I am a brand ambassador of Ball® home canning products.*
The Summer Games are here and I could not be more excited! I don’t know about you but my family and I love the Summer Games and patiently wait every 4 years (or this time 5) for those two glorious weeks of competition and cheering on the US team. While I think we all secretly wish we were out there competing alongside the greats, my talents are not yet recognized as an official event. So until file folding, alphabetizing and color coding become the rightful sports of the Summer Games they deserve to be, I will be watching from the sidelines. But you better believe I would not let this opportunity pass by to organize an amazing watch party celebration!
This month I partnered with the makers of Ball® home canning products to throw a gold medal worthy Summer Games watch party. Hosting a gathering, large or small, can be stressful but as with most things in life can benefit from a little organization.
Get Started Organizing a Summer Games Themed Party
There are two things to start with when organizing any gathering: the timing and the guest list, as they will dictate a lot of what comes next. The timing of the celebration could not be more important for an event especially with the time change. Make sure you are checking the schedules for not necessarily when the events occur but when they will air on TV so you can capture your favorite athlete competing. Check out the broadcast schedule here to organize your party timeline.
Next, it is important to plan your guest list so you know what you need to prepare for the celebration. Your guest count dictates everything from how much food you will serve to what dishes you will be using to how many Ball® jars you need for your menu and decor. Once you have the guest list in place you can really start organizing and preparing for the celebration.
Summer Games Themed Menu Planning
Then comes the menu planning, also known as the fun part. You can really get creative with menu planning for a watch party but you can’t go wrong as long as you are incorporating the Ball® Stars & Stripes Jars into the presentation. For my patriotic party, I created a fruit focused menu with a presentation that any judge would give a 10 out of 10.
The focal point of my fête was red, white and blue smoothies served in Ball® Stars & Stripes Jars. The smoothies were not only adorable in the jars but also easy to prepare so I could organize the prep in advance and enjoy the party.
To make the smoothies, use your favorite smoothie recipe or make a simple smoothie with a base (yogurt, milk or water), sweetener (honey, agave, etc.), fruit and ice. Start by blending your blue smoothie using blueberries and blackberries and then spoon into the base of the jar. I found the smoothies work best with a quick freeze between each layer so the smoothie sets before adding the next. Once the blue layer is set, blend up the white layer (banana, frozen banana and pineapple), freeze to set and repeat with the final layer of strawberries. I love that the Ball® Stars & Stripes Jars have lids so I can pop them in the freezer but they also work great as the serving piece so I don’t have to transfer before the party.
In addition to the smoothies I created the rings out of fruit and adorable watermelon stars for an added snack. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your menu and presentation for the celebration. The Ball® Stars & Stripes Jars would also work great holding snacks like red, white and blue candies or even creating individual servings of a fun snack mix so each viewer has their own jar. The added touches of star shaped items and using the Ball® Stars & Stripes Jars is what takes the evening from a night in front of the TV to a watch party.
Once you have your menu set for the celebration you can organize your grocery shopping list as well as your timetable for prepping the food. Work backwards from the time you want everything to be ready and set a schedule for your prep. I love the fruit focused menu as so many things can be prepped in advance. You can have all of your smoothie ingredients chopped in advance so all you need to do is blend and assemble before the party.
Decorate for the Summer Games
Finally, the decor will put the finishing touches on your watch party. You don’t have to go crazy but a few small touches go a long way in adding a festive, patriotic feel to your celebration.
I used the Ball® Stars & Stripes Jars to hold straws for the smoothies but they would also work great for some red, white and blue cutlery depending on your menu. I amped up the US Team spirit with cute patriotic straws and napkins. A Ball® jar is also perfect for creating a SUPER easy centerpiece – pop some little flags in a jar and you have an adorable centerpiece in about 5 seconds with the added bonus of easy access to flags to wave to cheer on the team.
As you can see, with just a little organization and help from Ball® jars you too can create a watch party that will land you on the top of the podium! I had so much fun working with the Ball® Stars & Stripes Jars this month and can’t wait to see what you all put together to celebrate the US team.
Summer Games Watch Party Favorites
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.