Aug 20

Summer Garden Party

This post is presented by smartwarter, simplicity is delicious. Click here to learn more.

One of the reasons we loved this apartment (even though it is tiny) is it has a backyard. Our neighbors are gardeners and do an amazing job of growing a garden and maintaining all the beautiful plants. We love having a place we can be outside smack in the middle of the city. I’ve been excited to throw a party back here for a while. My friend Aubrey just returned from a long trip away all summer so it was a great opportunity to host a little dinner party in the backyard to celebrate her return. It was a really simple party. All I did for decoration is hang these cheap party lights. I also rented a tablecloth (it was $10) because sometimes it makes clean up a lot easier to just rent. It was the perfect summer party with twinkly lights and lots of salads and fresh produce. I hope we can have more this year before it gets too cold out.


  • very lovely – what was on the menu?

  • Sarah W says:

    Beautiful! You’re so luckt to have that space. Emjoy!

  • Sarah says:

    How awesome! Especially since it’s your neighbors keeping up the gardening. It looks lovely =) Great way to enjoy the summer.

    – Sarah

  • Twinkle lights are so simple, but I never, ever grow tired of them.

  • Trish says:

    Oh my goodness what a CUTE backyard! I LOVE those stringlights. Props for hanging on to summer!

  • That photo of your backyard taken from above, with the patio lights lightening up the night has just made my evening. Sometimes simple parties are the best. Simple parties, with great friends are unbeatable :o)

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  • Dana says:

    Lovely backyard! When I think of summer nights those string lights come to mind. ;-) xo

  • Kate says:

    So jealous! It’s hard enough to find an apartment in this city, let alone one with actual outdoor space…

  • Jen says:

    I LOVE it! I may need to get some of those globe lights.

    When does it start getting cold there? My husband’s been trying to talk me into moving out that way and I’m hesitant because I rather like a little heat. Not as much as we get here in Baltimore where it’s sometimes hard to breathe, but you know, shorts on occasion.

  • This looks is so perfect to me in everyway… The simple can be the best! The lights are my favorite! They are always what completes any outdoor party to me……

  • I hadn’t thought about renting a table cloth, but it really made your dinner elegant. Your pictures are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Felicitas says:

    Love the lights! Do you know how to make a line of lights like the one you are showing in this post? I live in Brazil, I’m sure there is where to buy them, but unfortunately I don’t know!!! Beijo.

  • Karli says:

    Looks lovely. Is that an Angel’s Trumpet plant in the yard? Just so you know they are pretty toxic, and you wouldn’t want little hands to get into that!

  • Jennifer says:

    I too was wondering if you have a great cost effective resource for the lights, wedding on a budget…

  • Jennifer says:

    Nevermind, I skimmed the post too fast, thanks for the help. The pretty pictures were too distracting:)

  • theresa says:

    Would love to hear more about the meal! What did you serve? How? Did you incorporate any “best practices” from Outstanding in the Field?

  • callum says:

    The $10 tablecloth looks great!

  • how2home says:

    LOVE the string of globe lights :) Makes the whole place look so romantic!

  • HK says:

    I adore the twinkly lights, and your entire outdoor living area in general. My boyfriend and I also chose our apartment for the green space, despite its overall tininess. We have an adorable little garden that is just begging for a treatment like this, thanks so much for the idea. (And of course, we’ll have to host a party to show them off!)

  • Nina says:

    Question: how do you stay warm on these disturbingly cold San Francisco nights? We are up in Laurel Heights are freeze our tushies off after 3pm.

  • Just curious where you get those great lights? I love those and would really like to incorporate them into our outdoor space!

  • Toto says:

    Where did you get thoes lovely chairs from? I have been looking for foldable chairs like thoes for years!! thanks in advance :)

  • Chiara says:

    Dear Jordan, I have been following your blog for years and I consider myself one of the biggest fans of your work. Lately, though, I’ve been finding it hard to visit your site and I find I can’t just ignore the reason anymore. I feel compelled to share my feelings with you.

