How to Hit a World Series Party out of the Park!
Hey neighbors! How about that cold weather? I'm HERE for it, y'all!
Also -- How about those 'Stros?! Unless you've been living under a rock or just moved to Houston approximately three hours ago, you are probably following and cheering on the Astros along with every other living human and their dogs here in Houston (ya better be anyway!).
So we've been getting together with our sweet neighbors to watch the games and the other night I threw together a quick 'watch party' and thought I'd share some pictures here with you guys to give you some ideas in case you might want to do the same this chilly weekend while you're rooting on the Astros! Now DISCLAIMER -- this is a simple (for me anyway), quick, inexpensive (SUPER affordable!) and easy set up that I threw together while my kiddo was at school for the afternoon and I meant for it to be that way. I contained the 'party areas' to the kitchen island because I wanted it to be attainable, first and foremost, and simple! Not extravagant or over the top as I tend to also do (whoops!) and I think I got that part right -- at least, I think my husband thought so too. I also wanted to include one cute, easy craft I did for the party as well as one SUPER EASY desert recipe I bust out OFTEN, y'all. Like, regularly! Its so easy and one you need in your repertoire because it is a huge hit! Here's the completed look at my decorated island and if you want to see how I did each step, as well as some craft and baking ideas, then keep scrollin' down, friends!
First and foremost -- we have a big island. This island is approximately 12ft? I think? So its a great place to start when decorating. I wanted to first focus and start with a table cloth to add some initial color to the counter top (see picture below) and I actually did purchase a long roll of blue table cloth vinyl from Hobby Lobby (for around $5) but as I was digging in my craft closet for some hot glue sticks, I found this roll of navy blue gift wrapping paper and I immediately switched gears. The wrapping paper is genius and was so easy to just lay out without a lot of wrinkles and a breeze to trim to the size I needed. This is such a great idea, I'm storing this one in the vault for future parties of any theme --- solid wrapping paper. And when you're done, just toss it in the bin! And the best part, in my opinion, is that it doesn't look like gift wrap on your island -- both my husband and my sweet neighbors were surprised to hear I used gift wrap! I'm telling ya, I got lucky with that one!
Where did you get that super cute "Go Astros!" Banner hanging in the center of the island, you asked?! Soooo funny you should mention it because I actually MADE that little banner myself. Look at me, a real Martha Stewart of Jordan Ranch, y'all.
But in all seriousness, this was such an easy craft project and if you yourself have a Silhouette or a Cricut machine, or have a nice friend in the neighborhood who does and can help you out (hint hint), then you can do this quickly and inexpensively! I'll show you how!
First, the banner is a pre-made navy blue Martha Stewart banner I purchased at Michaels Craft Store (For around $8, I'll insert the link here). I also strolled on over to the card stock isle and picked up two sheets of orange glitter card stock ($1.99 each, also linked here) then, simply used my Cricut machine to cut out the letters and then glued them to the banner with glue dots. I had intended to use hot glue but made a last minute decision to forgo that -- both will work! Et voila! What could have been easier? And for about $12? Can't beat that!
So when you're ready to tackle the idea of actually decorating this long slab of island, I think a good rule of thumb is to start in the middle with a center piece and work your way out. I found these cute orange and blue cupcakes at both HEB and Wal-mart (if I'm being honest, the Wal-mart cupcakes had the baseball rings in them so they win my vote as the cuter cupcake); these were around $6.75 for a dozen cupcakes and I got one from each store - lord knows why. Maybe I forgot I had already purchased one? Who knows? Anyway, I used three cake/cupcake stands in varying heights in the middle of the island to display them as my centerpiece with some paper shred on the island for good measure.
Then, I figured I'd make one side "utensil and necessity" functional -- plates, napkins, forks, cups, etc. So on the left, I made a little orange and blue "hold my food and my drinks station" with all of the above.
Let me note that I got all these supplies, the forks, napkins, plates, cups etc. in the party isle at Wal-mart. Each item was .97 cents. Oh and I added in some Cracker Jack boxes here that I got at Dollar Tree for -- you guessed it -- a dollar. Ha!
On the right side of the cupcakes, I decided to keep adding more treats and snacks. So I made a few plates with orange and blue macarons as well as my favorite easy treat - the Oreo Brookie. Any room moms, team moms, ALL the moms -- whichever -- out there should have this recipe in their pocket because it is so so SO easy and such a crowd pleaser. I am not proud to say I scarf these down every time I make them, and I may have had a small piece for breakfast. SMH, but it's true. And I promise, you need THREE ingredients. Three. That's it.
Pre-made Cookie Dough, Oreos (I'm using the Kroger brand here because Oreo has already moved on to Christmas and I couldn't find the orange filled ones in the name brand; these will work just the same and will add some color to your desert!) and a box of your favorite Brownie mix.
Wellllllll, maybe I fibbed. You will need some ingredients to make the brownie part but I'm sure you get my point! Ha! And I didn't have these orange Oreos for the night of our World Series watching party so I made mine with regular Oreos, but just note that Oreos in any of the seasonal colors make for awesome treats for school parties at any holiday! Use red ones for Valentines or Christmas or even a Texans/Rockets Watching Party or 4th of July, the orange works for halloween but is even great for Thanksgiving or a World Series party -- the possibilities are endless!
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (325 if you're using a dark non-stick pan).
2. Spread out your cookie dough on the bottom of a brownie pan -- I bought this roll but even the pre-cut chunks of dough would work for this you just need to push it together and evenly across the bottom of the pan with either your clean hands or a spatula.
3. Top the layer of cookie dough with Oreos. Lay each Oreo flat against the cookie dough in an even layer; don't overlap them and it's okay if there are gaps. I generally am able to use the whole bag of cookies on a 9 x 13 pan and will need to cut some in half to fit along one side of the pan.
4. Mix the brownies per the box instructions -- add layer of brownie mix evenly over the Oreos and Cookie Dough layers.
5. Bake per Brownie Box instructions -- generally 30 - 35 minutes!
SERIOUSLY, THAT'S IT! It's so easy and its so yummy!! And look how great they look when you cut them up!
To finish up the decorated island, I had two balloon bouquets made at HEB with Astros balloons as the focal and two orange and two blue balloons on either side. I put these on either side of the island. Both bouquets were around $18 combined -- as weird as it sounds, I think I spent the most collectively on the balloons! But all in all, balloons are an easy, relatively inexpensive way to make anything come together quickly.
So that's about it! Here's another look at the finished product:
I promise this was a simple, inexpensive little get-together to whip up -- if I can do it, you can too! Maybe I'll have to do another one for the upcoming games! We can't lose hope with those Astros yet, y'all!
Let me know if you have any questions about anything here; find me on Facebook or Instagram (@jilliankwells) and show me pictures if you attempt any of this! That would make my day!
Until next time, neighbors! And Happy Halloween!