Checklist For A Palatable Barbeque Cookout In Your Backyard

Summers are at your doorstep and have come with long and sunny days that go perfectly well with outdoor cookouts in your backyard. Friends meetups or family gatherings turn into more relaxing, laid-back and comfortable evenings when you have it in your backyard.

Whether you are having a small garden party just for your near and dear ones or throwing a big barbeque bash for all your professional and personal acquaintances, you need to have a checklist made for taking things in a smooth direction.

We are here to help you sort out your essential checklist to turn your otherwise mundane gatherings into more exciting and happening ones.

Grilling Equipment

Can you imagine yourself without a heart and soul? Obviously not!

Similarly, the grilling equipment is the heart and soul of any barbeque, and it should be the most prioritized thing in your checklist. Get your hands on grills with suitable sizes and shapes that suit your height and cooking style in the best possible way.

While playing with fire, you need to keep yourself safe as well. Keep grill gloves on your hands all the time to protect them from getting contacted by the fire.

The secret to a tender barbeque is the constant fire supply to the meat. So make sure that you don’t run out of charcoal for your grill. You should know how to smoke a turkey, make juicy kebabs and be well aware of the delicacies of tender steaks.

Spatula, grilling fork and tongs are grilling equipment you should have around while you are in your cooking zone.

Beverages For All

The only thing that makes the blazing sun heat bearable in summers is the chilled beverages, and so these should be the next item on your checklist. Present your guests with drinks straight from the freezer to give them a cool start for the evening.

Ensure that you have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks so that the kids and adults can drink as per their choice. Fruit punches, lemonades are ideal for kids to drink at a barbeque picnic. The options are limitless for those of your guests who prefer cocktails for summer and beers over any other drinks. Just remember that the ice bucket never gets emptied, and the beers stay chilled to the very last second of the gathering.

Disposable cups, ice, bottle opener, and corkscrew are the essential drinks-related items you need to have continuous access to.

Get Your Meaty Treats Ready

A barbeque party revolves around meaty items, all of the side dishes simply add to the vibe, but the main focus is always on the meat.

As a generous host, it is your responsibility to ensure that you don’t face meat shortage and the grill only goes silent when everyone has full tummies to go to their home with.

Beef, chicken, hotdogs, pork and whatnot. Satisfy your guest’s craving for steak, sandwich or burgers with tender proteins in them. The meat is not only restricted to this list of main courses but can also be added to salads.

Cutting sausages for your salad can be a time-consuming task, and if done poorly will be enough to ruin your presentation skills. Use a hot dog slicer to cut them in evenly shape and have an everlasting impression on your guests.

The Sides And Desserts

Once you are done with the main course, you need to shift all your attention towards the sides and the desserts, giving a perfect end to the night.

Serving a few side dishes like coleslaw, cheese-filled corn dogs, tortilla chips, or fresh fruits elevates the appetite and can be excellent fillers for those who are waiting for the grilled main course to be served.

After all the spicy and salty dishes, one must have a high craving for something sweet to give a 180o shift to taste buds. Fulfill their desire by keeping a separate stand for desserts like cookies, ice cream, donuts, brownies and cream cheesecakes.

Make sure you add these to your checklist because they might just appear as an added extension to the barbeque but rest assured these will definitely add charm to your setup for the night.

Music And Dance

No party is a party without some music and dance in it. After all your guests have eaten to their full, it’s time that you make them digest their food well before they head out to their homes.

Get some speakers and become the DJ at your party. Turn the music volume up and let your dance moves go free. Involve everyone in the dance, and you will have a BBQ that will be remembered for many years to come.

Bottom Line

Making a checklist for any event makes you smoothly do things, and the chances of you forgetting them become very thin. For arranging a successful BBQ party, you need to make a to-do list with all your tasks written on it in a prioritized manner. Grilling equipment, drinks, food menu and some entertainment through music are worth-mentioning tasks for your checklist.

Keep in mind the above points when you are going to have a barbeque party in your backyard.

Party Planning on a Budget

Planning a party on a budget can be perplexing at times. With a little creativity and smart decisions, however, any party can be a success, whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, wedding, holiday, or baby shower. Here are five suggestions for how to plan your next party on a budget.

Send Online Invitations

Once you’ve decided on the date and time for your party, forego the traditional paper invites. Instead, create invitations from imaginative templates, like beautiful virtual bridal shower invitations online. Since most everyone relies on email and text messages these days, this is a perfect option and a fabulous way to lower costs.

