Hi guys, it’s Alex again, Alissa’s boyfriend. As you may remember, I hosted a tailgate-at-home party event this past weekend, only a month after having moved cross-country.
The event was sponsored by Apartment Guide (see disclosure below), which has a whole host of information about maximizing your apartment space, and gussying up your apartment for your very own tailgate extravaganza. Be sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. They have décor ideas and entertaining guides perfect for any occasion. Also, as a reminder, it’s not too late to enter in our Tailgating at Home $100 American Express Gift Card Giveway. That’s right, just go here, read the article and follow the simple instructions and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $100 Gift Card that you can use practically anywhere.
As for my party, it went swimmingly. I got the apartment straightened out and we all had a great time. Here are some tailgate-at-home tips I took away from it:
1. You need to plan for vegetarians. I know some of you are rolling your eyes, but there seem to be more vegetarians by the day, and many of them are quite nice! And a lot of great food can be made without meat – it’s true! As an example, I took an old tailgating staple, chili, and simply made it with beans, peppers, onions, tomatoes, corn and spices. It was delicious, as I’m sure you can tell by the photo! The same can be done with plates of nachos, enchiladas, veggie burgers – all sorts of stuff.
2. Know your party guests. Is everyone going to be rooting for the same team? Are people going to be invested in the football, or do they just want to hang out? Plan accordingly. For example, at my party, I was the only Nebraskan and we were watching a Nebraska/Wisconsin football game. There were several Wisconsin alums present (pictured, next to me) and many people who were amicable to watching football, but also wanted to socialize. So: I didn’t get too in-your-face with pro-Nebraska decorations (good thing, too, because we got hammered) and I made sure that there was a space away from the television where people could cluster and chat, without interrupting the game for those who wanted to watch. (In our apartment, the kitchen is open and inviting – all the best conversations at a party happen in the kitchen. It’s a fact.)
3a. Spread out the food. Having all the food in one place creates traffic jams and waiting for people who want to grab snacks. Put some cookies and chips on an end table, put the guacamole on a different end table. Basically, try to have something within reach of every cluster of chairs – that way, all the people watching the game can graze without getting up. Put the hot food off to the side, and serve it to your guests during commercials (you’ll seem more gracious that way) or serve it buffet style.
3b. Spread out the food. Also, don’t bring all the food out right away. We introduced pigs-in-a-blanket during halftime; the held-back surprise pleased the guests and renewed their excitement about our snacks. It was an inspired choice!
4. Plan on people bringing beer, but you have to have enough to get the party started. Basically, if the first person who shows up with a sixer brings your first six bottles of beer, you’re a ponce. People will notice and no one likes a cheapskate. If you start the party off with your own beer, you’ll likely have way more leftover beer than what you started with – unless your guests are as cheap as you are.
5. Clean the bathroom. This is where people are silently judging you. If your bathroom is dirty, their opinion of you will decline. They will gossip. Trust me. Clean your bathroom. It’s absolutely, totally necessary. (Also note: if people compliment you on how clean your bathroom is, it’s a backhanded compliment. They thought you were a slob, and are surprised. Take the “compliment” graciously and be pleased that you disappointed them.)
Disclosure: Apartment Guide is owned by Consumer Source, Inc. Apartment Guide partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “Tailgating at Home”Blogger Challenge. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the “Tailgating at Home”Blogger Challenge. Apartment Guide and Consumer Source believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.