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I'm Erika Ward

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation.  My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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If you are like me, then you are ecstatic that football season is finally here! Go ahead and put on your lucky game day jersey and dust off last season’s paraphernalia. No matter who you’re rooting for, we all share the excitement of gathering with family and friends to celebrate our love for football and food!

To kick off the season, we’re having our own tailgating party and you’re invited!

We love displaying our creativity in decor, however it also shows in our recipes. Many of our party guests are surprised to learn that Coca-Cola is the secret ingredient that keeps them licking their fingers as they chow down on game day fare. I know some of you are thinking, “No Way!” But yes, Coca-Cola allows for so much versatility!

Allow me to give you a peek into the process of creating the tablescape and recipes for your next tailgating party.

STEP 1: Layer! Layer! Layer!

In decorating, layering is the key to an attractive spread. For our football tailgating party we used turf grass create a faux “football field.” We hung a banner to reinforce the team spirit. As a bonus, allow the tablecloth underneath to represent your favorite team’s colors.

STEP 2: Utilize the items you have at home.

Ideally, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on party decor; therefore, keep basics on hand like platters, cake stands, and white plates that you can use for any party. Other examples of party essentials are, tablecloths, mason jars, trays, and bowls. Create an interesting tablescape by using items with assorted shapes, colors, and sizes. Be sure to include items of varying heights to give your table depth and dimension.

Once you know the number of food items you are serving, you can decide which serving ware to use. Play with various arrangements until it feels right to you.

STEP 3: Create an Interesting Centerpiece

In my opinion the most important part, besides the food, is the centerpiece. This brings everything together and it’s the focal point of your table. For this party, we wanted to get creative. By taking empty Coke cans and a can opener, we created a simple yet eye catching centerpiece with flowers. The only objects needed for this fun project would be a:

  • Manual can opener
  • An empty Coke can
  • Beautiful assortment of flowers


1. Empty a Coke can
2. Use a can opener remove the top
3. Cut flower stems to size
4. Add water
5. Place the flowers inside of the Coke can

STEP 4: Don’t forget to accessorize

Accessories make a huge difference in your presentation and really help to drive home the theme of the party. From the mini yarn pom-poms and footballs to the decorative straws, we captured the essence of a football tailgate party party!

Want to spend more time with your guests and less time in the kitchen? Keep the menu simple and easy. Our featured beverage, the Coca-Cola Ice Cream Float, is not only simple to make but is also kid friendly!

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]Add a twist of lime to Coke and Diet Coke for a little variety!


You can also find the secret ingredient in the Coach’s Best Wings. Made with Coke, soy sauce, and scallions they’ve got a savory taste that goes well with any side items of your choice.

[yumprint-recipe id=’3′] 

Our featured dessert, the Beat-the-Buzzer Brownies, are decadent and moist thanks to the 1/4 cup of Coke added to the box mix.

Try these ideas when you host the next game day event. Your guest will be begging for a repeat next week.

This game day tablescape was easy and entertaining. From the Coca-Cola-inspired recipes to the eye-catching décor this party was a gamechanger!

Majority of the party items were found at Sam’s Club, including the 28 can pack of Coca-Cola which can be found on the soft drinks aisle, right next to the Diet Coke.

Make sure to try out the classic Coke float and try experimenting with different garnishes such as chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and caramel to name a few. Let this be one of the beverages of choice for your next gathering.

Don’t forget to stop by Sam’s Club for your next family gathering, birthday party, or even office party. Sam’s Club has made party planning much easier by allowing you to order online and being able to pick it up instantly.

I’d love to hear how you plan your next tailgating party. Share with me below!

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Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation. My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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