March Madness!! {Plus, How To: Create a Color-Themed Table}

Kate and I both attended Brigham Young University and the boys of our Alma mater beat Gonzaga last week, securing a spot in the Sweet 16.  They take on the University of Florida this week- and guess where?  The Big Easy.  So of course we have to throw out a little Cougar-love on OBB!  And if you’re not a BYU fan, no worries- I thought this was the perfect opportunity to show some things that can be customized for any school colors (High School Graduations are coming up!) and sports teams because it’s something we get asked about a lot.

But for us, it’s all about the Blue today.  See that kid over there?  (Oh my gosh, I just referred to a college student as a “kid”, I’m officially old.)  That’s the Jimmer. I don’t know how anyone in the US right now doesn’t know who Jimmer Fredette is, but apparently they exist.  A phenomenon known as “Jimmer Mania” is sweeping the country.  Even President Obama loves the Jimmer!  He’s the MWC’s all-time leading scorer, MWC player of the year, and in my husband’s humble opinion, the 2011 NCAA Basketball player of the year.  All of that is just fancy talk for A-maz-ing.  Grown men squeal like girls when they watch him play, and girls actually watch him play.  But what I think is almost cooler than all of that is the fact that his name has become a part of the daily vocabulary of millions of Americans.  As they just said on ESPN the other day, “Jimmer is a noun, a verb, and an adverb.”  Want proof?  His name has its own glossary. I’m pretty sure that’s a good sign that you’ve made something of yourself.  Seriously.  That’s so Jimmer.

Since we’re celebrating the Sweet 16, I thought a collection of sugary delights was in order.  Have pizza for dinner and save room for the treats!  (Okay, and hello- blue and white?  Not too many options when it comes to savory foods.  If your team is red or green you’re set.  Us, not so much.)

You know how much we love our Sugar Cookies with Glace Icing.  You can make just about anything your cookie-loving heart desires.  But we also know that sugar cookies can be time-consuming and annoying sometimes too.  So I will tell you a little secret.

Sometimes I cheat.

Not on important things like driver’s tests and board games, but on cookies?  Yes.  Sometimes.  For a quickie thing like this I’ll just buy plain, un-frosted sugar cookies from the bakery at the grocery store. These cute basketball cookies took me 20 minutes start to finish.  No joke people!  And by finished, I mean dishes in the dishwasher and everything.  Boo ya.

You could easily use your team colors and put player’s numbers on them too.  There was a full-on battle at our house regarding who got to eat the Jimmer cookie.  The kid who screamed the loudest won.  Pretty sure it shouldn’t work like that, but at our house, sometimes it does.

Colorburst Cupcakes– also a great one to customize with team colors.  You could get fancy and use our Striped Icing Tutorial , or just place 2 colors of frosting in your piping bag like I did  here.

You’ll have to forgive the Carolina Blue (even though it IS my favorite color!)  There’s only so much you can do with navy – shades of blue are okay in my book!

And if the rainbow version of these cupcakes seems labor intensive to you, a two-color scheme is easy breezy!  You don’t even have to layer- I just spooned blobs of batter in the cups, alternating as they filled up.

For whatever reason, Dipped Pretzel Rods are always one of the first things to go when I do spreads like this.  Kids especially love them, and they’re SO easy to make, and to customize.  I used almond bark and blue candy melts, plus blue and white sprinkles to decorate these bad boys.  Quick and easy.

Plus you can run around with them pretending they’re magic wands and cast imaginary spells on people.  Not that I’ve ever done that, but it’s sounding really fun.

And hey- if you’re dippin’ anyway, toss some marshmallows in there too! You can never have enough dipped finger foods rolled in sprinkles.  Seriously.  The world needs more of that.  Just like it needs more Jimmer.

Marshmallow Pops make me smile.  They’re happy.  They look cute all wrapped up if you want to give them out as favors too.

