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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. Carolyn

    April 25, 2013

    A lovely bridal shower for my bestie!

  2. Veronica

    April 25, 2013

    I would have a graduation open house for my only and oldest daughter. I loved the garland!!

  3. Heidi

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a summer evening get together. It has been awhile since all of my friends have gotten together, our lives are all too busy these days. It would be nice to have a party celebrating our friendship before the heat of the Florida summer makes it too unbearable to be outside.

  4. Jeni

    April 25, 2013

    My 24th birthday is in two weeks, and I would definitely love to host a one-bag (or less :) birthday soiree!

  5. Cinthia

    April 25, 2013

    What a lovely housewarming party. I just wish I coulda been apart of it.

    Im planning a gender reveal/baby shower, nothing crazy, its going to be very casual family and close friends for my cousin who is not going to be able to have a baby shower due to money. Your housewarming party is exactly like what i had in mind Family, friends, great food, and love all around.

  6. Eve

    April 25, 2013

    I would love this for my daughters birthday! Beautiful party!!

  7. Colleen Clark

    April 25, 2013

    I just got back from a work trip in Paris and (thanks to your recommendations) scored some seriously yummy goods, adorable party supplies and great kitchen stuff. I want to host an April in Paris-themed picnic. Breton stripes and cannelles!

  8. Aurora

    April 25, 2013

    This would be perfect for a park party for summer.

  9. kristy

    April 25, 2013

    We just moved, so a housewarming/block party would be awesome!

  10. Hanna

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to have welcome summer party for our close friends and family. Love your inspiration

  11. Leah

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a casual summer dinner party for our nearest and dearest, spilling out our of little cottage onto the back patio (those twinkle lights would be gorgeous outside!). I want to thank you for inspiring me to open up our tiny home. In the last two years we had to make a major downsize that has left me reluctant to host parties like I used to. If you can pull this off in 500 sq. ft. AND one bag of trash- then I can sure try and start making memories-now!

  12. Lynne

    April 25, 2013

    A wedding shower for a good friends daughter who is getting married this fall!

  13. Ambrea

    April 25, 2013

    I’m moving to Kentucky in July. The weather is beautiful there in the summer & I’d love to have my own One Bag housewarming party to invite all of my friends over to help cozy into my new apartment. I love the blog!

  14. Katie

    April 25, 2013

    I love the garland you created. I was drooling over it the second I saw it on Instagram!

    We haven’t had a party in our backyard, so I think a summer BBQ picnic would be right up my alley! Fresh lemonade, hot dogs and hamburgers and lots of other delicious treats!

  15. Shannon

    April 25, 2013

    I’d host a Parisian-themed “Bastille Day” picnic the weekend of July 14, since a vacation to Paris isn’t in my near future! What a beautiful housewarming party you’ve pictured here!

  16. Marjorie Tellez

    April 25, 2013

    I love love love your entry way with the garland and the adorable sign! I would host my daughter’s 1st birthday with a One Bag Party. Thank you.

  17. Stephanie R

    April 25, 2013

    I would throw a “thank you” dinner party for my friends. I’ve had some amazing support from my closest community over the past year, and I would love to show them all how very special and appreciated they are. I love the One Bag concept- way to go Glad!

  18. tammy

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a patio party, I’ve been dying to have one on our brick patio since we moved in!

  19. Ania

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to host a one-bag baby or bridal shower – guests would be encouraged to bring their gifts in a reusable container (basket or pail for example) to eliminate waste from wrapping paper.

  20. Marlene @ Jade and Fern

    April 25, 2013

    Wow. Just…wow. You throw a really amazing party. Your guests must have been so thrilled!

    I love the one-bag party idea. We have a small 1-bed apartment so we don’t host a lot of parties, but when we do I like to make them special. This summer I’d love to throw a stargazing picnic, where we all drive out of Boston proper, throw down some blankets and cushions, look at the twinklies and munch on some carry-along treats.

  21. Jen

    April 25, 2013

    A midsummer night’s party!

  22. Robbie

    April 25, 2013

    I think I would throw a just because party. We always wait for a reason to celebrate, and I think just enjoying friends, food, and fun is enough of a reason! With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer it is the perfect time for a party, just because!

  23. April

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a one bag welcome home party for my baby sister, who has been living in Europe for the last four years. We’d have an outdoor bbq, and use real cups, and compostable plates and utensils. That way we can throw all the compost in the bag, and all the cups in the dishwasher. Easy peasy.

  24. Carolyn

    April 25, 2013

    A bridal shower for my bestie!

  25. Alexandra Heckaman

    April 25, 2013

    I am hosting a fiesta themed housewarming party! I would love all of these items to help me with the simple and clean look I am going for :) I looooove your blog so much and how you bring simple happiness into life. My friends bought me a clear plastic tray with “Oh Happy Day” sketched on it.. it sits in my living room and brightens me daily!

  26. Maria Fe

    April 25, 2013

    Love this One Bag Party! I would host a Baby shower one bag party for my best friend who is due in September.

  27. Karen

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to have a one bag housewarming party too! My friend and I are moving into an apartment together this summer for school. We’re both environmental majors so having a low waste get-together would be ideal!

