I was one of those kids who was obsessed with Hollywood glamour. I spent my childhood dreaming of becoming a famous actress, auditioning for every possible school play, reading biographies of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, and waiting every year to watch the most glamorous night of all, the Academy Awards.
When I moved to LA, I thought it would be fun to start a tradition of having people over to watch the Oscars. I like to think that one day, this will be our big annual party that we throw, and we’ll rent a red carpet and moving spotlights for the grand entrance… but for now, we’re going on 4 years of having people cram into our 1-bedroom apartment, and it’s pretty wonderful.
For me, an event that involves watching TV should (1) be comfortable and (2) involve good snacks, and also (3) include some activity that will keep people interested, and not checking their phones. We try to achieve the first by making sure there is plenty of comfortable seating and a table to have drinks in reach. Our living room is set up this way anyway, but we make sure there is a pile of cushions for people to sit on the floor on, that the coffee table is uncluttered and that every possible seat has a view of the TV.
The snacks are the most important! I’ve made these caramel corn cupcakes from Annie’s Eats for the last 3 years and they are definitely the star of the show. They’re whimsical, on-theme and so tasty. I make them as mini-cupcakes so they’re a little more bite-size. I also always have a cheese platter, dips and pita chips/veggies, and plenty of extra popcorn for everyone to munch on.
This year I also tried my hand at chocolate-dipped strawberries, which were extremely cute and way more delicious than I had anticipated (thank you farmer’s market berries!)
We set up a small bar in our kitchen and had a prosecco sangria (totally made up on the spot – fruits, prosecco, sparkling white grape juice and a little peach schnapps! So yummy! We had cute retro-inspired sodas to go with the retro-look movie candy we used to decorate the table with.
The activity we usually set up is a ballot – before the movie, everyone buys in with $5, and makes their selections for who they think will win each award. We track them as the show plays out and the winner takes all. I’ve been using the ballots that Sugar and Charm puts together – they’re just the prettiest and have all the info on one page.
I have so much fun putting this day together – hopefully one day when we have a house, it can be bigger and bigger each year. I’d love to have it on a projector in our backyard, and for everyone to come all dressed up! But for now, snuggling on our couches and floor with a few good friends is pretty great.