Monday, March 28, 2011

NCAA Basketball March Madness Home Viewing Party

It's that time of year once again.

March rolls around and my husband starts talking in terms of brackets and schedules and predictions... and my eyes begin to glass over from the start of the tournament pretty much up until it is narrowed down to the Final Four.

Or at least that is what I think is going to happen. Somehow even though I roll my eyes every time another game is on TV or I hear "I just need to check the score..." mentioned, I find that it's hard to not get sucked into the excitement of it all.

But aside from my husband losing money in his work pool, we don't tend to have any annual traditions or fun celebrations like we do with other sporting events. It just hasn't been something that we've done before.

This year is different, though. This year we were introduced to the genius of the Party Bluprints Blog and found out just how fun a March Madness Viewing Party can be, particularly with Orville Redenbacher Pop Up Bowls popcorn leading the way.

First up? Planning the party and heading to the store, of course! Armed with my list of ingredients, it was time to hit up Walmart and see just what I could find to make this party great. The trip ended up a little more eventful as I would have liked, seen here in my whrrl...

More check-ins at Walmart #1138
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After finally getting those elusive Pop Up Bowls, we were definitely ready to get the preparations underway. First up was the all-important whoopie pies because as far as I was concerned, it wasn't going to be a party without them.

The recipe (found over on the Party Bluprints Blog) was extremely easy to follow and it wasn't long before we had turned a chocolate cake mix, cream cheese, butter, and a few other ingredients into something that looked awfully tasty.

In fact, I turned away for a minute to put up decorations and found a certain little someone awfully close to taking a taste...

With that crisis averted, we finished putting up our decorations and getting the rest of the food together before our guests arrived... as I hadn't found any basketball-themed decorations at Walmart, we just went with an overall bright colors motif and used a little bit of everything.

I also took the tip from the Party Bluprints Blog to check to make sure that our television was on and ready to go. Our cable company has been known for doing strange things in the past and this was definitely not the day that we wanted to be fiddling with having to reset or adjust anything.

With the party underway, it was time to hang out, laugh, and enjoy some good basketball, good food, and good friends and family. The game didn't hold the kids' attention for all too long, but they still had a great time with the party favors that we set out... and they were happy to provide a little entertainment during commercial breaks.

But the clear winners of the day were two things. First, the popcorn.

The adults and the kids loved the Orville Redenbacher's Pop Up Bowls, they were just so easy, convenient, and perfect for snacking. Two minutes in the microwave and we had another fresh bag-turned-bowl for people to dig in... and when it was empty, we simply threw it out and had one less dish to wash later.

Second, the whoopie pies.

If you haven't tried these, do it. The soft chocolate cake on the outside is the perfect complement to the sugary sweet cream cheese icing in middle and it just ends up one big mouthful of yummmm. I just might have to use these for future parties as well and just tint the icing a different color depending on the occasion!

All in all, I couldn't even tell you who won the basketball game. And I'm sure that probably does matter in the overall scheme of things... but in party terms, we had a great time. I'll definitely be checking back to the Party Bluprints Blog in the future for more fun ideas because I really enjoyed the way that they had their March Madness Party plans laid out.

Now the only question is: what's next? A party for spring? The World Series? Maybe a big Mother's Day Bash?

I was compensated by Collective Bias to write this post. All opinions are my own.


Lexiquin said...

My invitation must've gotten lost in the mail!

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious and I would have been mad not finding them as well. And hey I have a few pair of Miley Cyrus workout pants:) Great post and party...I'm starving now!

Jen @ BigBinder said...

I'm way more into the food than the game - this looks like a fun party!

Liz Mays said...

I'm not even going to tell you how many of those popcorn bag/bowl things I've eaten thus far. They're so darn good! You know how to party, girl!

Sippy Cup Mom said...

That looks like so much fun!