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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 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

  1. sandra

    April 29, 2013

    Loved your “one bag” party. I would host a “BYOA”…. Bring your own album. I am over 50 …. all our friends still have their favorite albums. :)


    April 29, 2013

    I would love to host a one bag party, for our One Year Anniversary coming May 14th! We were together for 7 years and finally got hitched, and saying Happy One Year to our baby girl on June 13th as well =)

  3. Claudia Boress

    April 29, 2013

    I am hosting a babyshower and my daughter’s second birthday party. This would motivate me to use the one bag method!

  4. Kelly S.

    April 29, 2013

    I just moved into a house with 4 other people and we are planning on having a big housewarming party in June. I would love to use the one bag approach! Looks like such a great party.

  5. annie tucker

    April 29, 2013

    i would have a one bag party for my close friend turning 21 this friday! I want to make it a special event for her!

  6. Masha Beversdorf

    April 29, 2013

    I would like to host a party in my friends’ new co-working space (Studioboro – in Greensboro, NC to cerebrate success of their project and another one – the brand new Pop Up Promenade project – that we all worked on in hopes to make Greensboro more attractive and pedestrian friendly city ( Thank you! ;o)

  7. tvmom

    April 29, 2013

    I would host a 5 de Mayo party!

  8. Bridget B.

    April 29, 2013

    I would love to throw a one bag graduation party next year in my college apartment that I’ve been working hard to decorate :)

  9. Sarah Y

    April 29, 2013

    My dear dad’s 70th birthday is coming up next month, and we’re inviting friends and family, of course, and some surprise guests…some of his friends from growing up barefoot running down country roads. We’ve asked absent friends to send letters and pictures for him to open during dinner, which will be Spanish, and outside in the garden under paper lanterns. We throw almost nothing away, since Southerners believe in linen cocktail napkins, antique tablecloths, and our big, beautiful composter will probably prop up the movie screen for the slideshow. The sangria would look so tempting in that glass dispenser, and the market lights would be splendid under the magnolias.

  10. Bianca

    April 29, 2013

    My One-Bag Party

    I would love to host a clothing-swap party at my Oakland loft. I would have all my girlfriends bring clothing and accessories from their closet that they’d like to trade for somebody else’s gently-used items. One (wo)man’s trash is another’s treasure, right?

    I would open the french doors to my backyard patio and set up clothing racks and seating where the girls can chat, “shop”, and dine al fresco.

    Because I help operate farmers’ markets here in the Bay Area, I’d buy all of my food from the market. Produce from the market always comes without plastic packaging. Maybe the rubber bands that hold the asparagus together will get thrown in the Glad bag. :)

    Ooh and flowers will come from the market too! More specifically, I’d buy organic Rununculus from Thomas Farm’s stand.

  11. Lisa F

    April 29, 2013

    My son’s 2nd birthday is this July & I love the idea of a One Bag party. I live in a small house but we have a great backyard. I’ve always been nervous about hosting a large party, but love your idea about an open house.

  12. Anni

    April 30, 2013

    I would love to throw myself a wedding party with my partner! We are considering getting married this summer (without an engagement, we are very non-traditional and have a 3 year old). I think this would be a great start to a small get together after courthouse vows :)

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