Ah, the Super Bowl is back! The one night where potato chips, pretzels and beer are the preferred foods to serve and you don't even have to worry about small talk since everyone's eyes will be glued to the TV. Easy, right? Eh, not so fast!
We've all been to the parties where open bags of chips, cans of beer and anonymous bowls of mystery dip were the call of order. And while there really is nothing wrong with that -- who doesn't like French onion dip -- this effortless entertaining can have its own hassles. Like people knocking over bags, getting salsa on the floor and mixing up their beer cans. Also, since there are few reasons to throw parties, it's fun to try something a little unexpected. Especially when the game is an epic re-match like this one (ahem...flash back four years when the Giants stopped the Patriots from a 19-0 season). Okay, our office is in New York, we had to mention it one time -- but, back to decor. [EDITOR'S NOTE FROM BRIE DYAS: Some of us are Steelers fans, ahem.]
Simple changes like creating a buffet table or arranging the seats beforehand can do wonders for making your party feel like something new. So, keep reading for seven easy ways to upgrade your Super Bowl party, because hey, the TV doesn't have to be the only thing people take note of!
Arrange your seats in advance. Avoid the haphazard run for dining room seats seconds before the game begins by bringing your extra seats into the TV room before your guests arrive. This way you can arrange the chairs to ensure that everyone will not only have a great view of the game, but will also have avenues of escape for bathroom breaks, drink refills or a second-round of dinner.
Know your colors. The Patriots are the home team, so they'll be in blue while the Giants play in white. For the ambivalent hostess who doesn't want to choose sides, decorate with red since both teams have hints of the color on their uniforms. For a simple accent, put ribbon around a vase and find some fresh flowers in the right color -- perfect for the coffee table!
Put together a buffet table. Rather than plopping everything on the coffee table for easy access, display the food and drinks along the kitchen or dining room table. (Or, relocate whatever table is most convenient to your living room to bring the snacks closer.) No one will be reaching over one another for food, which means fewer spills and a faster serving time so no one misses any part of the big game.
Change up your food. A takeout pizza is nice, but homemade tailgate favorites will be a little more filling. If you have a slow cooker, root beer pulled pork or spicy beef chili still fit the football mood, but add an extra-flavorful food option your friends will love (and are incredibly easy to make!). If you don't have a slow cooker, balance takeout and snack foods with easy homemade accents, like homemade dips -- this jalapeno dip looks especially to die for!
Ditch the chip bags. We've all known people who treat the bag of tortilla chips as their personal property. A communal bowl is a little less easy to hog and the addition of a big serving spoon makes it a little more civil than grabbing handfuls of snacks.
Opt for a mini-keg. It's practical: With only one option, guests won't be able to complain about the absence of their favorite brew and you'll accumulate less trash. If you have them, put glass mugs in the freezer overnight. The icy cold cups will not only keep the booze from becoming luke warm, but will also give the party a great pub-like feel.
Utilize free printables. Skip the trip to the party store--There are crafty people all over the web creating free printable decorations out of the kindness of their own hearts. Let's take them up on this offer! If you're not sure where to start looking, click here for a whole slideshow of fantastic options.