Bake Your Own Sweet Treats

Many or all parties involve some type of sweet treats, such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or other type goodies. If you purchase a birthday cake from a bakery or store, your budget could take a big hit. Instead, make them yourself. Even if you’re not a baker, you can do this easily with store-bought mixes. Get creative with the frostings and any decorative toppings. Look for ideas online to help whether you are going to try angel food cake or flan.

DIY cupcakes are a great, low-cost option for any type of party. They aren’t just for kids’ parties anymore. Try using a white icing using a pastry bag for swirls and place little wedding bells or other small items you find for a low cost. You can even put initials on the top with sprinkles or candies.

Create Unique Decorations

You can spend a lot of your budget on decorations and supplies. However, you don’t have to. Start by looking around your home and identifying anything you already have that you can use. Do you have dozens of candles? Find creative ways to display these. Do you have flowers growing outside? Find unique vases to display them. Print out photos of the couple or birthday guy and place them in frames on a table.

Also, get creative and make your own decorations. Whether you consider yourself crafty or not, you can find something that will work. Look for tutorials online for unique ideas, such as how to make tablecloths or placemats from fun fabrics. Gather pinecones and paint them silver and gold, or red and green.

Consider Timing

Instead of holding your party during a mealtime, consider an in-between time, such as mid-afternoon or after dinner. This will lower your food budget considerably. Offer appetizers and snacks. These can be finger foods, vegetable, cheese, and fruit trays, or chips and a few special dips.

Select Your Splurge Item

Since you’re cutting costs elsewhere, consider selecting one item you wish to splurge on. This will depend on the occasion for the party, of course, but choose one that fits appropriately. This can be rental of a certain location, fancy chocolates from the chocolatier in your city, or the hiring of a magician or musician. By cutting costs elsewhere, you can feel good about allowing a splurge.

A little creativity can go a long way when planning a party on a budget. The goal is to make your guests feel comfortable and for everyone to have fun, including yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect. By sending online invitations, doing more of the cooking and designing of the party décor yourself, and adding that one splurge item you’re excited about, you’re ready to throw a great get-together.

Celebrating your kid’s birthday during lockdown – 4 simple ideas that they’ll love

I bet you never envisioned celebrating your little one’s birthday whilst under a country-wide lockdown, did you? You may have had big plans, a huge party in mind with all their school friends, days out and plenty of food and fun. But, now with most of those things unavailable for the foreseeable future, it can be difficult to know what to do next.

No parent can stand the thought of their little one having a less than perfect birthday, and as if the pressure weren’t normally high enough, these days a fun and memorable birthday can seem like an impossible task.

Sadly, while many things are beyond our control at the minute, there are things that you can take full control of – including the best birthday for little one ever, if you’re still looking for the perfect gift, check out wicked uncle for the latest toys.

Here we’ll share some simple, fun birthday ideas that your little one will absolutely love.

Let them choose a theme

Just because you’re not hiring a community centre or heading to an indoor play area, doesn’t mean your child can’t have a theme. Let them choose the kind of party they want and then source the decorations, balloons, party favors, tableware, linen and tablecloths to match. From under the sea, to dinosaurs, monsters, princesses, superheroes, space, animals – the possibilities are endless.

Don’t sweat the decorations

As mentioned above, if your child picks a theme then you’ll know what type you need to source. However, remember that you can also make bunting at home, either with paper or with a sewing machine, string up fairy lights, make paper streamers and more. Ideal if you’re trying to save a little money at the moment.

Take the party outside

The weather is warming up, so why not take the party outside? Even if your outdoor space is minimal, you can make the most of it. Lay out picnic blankets, add plenty of cushions and bring out the food and drink. You could also play party games outdoors and not worry too much about the mess!

(Virtually) Invite their friends!

Just because we’re following social distancing rules, it doesn’t mean your little one can’t invite their friends! A group video chat is a fun idea, or ask parents to send your child a video message via their messenger service. They’ll feel extra special and love hearing from their friends!

Five Fun Ideas to Make Your Next Garden Party Pop!

Spending time outdoors is what it’s all about when the spring and summer roll back around, and if you’re wanting to get out into the garden then what better way to do so than by hosting a garden party? If you want your occasion to be extra special, here are a few ways you can give it a boost.



