Tag Archives | fall

It’s Tailgate Time! Football Party Ideas | Andrew’s 11th Birthday

Are you ready for some Football? It’s just about that time of year! Kick off football season with a tailgate party, fun at any age!

This year Andrew chose to have a football party for his 11th Birthday. He invited friends to all wear their favorite team (can you tell we are in Chicago?!) and the boys played a little Madden in the Game truck and some nerf football in the front yard.


Here are a couple of my tips for throwing together a football party and adding that extra bit of attention to detail:

1. Astroturf. Inexpensive at home improvement stores. Use it to cover your table or your tailgate.

2) Printables. Pennant flags go a long way in a tailgate set up. Go Team!

3) Engineer Prints. Large chalkboard Backdrops and menu boards are very inexpensive when you print them as engineer prints.

4) Tissue paper. Easy to make poms poms on sticks and use as garland. Cheer on your team! We used basic football brown and turf green, but you can personalize the colors of your party to your favorite team too.

5) Wrapped food. Make it easy to grab and go with wrapped and labeled hot dogs and subs. Plastic cups with lids make great popcorn and other sideline snack containers.

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We had a true tailgate party, setting up the food on my husband’s tailgate. Andrew requested his favorites….chili with all ) the fixins, hot dogs, Chili Cheese dogs, Chicago mix {cheese and carmel} popcorn, ham & cheese hoagies and salami subs.

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Powerade and Root Beer Bottles were the tailgate drinks of choice. The porch had a drink station and desserts too.



Found these inexpensive drink koozies at oriental trading company.


Desserts included the best brownie cake pops and sugar cookies made by my sister, Double chocolate football cupcakes, Chocolate taffy, rootbeer candies and more.






A long chalkboard with football plays held the vanilla cream cheese cupcakes.





Photos by Maggie Russo Photo | Printables Available in my shop | Best Game Truck in Chicagoland & NWI

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Fall County Fair Ideas

September is here and that means Fall Parties! One of my favorite settings for fall parties are farms, orchards and fair grounds. This is the perfect time of year to take it outdoors. I love the County Fair theme because you can really use it for any occasion. I used mine for a family reunion, but it makes a great theme for birthday, wedding shower or baby shower as well. This was done on a small scale because I like the simple country feel of it, but I think these ideas would make a great jumping off point for a bigger party as well. Here are a few of my tips and tricks for a great {and simple} County Fair Party….



  • I like to look for fun ways to add varying heights to my table. This time I used a rustic metal plant stand, vintage Pepsi crate and worn wooden boxes. Look around your house and you can get creative with this.
  • Use local grown fruit in different bushels and baskets to fill in space on the table. It looks nice and it fits right in with the theme. Lots of people appreciate a healthy option as well.
  • The County fair is all about great tasting desserts so skip the fancy fondant frosting and jazz up a simple cake with a prize ribbon. This cake was just $3.99 at my grocery store bakery and has the homemade “prize winning” look I was going for.
  • If your county or venue is known for something be sure to work it into the table. This farm is known for their Apple Cider Donuts so they made an appearance in a wooden loaf pan. The well known cider also had it’s own display.
  •  Inexpensive fabrics are a great way to add color to your table. This blue gingham was just $1 per yard. A $3 tablecloth is a nice deal!
  •  I love to add fresh flowers for a splash of color. The sunflowers were just right for this event.

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Set the tone to your event with the invitation and pull it all together with matching printables. You can find the invite and the whole matching set in my shop.


And can I just add…how cute are they? Annabelle, Tyler and their cousin Jack.


And now for the games. You know my style is Homespun…..so these games are just that! My favorite is the Soda Pop Ring Toss. I filled my vintage Pepsi crate with 24 bottles of colorful soda and the kids had to ring them with small rings.

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* We did not photograph lunch…. but corndogs, corn on the cob, pulled pork and fried chicken are county fair favorites for “real food”.

Photos by Maggie Russo Photo. For more County fair inspiration check out her County Fair theme baby shower. It was ADORABLE. I love the homemade chalkboard menu that Maggie made! See her shower feature on The Wise Baby Blog


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