the party was that we rent a big screen and projector to watch the game outside with the guys. I searched so many local party rental websites and renting a projector was going to cost hundreds of dollars, plus a screen rental, plus delivery and set-up, etc. etc. After more research I found a really awesome projector on Amazon for less than $90 and Matt made the screen out of PVC pipe (and yes, borrowed our 1,000 thread count bed sheet). But anyway, it worked perfectly and all the guys had a blast. We even let Caroline hang out until 9:30 pm to participate in the viewing. Then she and I retired to bed so the guys could have their man time the rest of the night. It was a huge party success (a win for Ohio State!!) and I have never been more thankful to have AC this time around.