Switch up the style

If you always go for a barbeque, why not try something different? How about a traditional style picnic- but in the garden? Lay down a checkered picnic and serve some tasty picnic classics– there are plenty of ideas to inspire you on Pinterest. You could also go afternoon tea style, this is nice if you want an elegant affair. Invest in some tiered cake stands and serve up finger sandwiches, fancy pastries and other bitesize nibbles out in the garden with the sun shining. You could go with a traditional tea served in mismatched china (you’ll find this in just about any charity shop). Or you could go sparkling and serve it with champagne or prosecco.

Set up a photo booth

A photo booth is a great way to keep guests entertained and also enables you to capture some fun and lighthearted pictures of the day. You could hire a company like Booth Boy photo booth hire for the day, or you could make your own using a white sheet as a backdrop and purchase some cheap props online. Amazon and ebay have packs of these that you can order and are fun for guests to mess around with and snap some pictures.

Hire a bouncy castle

If you’re throwing a party for kids or kids will be attending then what better way to keep them busy on a sunny day? Bouncy castles are loads of fun and will certainly get them excited. They don’t cost as much as you might think to hire them for the day, and if you want to keep children occupied while you enjoy the party with your adult guests then this is a great way to go about it.

Purchase some lawn games

Lawn games like giant Jenga, Connect 4 and Snakes and Ladders are good for kids and adults alike. If you want to get people mixing and chatting then this is one way to go about it, they’re not too expensive and once you have them they can be brought out of the shed every year. It’s something a little different that your guests are sure to have fun with.

Find some nice decor

Finally, if you want your party to stand out and for it to really feel like a party then adding some decorative touches can go a long way. If you’re celebrating a particular occasion then helium filled balloons and banners can work well. Otherwise, find pretty garden lighting and fill vases with cut flowers. Of course, you’ll want to make sure your garden is clean and tidy and up to scratch before throwing a party in it so spend a little time on this first.


College Football Spirit with Dr Pepper® + DIY Photo Booth Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FootballFanGame #FiredUpFans

Saturdays in the fall is football day at our house.  Each week you’ll find us wearing our favorite sports apparel, chowing down on some yummy football food, and of course, watching football and showing our team spirit.  As the season grows near, I’m getting my shopping list ready so I can buy all the food and supplies we’ll need for a little homegating.  A few items we could not live without include Dr Pepper®, Kingsford® Original Charcoal, and Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing!  Today I’m here to show you how we do football, and I’ve also got a tutorial for DIY Photo Booth that can help make your football party fun and unique!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Dr Pepper and am happy that it is the official drink of college football fans and has been part of college football for over 25 years.

And apart from drinking the Dr Pepper, you can also use it as a marinade for your favorite meat or serve it up in some delicious Dr Pepper Floats.

You can purchase Dr Pepper in the can drink aisle at your local Walmart.  Be on the look out for special college football packaging!

The grill is a staple in our home.  We use it at least once a week, and it’s great for making some of our favorite football foods like pulled pork, grilled chicken, hamburgers, and hot wings.

My husband is our resident grill master! I can always count on him to grill up some delicious meats for game day. He loves the Kingsford brand and says it is the only thing he will use on a charcoal grill. The product is made in the USA with 100% natural North American ingredients.

We purchase our Kingsford Original Charcoal at Walmart.  Look for it in the lawn and garden department, along with other Kingsford varieties like Kingsford Charcoal with Applewood as well as varieties with Hickory, Pecan, Cherrywood, and Mesquite. Check your local store to see if grocery pick up is available for your convenience.

Hidden Valley Ranch is the perfect addition to salads, veggies, meats, crackers, and even pizza!


Of course, it’s not a party or even a regular day at my house unless I am taking pictures!  I’m the Queen of Picture Taking and I’m always walking around taking pictures of people, animals, or just random every day things!

To make more professional photos of our son, I have a very simple DIY photo booth, and this set up works great at parties for a little decoration and for a spot where your guests can take their own fun photos!  I like to place ours in our kitchen because it has the best natural light.

Supplies / Tools

32 ft of 3/4″ wide PVC pipe

(4) 3/4″ PVC T Pieces (slip on, not threaded)

(2) 3/4″ PVC Elbow Pieces (slip on, not threaded)

PVC Pipe cutters

Additional Supplies:

Clasps / Clips to hang backdrop

Backdrop and photo props – You can purchase cheap or expensive backdrops, but I usually use every day items like blankets, tablecloths, curtains, and shower curtains.