  28. Allison W

    April 25, 2013

    My husband’s birthday is coming up in July, and I’ve been dreaming of a Sasquatch themed birthday party. I’m hoping for it to consist of a cookout, people’s best Sasquatch or Sasquatch hunter costumes, and an outdoor screening of The Legend of Boggy creek.

  29. Christina

    April 25, 2013

    I’m graduating from college this May and I would love to throw a super cute party!

  30. Kathleen

    April 25, 2013

    I am loving the beautiful garland! I’ve always wanted to hit up the Flower Mart but I feel like I might get overwhelmed. Any pro tips for newbies?

    I am planning a few parties in the next couple of months: a Spanish wines + tapas potluck and a Christmas in July bash. The aftermath of both could easily be contained in one bag!

  31. Danielle

    April 25, 2013

    We’re planning a Mother’s Day brunch, you’ve definitely inspired me to make it a ‘one bag party’!!

  32. rachel

    April 25, 2013

    Third of July Party- our town does their fireworks a day early because they don’t want to compete with bigger displays (plus, everyone has off the next day). We always have a big shin-dig with kids and sparklers and bubbles and ice cream sandwiches. I am totally gonna challenge myself to use just one bag.

  33. Emily Outcalt

    April 25, 2013

    Love this! I would have an ‘around the world’ travel themed party!

  34. Sara T

    April 25, 2013

    A pie night! With everyone bringing their favorite pie! I would supply different whipped creams and of course, ice cream! Beautiful garland! :)

  35. Edna Barrett

    April 25, 2013

    We have also been living in our little home for 1 year now and just a couple weeks ago completed the last of our major projects. We’ve been thinking of having our official housewarming party soon, to tie in with our dog’s birthday. All of our friends have dogs that like to play together and we have a nice sized backyard, so housewarming inside for the humans, and a crazy dog party ruckus outside!

  36. Julie

    April 25, 2013

    I love that One Bag parties are gaining popularity! Our family has been doing this for years! As a family, my grandmother, mother, and my aunts have collected a community set of dishes and silverware that travel from house to house for parties! No need for paper plates here! Living in Michigan, my parent’s house backs up to acres of woods… over time we’ve created a giant compost heap that grows each year. We use this to fertilize all our gardens and for all food waste!

    The next one bag party we’re hosting is a “library” themed baby shower for my dearest friend! I’m happy it’s getting warm so we can frequent the farmers’ markets here again buy local food for the event!

  37. Lisa

    April 25, 2013

    Family dinner, after a special vacation, to show pictures and give gifts.

  38. Misty O'Brien

    April 25, 2013

    Loved this party! The photos are beautiful.

    I would host a “Sisters” one bag party and invite my female family members and my girlfriends 😉

  39. Katie Reed

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to host a BBQ to bring back together all of my friends from my 20s who seldom see each other now because we are married and chasing kids all over Chicago.

  40. kathryn h

    April 25, 2013

    A Mothers Day brunch for all the wonderful mothers in my neighborhood. Its a military neighborhood so usually at least 70% of spouses are deployed. It would be nice to praise each other like we should!

  41. Betsy

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to try my hand at a pop-up dinner party in a wooded area near my house.

  42. Jennifer

    April 25, 2013

    I am in the process of planning a party for my 3rd anniversary in sobriety. I am also in SF, so it will likely have to overflow our small apt into the backyard. I am thinking some BBQ, pasta salad… typical backyard fare. I always use metal cutlery, cloth napkins, and glasses, but I will use paper plates. That should keep most of the waste to only compost.

    I have a punch bowl, but that jar w/spout would be awesome! Everything is so beautiful and I could certainly make use of all of it! I’m a little nervous about the whole thing, so some special, new accessories might make it easier 😉 Thank you.

  43. Alyssa

    April 25, 2013

    My family owns a small handmade shoe company. I’ve been wanting to host a Small, Local, Handmade supper for all of the awesome people in our area who make and do things that improve our local economy. It’s hard to stop and make time for things like this, but I think it’s so important to collaborate and celebrate each other.

  44. Sara

    April 25, 2013

    I’d love to do a summer solstice party–thanks for the great tips!

  45. Laura

    April 25, 2013

    We host a lot of summer parties, and Seattle also has great compost removal (and we have compost at our home). So we’d love to host a garden party — literally help us plant our garden, share plants, and celebrate the sun in a normally rainy Seattle. Great give away.

  46. Susan

    April 25, 2013

    I would plan my housewarming party since we are moving to a 2 bedroom apt and welcoming our new baby =)

  47. Holly

    April 25, 2013

    We’re getting married in Mexico and will be having a “reception” at home when we get back. I’d love to use the one-bag party for that :)

  48. Selina

    April 25, 2013

    What a pretty party and awesome giveaway! I’d love to host a moonlit movie night in our backyard.

  49. Kandice

    April 25, 2013

    I’d plan a outdoor party on our brand new deck :))

  50. Ngan F.

    April 25, 2013

    I’d use it to finally host an official housewarming party …. 1 year in and we haven’t really done that yet, … oops!

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