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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. Jaclyn

    April 25, 2013

    Ever since I became parent, I haven’t hosted a get together at my place. My son is now 1 1/2 years old. I am usually the one to coordinate and host too! I would love to have my close girlfriends over to host and celebrate Mother’s day with them. We are all moms and I can’t imagine anything more special! The One Bag Party makes it even more perfect and inspiring!

  2. jen

    April 25, 2013

    Love the one bag party idea. I’d keep it simple with a small backyard bbq with friends.

  3. Kristen

    April 25, 2013

    I like holding parties at a picnic table in the woods. Since you have to cart everything out there to begin with, it encourages minimalism. I would have some pre-cooked items in pyrex dishes. Everyone can bring their own utensils and plates from home instead of using disposable stuff!

  4. Kayla

    April 25, 2013

    A cupcake decorating party for my daughter and her friends!

  5. Jen H

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a Jam Making One Bag Party! I would invite a few friends over to make jam and I would put out all of my art supplies so everyone can design their own labels!

  6. Jessica

    April 25, 2013

    I would have a welcome summer party! Or, since we are in the middle of re-doing our patio, it may be a celebrate the middle of summer party.

  7. Rachel

    April 25, 2013

    What a lovely housewarming! I would love to host a summer BBQ on our multilevel deck to celebrate the end of my residency/the arrival of our new baby. If only it would warm up in PA!

  8. Iris G.

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to do a ladies brunch/housewarming as well. I just moved a few months ago and none of my friends have really seen the new place (and those who have saw it in disaray during the move-in). Then again any excuse to have the ladies over and get some cocktails going is a good one, so we could very well just celebrate the fact that it’s Thursday!

  9. Saundra Hailey

    April 25, 2013

    A full moon party outside with twinkly lights hanging from the trees, candles , white flowers, white linens, and real china. It would be high tea style but decadent under the stars.

  10. Ashley L

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a summer evening BBQ for our friends and their little ones. Outside on our patio, with those lovely lights strung about–would love to win!

  11. Sarah E

    April 25, 2013

    I’d have an outdoor game party with croquet, bags, Kubb, horseshoes and more!

  12. Traci

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to host a casual wine and cheese afternoon garden party in our back yard! We recently did a major cleaning back there and it’s just begging for guests.

  13. Michelle Hinckley

    April 25, 2013

    Your party was stunning! Wish I was your friend…would have love to have seen your pad! I would host a send off party for my parents-in-law who are heading to Mexico for the next couple of years. One bag…pretty impressive! Fingers crossed!

  14. Angie S

    April 25, 2013

    I would plan a bridal shower party for my future sister in law. I like to entertain and plan events!

  15. natasha

    April 25, 2013

    We do open house parties for New Years Day every year! It’s my favorite kind of party.

    For the one bag party, I would love to host a “make your own terrarium” party. I’ve been dying to have one and this would be a the perfect motivation to get it all together.

    So fun!

  16. Megan Nafziger

    April 25, 2013

    I have been wanting to host a supper made with food that only comes from our local artisan food shops! This would include a local chocolatier, creamery, bread bakery, winery, meat market and florist! These prizes would make the party a “cinch”! 😉

  17. Beccy

    April 25, 2013

    I’d take on this challenge for my back yard wedding reception!

  18. Christy Thomas

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a summer picnic… I found that the moving blankets from my last move make great throws for the yard :)

  19. Martha T.

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to host an outdoor dinner as part of the rotating potlucks my friends and I have been doing since the weather in SF has been so perfect lately. Everyone brings tupperware for leftovers which makes the one bag idea totally plausible! Have also been thinking an Arrested Development party (complete with frozen bananas) is a must given the upcoming season premier!


  20. Brandi

    April 25, 2013

    I would plan a housewarming party as well since we just moved into our first home! We’d go for the apertivo, italian syle one bag snacks before dinner with Sambuca cocktails and espresso!

  21. Sarah

    April 25, 2013

    graduation party!

  22. Shannon

    April 25, 2013

    I would throw an art party, where everyone comes dressed as someone/somehing from a famous painting or photograph. We would create a masterpiece to take home too!!

  23. Sonchia

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a “Welcome to Summer” party here in Telluride. Summer is so short here in the mountains, but it is my absolute favorite time of year. I would host it on one of the Mesas that surround town, meaning we would have to haul trash in and out of the site. So, it is important to have everything in one bag! I have the perfect house/spot for this event. Hmmm…

  24. logan

    April 25, 2013

    I’d throw a cookies and milk party!!!

  25. Caitlin

    April 25, 2013

    a “great gatsby” inspired summer birthday party. dressing up is madatory 😉

  26. Vanessa

    April 25, 2013

    Oh, how lovely! My parents’ 30th wedding anniversary is coming up, and I’d LOVE to throw them a one-bag party! I love parties, but it hurts my heart to see the amount of trash that generally follows them. This is a great idea!