Note: The measurements in this tutorial will give you a backdrop that is 4 foot across.  The small booth set up is 40 inches high, and the large booth is 70 inches high.  If you need for your booth to accommodate taller people, you will obviously need to adjust the lengths you cut on the pipe.


Use your PVC Pipe Cutters to cut your pipe into pieces as follows:

6 – 30 inch pieces

2 – 4 ft pieces

2 – 40 inch pieces

To assemble, take 2 of the 30 inch pieces and place them in either side of a T-joint.  Repeat with 2 other 30 inch pieces.  These will be the bottom of the base.  Next take a 40 inch piece and place it in the other side of the T joint.  Repeat with other 40 inch piece.  This gives you the bottom and the lower half of the sides.  Next add another T joint to the top of each 40 inch piece.  Take one of your 4 foot pieces and use it to connect your two sides.  This will give you the small assembly seen above.

If you are just doing a photo booth for small kids, you can hang a backdrop from this and you are ready to go.  (It can also accommodate teens and adults who are seated.)

To complete the large set up, take your other two 30 inch pieces and add them to either side.  Then add an elbow joint to either side.  Next use your other 4 ft piece to connect the two

sides.  This will complete the large assembly.  Now you are ready to hang up a backdrop, get out your props, and have some fun.

With a photo booth like this your friends and family can take professional looking photos in front of a fun scene.  It will help them commemorate the day, and it is a lot of fun for one and all!

Are you ready for football? Get fired up with more football fan ideas. I’d also love to hear your tailgating tips, traditions, and ideas. Please join us in the comments or on social media. 

Grilled Hot Wings + 6 Tips to Make Your Summer Cookout a Success

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeYourSummer #MADEFORDOERS #CollectiveBias

Summer time is party time!  My husband and I love to have cookouts during the summer, and we are sort of famous for our last minute impromptu get-togethers, featuring my husband’s grilled masterpieces, and my amazing sides and desserts.  Today I’m excited to offer you an easy but unique recipe for your next cookout, plus tips to make your summer cookout a success from prep to clean up.


Party Time Clean Up Essentials

When it comes to parties, most people focus on the food first and then the decorations, but you must not forget other essentials like plates, cups, eating utensils, and of course, something to help guests to clean their hands.  VIVA® Vantage® Big Roll Paper Towels come in a convenient 6 pack that is perfect for your party.  I love putting out a roll of paper towels, because it is easy, convenient, and cost effective.  Also, in the event of a spill, you just grab a roll and get to cleaning!

Paper towels can also be a big help for cleaning as you go before your party begins.  Just wipe down tables and counter tops as you work, so the messes don’t add up!  Then after the party is over, I like to grab my favorite spray cleaner and a roll of paper towels for quick clean up!

New Kleenex® Wet Wipes Gentle Clean are also a convenient product to have on hand.  These are safe to use on hands and your face.

Summer parties are often outdoors, which means no sink is immediately available, and so it’s great to offer guests some wipes for personal clean up (especially if you are serving a messy food like ribs, wings, or ice cream).

I recommend placing a package of Kleenex® Wet Wipes at the center of each of the tables where people will be eating, as well as an additional package next to your messiest foods, which may require the use of the wipes (ie – right next to your tray of hot wings).

You can find both of these products in the bath tissue, facial tissue and paper towel aisle at your local Kroger.  I used my Kroger Plus card and was able to save $5 on the VIVA® Vantage® Big Roll Paper Towels 6 pack!

The Kleenex® wipes found on the facial tissue aisle.  I actually found them on the same aisle as the paper towels.  I found them at the opposite end of the aisle, in between bath tissue and facial tissue.

Place Non-Food Essentials in One Place

I have been to so many parties and get-togethers where everyone appears lost!  Where are the plates?  I can’t find the cups!  I forgot to get a paper towel. Where are the forks?  The confusion can be solved rather easily, by placing all of these essential items at the end of your buffet, all together in one place.

Fun Theme

Even the smallest party can be made more fun with a few decorations.  My stepson recently graduated high school and will be leaving in August to join the army, so for his upcoming party, I would use some simple red, white, and blue decorations.  I LOVE patriotic decorations to begin with, so this is an especially fun theme for me.  Plus, with Memorial Day and the 4th of July being summer time holidays it is very easy to find paper plates, balloons, tablecloths, and other fun decorations and party favors to go with this theme.