Here’s another trick- whenever I’m serving things on sticks, I like to use candies to hold them up in the container.  I find that regular glass drinking cups are a great size for the pops, and colored jelly beans or M&M’s make the perfect base.  Then people can eat those too!  (If you don’t have anything fun and colorful for your cups, dry rice works great)My last sweet is Fruity Candy Popcorn.  One of my faves.  There’s just one problem- the only flavor of Jello that doesn’t work (at least of all the ones I’ve tried) is blue.  It actually looks okay when you first mix it up, but if you bake it, it’s turns green!  Plus they usually only sell blue jello in the summer around the 4th of July.  So to get around that, I cheated again.  Man, I’m such a cheater.  I made my favorite Caramel Corn recipe, but I used white sugar instead of brown.  Then right before pouring the hot caramel on the popcorn, I added some blue food coloring.  Worked great- just don’t bake it!  The white will turn brown and the blue will turn green and suddenly you will be supporting the wrong team.

My other favorite table filler is M&M’s.  You can usually find custom colors at good party supply stores, but if not (and you have a school with normal colors) you can always buy a few bags of regular M&M’s and pick out the colors you need!

And really, if you have some great food, you don’t need a ton of decorations.  At the same time, a few things will really perk up the look of the food!  So you definitely want a bit of both.  My quickest and cheapest additions for parties are plain ol’ curling ribbon (makes anything look festive!) and computer print-outs.

I just printed those Y’s on regular paper, cut them out and scattered them.  I’ve done hearts, flowers, stars, etc  for other types of table spreads.  Super easy and looks great!

So there you have it.  Super easy, not too time consuming, and awesomely fun.  Bust out your school spirit (whatever school it may be) and show some pride!  It’s what The Jimmer would do.

Now I especially expect to hear from all my Cougar fans out there!  Show some spirit by clicking the links below to share this post on Facebook and Twitter, or give it a stumble.  And of course we’d love to hear a holla’ in a comment!

If you don’t bleed blue- give your own team a shout-out. Let’s see who’s got the loudest fans!



  1. My husband has the biggest “man crush” on THE Jimmer!! My v-day present to him was to go to BYU’s final home game and it was AWESOME! These ideas are so cute! It makes me want to throw a party. We already are going to have red beans and rice to celebrate them going to the big easy (my husbands request), but I think we might have to have a blue and white treat too. GO BYU!!!!

  2. Oh! I’m loving the blue popcorn! And the cupcakes are definitely going to make an appearance at our house sometime soon. We don’t do much with sports in our house, but we do have a slew of birthdays coming this summer, and I’m really getting into the themed parties…these are some great pointers! My niece is turning 16 this year also, and is going to be having a Mardi Gras party…wouldn’t this stuff look great in purple, gold and green? 🙂

    1. Yes! It would be *awesome* in Mardi Gras colors! Don’t forget the king cake- we’ve got a good recipe for that too!

  3. Go Cougars! We are big fans here in PA. My husband and I are both alumni and our oldest is heading to Provo in September. My eight year old was feeling pretty cocky about his bracket here on Monday and superior to all of the PA fans after the big BYU win (he has them going all the way, of course!) and losses by both Pitt and Penn State. What a fun themed party you created!

  4. Okay, So I loved you guys already, but when you showed you were Cougar alumni and fans, I loved you even more! I am finishing up my degree this Aug. at BYU, after 3 kids and 10 years going at it. It will be a relief when I’m finally done, that’s for sure! I’m not much of a sports person, majoring in music and all, but I catch an occasional game, usually on the radio when my husband, who is also not much of a sports guy, listens. lol! I AM thrilled that BYU is getting so much attention over Jimmer lately! It’s so awesome! I have heard someone in my community orchestra use his name as a verb! Our director asked his section to play a trombone part a certain way and he said, “We’ll Jimmer it!” That got some laughs! I love your spread! I may have to steal that and hold a BYU fan party, or graduation party, sine our fam is not huge into sports. Great ideas! I love all the dipped stuff. And your posts are so funny to read! I laugh every time. 🙂

  5. Wow! What a great spread of FUN goodies! Everything looks so Great! I’m throwing my daughter a 6th birthday party in May, I’m thinking I’m going to use a lot of your snack ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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