  27. Susan

    April 25, 2013

    i would love to have an appetizer party. love the garland you did for your door!

  28. Valerie

    April 25, 2013

    I want to have an outdoor movie night. This would need to include yummy finger food, lots of popcorn, and a fire to make s’mores over. Oh, and movies on the big screen. There’s nothing quite like watching The Muppets Take Manhattan under the stars, surrounded by people you love.

  29. Hannah S.

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to have a fun and relaxed one bag beach party this summer, we are on the central coast and it would so fun to gather friends and also so they could meet our newest baby to the family!

    LOVE this giveaway!

  30. Shannon

    April 25, 2013

    A tea party bag would be perfect for my daughter’s upcoming birthday.

  31. Amber G

    April 25, 2013

    I’ve got a baby’s 1st birthday party to plan this summer! I could easily make it all happen with one bag, and I’d love to have these goodies there!

  32. Steph Lawrence

    April 25, 2013

    We just moved to a new place, also in the Mission in San Francisco, and would love to host a welcome party! We are so excited to be back in our old neighborhood after 2 years away and are so thrilled and grateful to have found a spot we love. Would be excited to host a One Bag party here! Thanks for a great post, and some more photos of your lovely lovely apartment, it is so fun to see what you did with it! xx, Steph

  33. Anne @ Potato Cake Vintage

    April 25, 2013

    I’d plan a sweet little birthday party for my daughter next month. We just got some new patio furniture and I’m excited to have all our friends come celebrate!

  34. Veronica Jones

    April 25, 2013

    I would host a kickass fortieth birthday party for my amazing husband!

  35. Carolina

    April 25, 2013

    I would have a house warming party too! My soon-to-be-husband and I will be moving in to a 300 sq ft apartment in a few months. A one-bag party would be perfect. We’re using a lot of your tips to make our place move open and visitor friendly. Might as well party like you guys too!

  36. Jessica

    April 25, 2013

    I’d love to commence the summer with a get-to-know-your-neighbors picnic at the park! We live in the city and although people are very friendly and diverse here, we hardly know each other outside of the smiles and hello’s in passing. I know just the spot for our picnic too…under our favorite willow tree!

  37. Meri

    April 25, 2013

    What a beautiful party! I think I’d plan a summer party, specifically an ice cream social and I’d bust out our ice cream maker which doesn’t get nearly enough use.

  38. Sarah Sackett

    April 25, 2013

    I have been thinking about throwing another big summer BBQ/cocktail party and this is a really great idea for some motivation to make better choices than just disposables!

  39. Meg T

    April 25, 2013

    How good to be mindful of party waste! I’m going this afternoon to help plan a retirement party for my son’s teacher, so I say a one-bag retirement party!! Yee-haw!!

  40. Catherine tucker

    April 25, 2013

    I would have a slip n’ slide & blow up pool party for adults & kids alike!

  41. Toni

    April 25, 2013

    With the school year coming to an end, I would have to throw an End-of-School-Year Party. And with my own 4 kids and ALL their friends, a one-bag party would be the perfect challenge!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  42. Meg

    April 25, 2013

    What an awesome idea!
    Love the table cloth.

  43. Meredith

    April 25, 2013

    We’re about to move into our new house, so I would also do a housewarming party! Your party has given me such great ideas!

  44. Miranda Bouck

    April 25, 2013

    I am such a planner, the thought of having a one bag party is so exciting to me! I would bring everyone into my backyard and just hang out. We have a fire pit so the talks can go deep into the night (or early morning, however you’d like to see it).

    We purchased our house two years ago and still have not had a party at it. This has got to change!

  45. E

    April 25, 2013

    Oh MAN! I LOVE this stuff! I would host a girl’s night in for some of my local blog readers/friends!

  46. sc

    April 25, 2013

    i would love to host a housewarming party too. yours looks like it was fantastic. thanks for the ideas and the giveaway.

  47. Taylor

    April 25, 2013

    I started a design blog in 2009 which led me on a path that over the past few years has involved quitting a full-time office job, going back to school, and jumping right in to the design world. I’m moving next month to Durham to be a part of an amazing design program and might very well have a job too! I couldn’t be more excited…so my “one-bag” party would be both a house warming and a celebration of making a big step towards my career.

  48. Tana

    April 25, 2013

    I would love to win this! I definitely need to throw a party for my friends and classmates after we finish our 2L year of law school.

  49. Julia

    April 25, 2013

    Ooooh! That food sounds wonderful!! What a fun party. :) I like any excuse to have a party/dinner get together! I’m gonna say my next One Bag Party is going to be a BBQ shower for my brother and his wife. :)

  50. Laura F.

    April 25, 2013

    i work with about 200 high school students, and we always try to have a back-to-school potluck in august. the kids know i’m the office recycler so it would be fun to introduce them to the idea of a one-bag party, especially for a big crowd!

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