Make Ahead Menu Items

To shorten prep time and make less mess on the day of your party, choose a few make ahead menu items.

  • Casseroles that can be mixed up the night before and simply warmed in the oven the next day are great.
  • You can also make salads the night before. (We always make our potato salad a day ahead!)
  • No bake desserts are also great for this, as well most other desserts from homemade cookies to pies and cupcakes.

Unique Menu

Think outside the box when planning your menu; just a few unique menu items can take your menu from bland and basic to original and full of flavor.

Right now we are brainstorming party ideas for Noah. My husband and I LOVE to do cookouts, and we also love doing appetizer parties, so my idea is to do a combination of the two.  I’d like to serve hamburgers and hot dogs (because it is easy and everyone loves it), but I also want to throw in some of our favorite appetizers like hot wings, sausage balls, and buffalo chicken dip.

You could also add a few appetizers to your menu if your are having a fish fry.  Or offer up veggie kebobs alongside your grilled steaks or barbecue chicken.

Fresh fruits and salads are also great additions to your backyard barbecue, and of course, you never want to forget the dessert!

Fire Up That Grill!

If you’re serving appetizers at your next cookout, I have a simple, yet unique recipe.  Where I live hot wings are not typically served at a barbecue.  They are usually reserved for tailgating parties and holiday parties, so just having them at a summer party is an interesting menu twist for us.  And if that’s not enough, these wings are GRILLED!  Usually when people think of wings, they think of wings fried in a fryer.

Grilling your wings will add extra flavor that frying just won’t do, and because you aren’t using any oil, and the fat from the wings drips down into your grill, your wings will actually be a lot more healthy!


Grilled Hot Wings

Grilled Hot Wings


5lb hotwings (drumettes and/or flats)

OR 5 lb chicken tenderloins (for chicken fingers or cut into boneless wings)

12 oz bottle cayenne pepper hot sauce

1 stick butter

1/4 cup steak seasoning sauce

1 tbsp garlic powder


Place wings on grill and cook on 250 degrees of heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until internal temperature is 160 degrees.

Just before wings finish cooking, make sauce: Pour hot sauce, steak seasoning sauce, and garlic powder in to a sauce pan. Add stick of butter. Simmer on low to medium heat until butter is melted, stirring occasionally.

Once wings are off the grill, place wings in a dish and pour sauce over wings. Serve with ranch or bleu cheese dressing.


To prevent burning and sticking, take a piece of aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray, place marinated wings on foil, and fold/scrunch foil to create a foil pack. Then place foil pack on grill.


Enter the #MakeYourSummer Sweepstakes for a chance to win a Kroger gift card or a NASCAR experience!

  • No Purchase Necessary. The #MakeYourSummer #Sweepstakes begins on June 11, 2018 at 12:00:00 AM ET and ends on July 23, 2018 at 11:59:59 PM ET.
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Do you love cookouts and summer parties? Visit the Make Your Summer Social Hub for more unique grilling inspiration.  And as always, I invite you to join the conversation by commenting on today’s post!

5 Trending Wedding Cake Ideas


Just like any other aspect of a wedding, wedding cakes tend to have trendy designs that come and go. The wedding cake is the center piece of your entire reception, so it is important for it to have some stylish flair. Check out these five wedding cake ideas that are trending for 2018.

1. Painted Cakes

In the past few seasons, there has been a significant increase in watercolor designs. The gentle hues and brushstrokes of edible paint on a smooth coat of fondant can make a wedding cake truly stand out. A nice thing about this design trend is that it can easily be adapted to any size and shape of cake. Because of this, as you can imagine, the price is suitable for any budget. Check out CakesPrices for more info about round, inch or square types of cakes. The biggest trend for the painted cakes are ones with sketchy vines of flowers and leaves twisting around the cake. Hand painted floral patterns are trendy because they match the wedding trend of hand embroidered floral patterns on dresses. This artistic and romantic look is perfect for a garden wedding. Ombre cakes with soft brushstrokes and feather shapes are another way to try out this trend.

2. Naked Wedding Cakes

The rustic wedding style is still going strong, so plenty of brides and grooms are going for “naked” cakes. You still get plenty of yummy frosting in between each layer of the cake, but the top and sides are bare. These cakes look best in tall, towering tiers. They are ideal for couples who want lower cakes prices since they are less time consuming to make. Though naked cakes have been around for a while, the new trend is to select this design for wedding cakes in unusual flavors. The bare sides make sure that the colorful and unique cake is the star of the show. Popular flavors include blueberry, blood orange, red velvet, confetti, or other flavors that have fun hues. You can add further decoration with garlands, fresh flowers, or fresh fruit around the cake.

