Apr 25

Our Housewarming Party + Contest

This post is sponsored by Glad.  Glad asked me to put together a One-Bag Party, which means all of the waste only goes in one bag. I love this concept. Visit Facebook.com/Glad for more details!

We moved in almost a year ago but a lot of our friends hadn’t seen our apartment yet so last Saturday we decided to host a giant housewarming party. If you remember we live in a 500 square foot apartment so I wasn’t sure about entertaining all those people until we decided on an open house style party. We told guests to stop by for a visit any time between 11am and 6pm. I was still a little bit nervous to throw a party for everyone we know in such a small space but we have an excellent backyard and a really fun stoop so I figured we could always overflow into the outdoor spaces. Honestly, I think it might be one of my favorite parties I’ve ever thrown. It had a very relaxed vibe. I liked that people didn’t feel like they had to stay very long and that people stopped by on their way from one weekend activity to the next. We also had guests that stayed for a few hours and guests that stopped in more than once. It was great because we actually got a chance to have good talks with almost everyone that came through. When I’m planning a party I like to focus on a couple things that make the party feel special and keep the rest of it simple, for the housewarming I decided on Florals and Food.

For the Florals: Since it was a housewarming party I wanted to keep the house pretty close to its original state so people could see our apartment but I decided to put up a garland on the front door to welcome people in. I ordered a eucalyptus garland from the Flower Mart and picked up some peonies, tulips, and wax flowers that I added myself. It wasn’t cheap, it cost a little over $100 but considering it made such a big impact it was a good tradeoff. It only took about an hour to make and hang and I was really happy with the results. I hired Julie Manwaring to make a “come on in” sign that we attached with wire. (Watch for a DIY post coming soon.)

For the Food: I asked my friend Andrea Pimental to cater the food. She is a genius and is so great to work with. I told Andrea I wanted most of the food prepared before the party so I could just bring out a few new dishes every hour. I bought a bunch of small pots and bowls for $1-2 (mostly from CB2 and Crate & Barrel) and handed them over to Andrea to work her magic. The food was amazing. It was so fun to bring out new fun things to eat through out the party. For breakfast we had yogurt parfaits, scones, baklava, avocado and grapefruit salad. Then in the afternoon we got out strawberry tarts, shrimp skewers, panzanella salad and few other things I’m forgetting now. You should’ve heard the oohs and ahhs when I brought out the tray of Butterscotch Pots de Creme. The last few hours we mostly sat on the stoop and ate homemade popsicles and watched the people walk by on our busy street. (Andrea posted the whole menu with recipes here.)

For the One Bag Party: I chose elements that were reusable recyclable and compostable to reduce on waste. San Francisco has an excellent compost program so a the cups and the paper napkins were compostable. The little pots and bowls were reusable but came in cardboard boxes that we recycled. In the end our one bag of trash consisted of the bamboo plates and utensils and some of the food packaging. Not bad for a 50 person party! Glad wants to challenge everyone to have a one-bag party. And they asked me to select some items that a reader could win at home.

(Giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to our winner, Cindy #913!) There are two ways to enter to win all the item pictured below. Winner will be chosen on Monday April 29th!

1. Leave a Comment Below describing what kind of One Bag party you would host and if you want to enter twice then
2. Enter on Instagram (you must have an Instagram account to enter this way) see details on the @ohhappyday instagram account.

Photography by Paul Ferney + a few iphone photos
Florals by Jordan Ferney, assisted by Irene Yu
Food by Andrea Pimental


  • I would host an afternoon tea for ladies I love! Mix and match china, goodies, terrific tea blends and almost no trash… less then a bag, I believe!

  • Melissa says:

    I would love to host a wine and cheese party! We just bought our first home and are moving in tomorrow so a housewarming party is just around the corner!

  • Kelly says:

    I would host a birthday dinner party for my sister. The lights are so lovely–they would make the gathering magical!

  • Charlotte LeBlanc says:

    I would have a Cinco de Mayo party with friends by the pool. We would have Margaritas, guacamole salad, individual chicken fajita nachos, Homemade salsa, chips, Chili con Queso dip, taquitos, and tortilla soup. For dessert I would make a mango/raspberry tarts. It is sounding good already.

  • I’d host a one bag archery potluck/BBQ party at my local archery range!

  • kelly says:

    I would throw a fabulous baby shower for my sister!

  • Kate says:

    I would host a housewarming Siesta Fiesta tapas party. I am moving into an apartment in the fall to start grad school and I would love to invite new friends and acquaintances over! My guests could take a siesta one weekend afternoon to to check out my new digs! I love traditional Spanish tapas, like tortilla Espanola and little pimientos stuffed with goat cheese. I think very bright, jewel tones in the decor would capture the Mediterranean atmosphere of Spain. A few flags and photos strung up around my new place wouldn’t hurt either!

  • Cathy Horonzy says:

    I would love to do a high school graduation for my grandsons friends. What an accomplishment.

  • Joanna says:

    So in love with this party, and I love how casual yet special it feels!

  • With the warmer weather here I’d love to host an evening bbq as a housewarming for the new rental home I’m hoping to get. After two years of living in an apartment with no outdoor space having a backyard would certainly be something to celebrate! Fingers crossed for two lots of good luck!

  • Leslie says:

    Love the garland! And the food looks absolutely amazing.

    If I were to have a one-bag party, I’d hold a Midsummer backyard party. I’d keep it simple with floral hair garlands for the girls, a big pot of seafood and corn, and lots of crusty bread.