    I realize that as the blog keeps growing and getting the attention it deserves– and as life with two littles keeps placing its own kind of demands – costs add up, but my heart keeps sinking a little lower every time I visit these pages now. So many sponsored posts! We are bombarded by advertising everywhere, there is always someone looking for our money out there, and now I feel like this space is becoming one of those places instead of being the happy space it used to be. I appreciate your efforts to keep advertising and sponsored posts small and mostly out of the way (thank you for respecting our mental environment that way), and I do know that sponsored posts come with corporate preferences like slogans and logos that bloggers know are aesthetically unpleasant, but it is a sad feeling to visit a blog I’ve loved so much – where we could talk about all that’s happy, pretty and DIY – and feel, well, patronized. More than anything, I understand that commercials are a reality of every day life and a necessity for those who are self-employed and give so much on the web like you, but I couldn’t hold it in anymore: I feel like these adds are adding a buffer between you and readers like me. They make your post come off as less genuine and it breaks my heart. I am sorry to do this, but I have to take you off my Top Sites list and will have to check your blog less and less- I have too much respect for you to let these sites alter my perception of your work in permanent ways. Good luck going forward…

  • Val says:

    Oh! This is just a dream party, just lovely. Your friend must have loved her welcome home. :)

  • Kacie says:

    This looks so charming and simple. I adore a good garden party!


  • Lianna says:

    So beautiful. I am jealous of your backyard. A little slice of heaven!

  • I love that you kept everything so light and simple. It all looks magical under the lights.

  • Anne says:

    I love the ligths! Where did you get them?

  • jonahliza says:

    what a gorgeous garden <3 i threw a few garden parties this summer, our last one being our engagement party. it was soo much fun, and has made us really want to throw our big wedding party there. can't wait to finally start planning, for next year! happy end of summer!

  • Melissa says:

    I agree with the above comment. Every post is sponsored! And I can’t even see the connection between bottled water and this post. It feels forced and false.

  • Malinda says:

    Hi Jordan!
    I too have been following your blog for quite some time. I can honestly say that it is my favorite one! You have filled my days and my life with so much inspiration, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing your beautiful family and seemingly endless creativity with me! I really don’t love being involved in any kind of online debate, but I have to put in my two cents with the comment above and say that I’m perfectly fine with your ads. Your blog is so well curated and thoughtful, and if anything, I think it’s great that you have so many sponsors. Because a.) you deserve it and b.) it allows you to keep a schedule that keeps you with your family as much as possible, even doing things like living in a Paris for a year with them! What an amazing thing to get to do! Personally, I am happy for you that you have the opportunity to be so well-sponsored. I think it’s unfair that readers are giving you a hard time for it. If blogging were easy, then everyone would do it. Most don’t realize how much time, effort, and energy go into creating a blog of this caliber. You deserve compensation for your time and your thoughts, and to me supporting your blog is equivalent to supporting a local coffee roaster instead of Starbucks, or going to locally owned Italian restaurant instead of an Olive Garden! We would never stop buying a magazine because it has ads, or stop watching TV because it has ads. You give us this content for free, and it’s crazy that anyone, especially a loyal reader who knows about you and your life (ie Moses’ crazy medical bills), would threaten you with their readership because you have been fortunate enough to turn your blog into a business. You are amazing! As long as your blog stays amazing and gorgeous, you will have me as a reader. Thank you again, as well as your contributors, for all of the pretty ideas you have brought into my life!! xox-malinda

  • […] Um dia quero muito fazer um jantar assim, ao ar livre e com luzes penduradas em fileira. 2. Gostei muito das fotos de geishas em maiô. Aparentemente […]

  • Agh Jordan – this is making me really wish I had a house and a backyard!!! I’ve made our little apartment and porch as homey as possible, but you just can’t have a garden party on a porch that only fits two people! lol

  • Steph says:

    What a gorgeous party! It looks like the perfect way to spend a summer evening.

  • Gina says:

    I wish my backyard was that big to host parties!

  • […] There’s still time to host a laid-back summer garden party. […]

  • Hilary says:

    SO beautiful! I love how intimate the setting is.

  • those pictures just make me happy! we used to have lights like that hanging in our backyard and they made it so dreamy…esp when we had parties! cheers to parties!

  • Noviamor says:

    Oh! So lovely parties!

  • Wow! Great share indeed. That looks really fun.

  • Marie says:

    How cute is this garden party! I love the twinkling lights at night. :)

  • I love the idea of a pop up dinner. You are amazing! As long as your blog stays amazing and gorgeous, you will have me as a reader.

  • Ohhh! Cannot wait for summer! (Over here in Australia) We are all looking forward to some summer night garden parties! Thanks for the inspiration!

    xx F&B

  • as simple as it looks, i actually want my wedding to look like this!! small and intimate with those lights!! :D

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