3. Feather Cakes

Also called brushstroke cakes and Kalabasa cakes, this style has been taking Instagram by storm lately. It consists of a cake decorated with thick sprays of feathery looking chocolate. They seem to have originated with a small Russian bakery, but it is now one of the biggest cake trends of the season. A brushstroke cake is a great option because it allows your cake’s decorations to be made from chocolate instead of fondant. The feathery designs can easily be made in any color or size, so you can find natural looking cakes covered in tiny feathers or cakes with thick strokes of feathers that look like abstract art.

4. Geometric Designs

Fruit and flowers are not the only popular wedding cake ideas at the moment. A relatively fresh and modern trend is the geometric designs. These are a great opportunity because they work with any wedding colors, and they nicely match the industrial trends in design

lately. You can find geometric designs made from edible paint, piped icing, fondant, or even airbrushed stencils. Hexagons, triangles, and diamond shapes are particularly popular geometric shapes, but you can also find ones with more abstract trapezoids, chevrons, and lines.

5. Metallic Color Cakes

The metallic trend first got its start around the edges of those geode cakes that were popular last year, but this year it is even bigger. Many cake designers are now creating cakes that look almost entirely metallic. Gold is the most popular shade right now, but copper, silver, and even brass is starting to gain traction as well. This trend is great for brides who want plenty of glamour and sparkle at their wedding. You can use metallic accents on a relatively traditional cake, or you can pair them with a more experimental design. One of the favorite ways to try out the metallic trend is to gently dust the cake with a scattering of edible silver or gold leaf for an iridescent look.

Any one of these trendy wedding cake ideas is sure to impress the guests at your weddings. These designs are all extremely versatile, so they work well for many styles and sizes of weddings.

Cute Party Themes for Autumn Birthdays

Is someone in your family having a birthday this season? Autumn birthdays can sometimes be tricky, tucked into all the craziness of the back-to-school time and the holidays coming up so soon. Here are a few fall-inspired themes that you can use for your child’s next birthday party.

autumn birthdays

American Western Theme

The fall just makes us want to stomp around in boots and flannel, so you can take this natural type of style and apply it to your party theme. An American Wild West them is fun for kids of all ages, letting them dress up in Stetsons and cowboy boots. Serve baked beans and hotdogs and teach the children a line dance or two for a folksy, fun hoedown. Decorate with corncobs and bales of hay (or just a few bits of hay here and there if you don’t want to go all out!)

Retro 1980s Party

Does the autumn make you feel nostalgic? Although to some of us the 1980s don’t seem all that long ago, to kids this time period might as well be science fiction. With its bright colours and fun pop music, it’s super child-friendly. You can get 80s fancy dress from Funidelia to look the part, or go DIY with slogan T-shirts and mesh gloves of your own. It’s a good idea for costume parties like this to offer a few extra accessories in case anyone misses out on the dress code. To complete the theme, play the top 40 hits from the decade and encourage guests to dance along. The décor should be as wild and neon as the decade.

Woodland Creatures

There’s perhaps no better time to have a wander in the woods than during the fall, when the leaves are changing colours and the air turns crisp. You can bring this same spirit into a woodland party theme. If you make it a costume party, encourage guests to dress like forest animals from bunnies to squirrels or foxes. For the decorations, you can transform your own backyard into a woodland setting with hidden gnomes, brown burlap decorations and fairy lights.

Baking Theme

Is your child old enough to try their hand at baking? This can be a great theme for the budding chef. Get a group of friends together to make seasonal treats like pumpkin spice cookies or apple cupcakes. Just be sure to choose something that they can make and decorate to fill plenty of time. Naturally, the children can then take home their creations at the end of the party.

Wizards and Magic

With Halloween ahead of us, a magic-themed party is a natural fit for September or October birthdays. You can get a jumpstart on your seasonal decoration with whimsical wizard costumes, colour-changing drinks, and black cat cupcakes. Play pin the broomstick on the witch, or use Harry Potter decorations to make your theme even more specific.

No matter what your child’s interests are, you can combine them with the natural magic of the fall season to create a memorable birthday party this year.