  • Lily says:

    What a great giveaway! I would love to host a backyard brunch for all of my girlfriends….this party in a bag would be the perfect start!

  • Kim says:

    My 40th birthday party! Would love to invite all my friends over and hang out and have a great time in the foggy Sunset.

  • Kayde says:

    A tea party with lemonade instead of tea because I don’t like tea.

  • Kristin says:

    ~ a ” pink ” themed summer evening soirée outdoors with my girls,
    who will all come dressed in pink of course.
    … chilled sangria in the glass dispenser, strawberry salad,
    grilled shrimp & salmon, votives lining the 3 layers of the wooden
    tiered trays dotted with pink flowers as the centerpiece
    & string lights filling the whole yard with twinkle!

  • mary l says:

    A surprise party for my friend next month!

  • Rebecca says:

    I would host a Summer Solstice Party in celebration of the longest day of the year. There would be roasted pig, stone fruit salad, watermelon lemonade, shaved hawaiian ice and music; with banjo. We would dance until the moon came out and then revel under sparkling lights.

  • i would plan a high school graduation party for my youngest child– the last of the litter is off to college in august!

    thanks for the chance of the giveaway.

  • Lauren says:

    A birthday party for my husband who hasn’t had one in years!

  • Kimberley says:

    We’re getting married in just under six weeks, and I’d love to have a “One Bag” welcome party with all these goodies in the park!

  • pat says:

    I would have a 21 birthday bash for my daughter she would love it she a girly girl

  • I love any excuse to throw a party and although I’m not much of a seafood eater, I’ve always wanted to through a fantastic crab fest! With tables laid out in the yard covered in butcher paper, buckets of crabs or crawfish sprawled out on the tables, yard games, great music and summer drinks! All of these could disposed of in one of their flex bags!

  • Danae says:

    We moved to SoCal from Seattle about 7 months ago and never had a housewarming, so I’d love to have my own! I love having as little waste as possible- we even keep compostable ‘silverware’ on hand for big events. This one bag concept is great!

  • Amber says:

    I am having a wedding and would love to do a one-bag wedding! The wedding won’t be too big, only 50 or so people, so it would be totally doable. Reusable china that guests could even take home and reusable glasses and napkins. Flowers and food scraps could be composted. We are planning on using a lot of potted plants too. Sounds good to me!

  • Jill says:

    I’d throw an end of the school year party, for the PARENTS.

  • Sierra says:

    My daughter and I haven’t had a housewarming yet for the new place we moved to in December, so that’s what I’d do! Also would motivate me to get these last few boxes unpacked :)

  • tracy says:

    I would host a 2nd birthday party for my son who’s soon to turn two!

  • Anastasia says:

    I would have a one bag lobster bake! I’d use dishes I already own, serve drinks in an assortment of collected mason jars, and use my one bag for compost! No garbage necessary.

    Gorgeous table!

  • monet says:

    I would love to host a BBQ with lots of sangria and lots of yummy skewers of veggies and grilled meats and such.

  • Cate says:

    I would have a summer sustainability party! Everyone would bike to a picnic in the park where we would have organic foods and drinks and use our own kitchenware from home!

  • Rebecca Chouinard says:

    I’d use if for the wedding shower that I will be having this summer :) thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway!

  • Beth says:

    I would host a spring party, we have a great front room with lots of light and have not had a party in a while! Hmmm I think I’ll host one even of I don’t win!

  • Brooke Scoville says:

    I would host a last day of school party- and invite the kids and parents to stop by on their way home from school for popsicles!

  • Malia says:

    I am planning on having a going away party in a few months, so this is great motivation for planning. I would either have an ice cream sundae open house (byo bowl, as everything will be packed), a popsicle party, or a clean-out-the-pantry party, depending on the PNW summer weather and time constraints.

  • Erin Godbey says:

    We’ve recently moved as well, and I’ve finally got the house settled… I’d love to host a housewarming party to celebrate! Would be great to showcase all the wonderful spring fruit on our new deck.

  • Julie Munyan says:

    Love the ideas…already planning a graduation/wedding party:)

  • Mink says:

    A night~time backyard picnic party!

  • Carina says:

    I’d host a “Food for Thought” dinner party and reading in the lovely courtyard of our writer’s co-working space.

  • Seattle Lulu says:

    Oooh love the idea of an open house, especially for my mom’s 70th this year! She doesn’t like fuss and this seems like a great alternative to an event that would put her on the spot.

  • We are adopting a baby boy and I’d love to host a one bag party for his first birthday. Sounds fun!

  • I would love to through a BBQ for the Fourth of July! It is my very favorite holiday. These pictures are so inspiring and make me so excited for the summer!

  • holly t. says:

    would love to host a OB party for my graduation after paying my way through school!

  • Mandi says:

    My baby’s 1st birthday!

  • Our next big party is going to be my son’s baptism in June. We’re throwing a vegan party, I think making it a One Bag party is a fabulous idea!

  • I would host a Julia Child themed launch party to get the community excited for our new Kickstarter project for our one bag party. We’re opening up new cafe using locally sourced ingredients and really want to get the community excited!

  • Alana says:

    I would throw a Tuscan themed party so I can use the vegetables from my garden.

  • Sara G says:

    Summer Latin food night…South American theme because I love everything Latin!

  • simran says:

    one bag housewarming party … we will be moving into our new place this coming weekend. Can’t wait to do all the DIY projects and share the home with friends and family.

  • Kristen says:

    I am dreaming of a laid-back, backyard baby shower for my upcoming twins this summer!

  • Amy F. says:

    I would host an “end of the school year” party for my fellow first-grade moms.

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