Tangy Dr Pepper® Chicken and Grill-gating Fun

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrillGatingHero #GrillGating

Tangy Dr Pepper Chicken and Grill-gating Fund

It’s that time of year again! Time to break out your favorite fan gear, whip up your favorite recipes, and get ready for fun-filled football Saturdays!  Every fall I enjoy sitting in front of the television with my husband on Saturdays and watching our favorite college football team (and any other college team who’s playing).   Whether we have a house full of people or it’s just our family at home, we always have a good time, and we always enjoy our share of delicious homegating and grill-gating food!  Today I’m going to share a recipe for grilled chicken.  It features a Tangy Dr Pepper® marinade, and can be used for your chicken fingers, boneless and bone-in wings, or any other meat of your choice! [Read more…]

Tailgating with Tony’s Pizza + Sausage & Cheese Pinwheels

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WinWithTonysPizza #CollectiveBias

Football season is in full swing, and that includes high school football!  Even though it’s been “a few” years since I was in high school, I still enjoy rooting for the home team, and my husband played football in high school so he is always happy to watch anyone play.  Our son has also been in marching band, so we’ve enjoyed going to the football games to see him play, and while we’re there it’s a great chance to check out the game and enjoy ourselves.

One thing that’s changed since I was in school is the pre-game festivities.  Much like they do at colleges, people now tailgate, spirit parades, and other fun activities.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I love homegating and serving food for football games.  For a high school game, I think it’s just as fun to serve up a few appetizers for family and friends to enjoy before attending the big game.

The other day we had a nice spread of food. I made a few appetizers, and our main dish was Tony’s pizza.  I purchased Tony’s® Pizzeria Style MEAT-TRIO® Pizza and Tony’s® Pizzeria Style Cheese Pizza.  Their pizzas feature 100% real mozzarella cheese and sauce made from real tomatoes, and their pizzas bake up in about 20 minutes, making them ideal for you tailgate or homegate parties!


You can find Tony’s pizza in the freezer section at Walmart.  Look for all their delicious varieties:

  • Tony’s® Pizzeria Style Pepperoni Pizza
  • Tony’s® Pizzeria Style Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza
  • Tony’s® Pizzeria Style Cheese Pizza
  • Tony’s® Pizzeria Style Supreme Pizza
  • Tony’s® Pizzeria Style MEAT-TRIO® Pizza

I like baking these pizzas as a main dish, and it’s also fun to slice the pizza into many smaller pizzas in order to serve “finger food” size portions.  Tony’s pizza is also very affordable, and because it’s so quick to make you can always stick extra pizzas in the oven if you have last minute or unexpected guests arrive.

Ibotta Offer!  You can also get $1 cash back off your pizza purchase with Ibotta.

Sweepstakes!  Right now you can also enter to win great prizes and up to $3000 for your local high school from Tony’s pizza.  Check it out!

#WinWithTonysPizza #Sweepstakes – Walmart (9/19 to 10/17)

I also made a few appetizers to go with our pizza.  It was basically an entire table full of man food!

One of the appetizers I made to go with the pizza was a platter of Sausage & Cheese Pinwheels.  This is a very easy appetizer that you can make in under 20 minutes.  The bite-sized portions make it very easy to serve and eat at a tailgate.  And the hearty ingredients are real crowd pleasers.

Sausage & Cheese Pinwheels

Sausage & Cheese Pinwheels


24 oz processed cheese

1 can diced tomatoes with chiles

1 pound ground sausage

flour tortillas


Fry sausage until browned and cook through. Drain off fat. Set aside.

Take cheese and slice it into cubes. Place in a microwave safe bowl. Add tomatoes with chiles. Place in microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Repeat until cheese is melted. Stir in sausage.

Spread sausage and cheese mixture in a thin layer on the tortillas. Roll tortillas on to themselves. Chill in the refrigerator till cheese mixture is set.

Remove tortilla roll-ups from the refrigerator. Cut tortillas in to slices, about 1/2 an inch wide. Cheese should be set up enough so that it doesn't ooze out when you cut the tortillas.

Place pinwheels on tray and serve immediately or place in the refrigerator until time to serve.


For a lighter option, try substituting other ingredients like turkey sausage and whole wheat tortillas.

Do enjoy Friday night football?  Do you have a son who plays for the home team or a daughter who cheers on the sideline?  If so, I’d love to hear how you celebrate and show your home town pride!  Leave a comment on this post or join the discussion on social media.

Also, be sure to check out these fun tailgating ideas!