A fabulous housewarming party full of friends

It’s been one month since Dave and I moved into our new place. After more than two years of living in incredibly small apartments in downtown San Francisco, we’re absolutely loving our newer and bigger spot outside the City in the East Bay. While at first I thought I would miss being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle that comes with urban dwelling, I’ve quickly come to realize that comfort and quiet is more important. Now that I have a car and don’t have to walk everywhere, life seems a little less stressful. Grocery shopping is easy, everything I need is a quick drive away, and yet we can still get to a sushi restaurant on foot in less than 10 minutes, oh and we have more than one closet. So basically, it’s perfect.

Soon after getting settled in our new place, Dave and I knew we wanted to throw a little housewarming, since we finally live in a place large enough to entertain. 

Ashley at housewarmingI love to host! And I also love to use my silver serving platters, which Dave and I received for wedding gifts nearly three years ago.

A couple of weeks ago, we sent out an evite to some of our friends and were very surprised and elated to have nearly 30 people RSVP “yes.” In the end, we had 26 people total who showed up for the Pitt “Suburban Soiree” gathering this past weekend. So it was a full house.

A very successful Suburban Soiree

On Saturday, at 5:30 p.m. the guests began to arrive. (My college girlfriend Chelsea stayed in town for an extra night after her work event, the lovely wine-tasting, which Dave and I attended the night before, so it worked out perfectly that she could also come to our party. She came a little bit before the group to hang out and help set up.) 

As people showed up, we welcomed them upstairs into the main living area where we had some party tunes playing on Spotify, a slideshow of some of our crazy adventures playing on the flat-screen TV and an array of food and drinks. We sent out a map of the area a couple days in advance, letting people know that the front door of our place actually opens to a courtyard and luckily nobody got lost or confused. Dave even drew some stars on the sidewalks leading up to our door to help people find their way.

The guest-list was pretty diverse, and the attendees included some of our friends who live in San Francisco, some of Dave’s coworkers who live all over the Bay Area, and other people we’ve become close with during the last two-and-a-half years living in California. It’s times like those when you have all of your friends over that you can truly appreciate the value of friendships made, because it certainly helps you feel like you’ve set some roots down in your “newish” city. It was even more enjoyable to see our friends from different groups get to know each other over the course of the night. Good people like other good people, that’s for sure.

Party guests and friendsA look at some of the friendly faces who joined us for the party, including a group shot of some of the ladies in the kitchen, me with Chelsea and Sarah, and our dear city friends Mike and Laurene.

So many of our friends brought us bottles of wine as gifts, and we even received some gourmet popcorn, a bouquet of flowers and a potted plant. I was super excited to find a place for the plant, and with the addition of live greenery, we can certainly call our place a true home. Now let’s get to some of the party logistics …

The details on the party food

I made all of the food for the party, focusing my efforts on bite-sized delights that would please a large group. Some items had a healthy twist, but most of it was purely delicious party food, prepared without regard to the calories. Because let’s face it, calories consumed at parties don’t count. Right?

Party foodBite-sized treats shown above include nearly all the colors of the rainbow.

Here are the recipes I made and/or assembled, some of which I modified slightly:

I prepared the desserts on Friday, as well as prepped the chopped-up veggies. The rest of the food I made on Saturday in the day and finished everything right before it was go-time. I was the queen of lists leading up to the party. I assembled my recipes via Pinterest, made shopping lists, went to several grocery stores more than once, wrote out instructions for each dish and then conquered each one-by-one. I’d say it turned out pretty good, and the stand-out crowd pleasers were of course, the meatballs and the cheesy bacon bites.

Housewarming food and drinkA selection of goodness including a cocktail served in a large mason jar, various food and drinks.

And for the beverages, Dave and I provided a variety of beer, wine, bubbly and spirits, including a specialty cocktail, which we made — Sweet tea vodka lemonade. Most people also brought a little bit of beer and wine to share as well, which was a good thing, because the party went on until nearly 11 p.m. so we needed the extras!

The details on the party entertainment

Outside of hanging out with our guests, nibbling and drinking, we also had a few activities planned. In the garage, Dave has set up a “speakeasy lounge” featuring music, beer pong tables, flip-cup tables, a sidewalk chalk graffiti station and more. This was not just a man cave, and many of the girls hung out down there as the night went on. However, Dave didn’t introduce the lounge concept until a couple hours into the party, to make sure we didn’t create a segregated girls and guys environment too early on in the night (because you know most girls tend to stay in the kitchen, which was true for our party too). Unfortunately, it was way too dark to capture any photos worth sharing of the garage set-up, so you’ll have to use your imagination there.

Housewarming party successA shot from the kitchen looking out at all of the guests socializing, as well as the food table before party time and a fancy bottle of champagne, brought as a celebratory toast from some lovely friends.

We also had some fun taking blurry and ridiculous photos using a selfie-stick. And finally, we got into a late-night game of Cards Against Humanity (one of my favorites from Friday) with a group of about 10 people who stayed until the end, which was a fabulous time, full of laughter. It was at this point that the munchies set in and our group finished off nearly all of the remaining food.

Filling the house with warmth

After everyone left, Dave and I were completely exhausted, but so happy with the turn-out. We decided to leave the mess and went to bed. It took quite a while to clean up on Sunday, but we had our place back in business by noon, which really wasn’t too bad.

Hosting parties is not only a lot of work, but it’s also pretty expensive when you have a big group. It’s something that Dave and I did a lot more when we lived in Florida, and I’d love to get back into it. In the end, it was worth every little bit of effort to welcome all of our friends, who live all across the Bay Area into our home to hang out. The term “housewarming” is totally effective to describe how it felt. Our place is broken in, warmed up and serving as a fabulous place for us right now. We’re pretty darn happy we got to see so many of our friends and show them our new pad, as well as have a little carefree fun on a Saturday night.

So there you have it! Tonight, Dave and I are attending a fashion event in Union Square, and I’ll be back here with you tomorrow for a post about food. Happy Tuesday, friends!

Questions of the day

When was the last time you went to a good party? What’s your favorite game to play at parties? What’s something you are looking forward to this month?

Ashley signature

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  1. I’m just like you, I LOVE hosting parties and seeing people happy with the foods and wine I’ve selected. Your kitchen and new place looks gorg, Ashley! I’m so happy for you two. Once we get into our new place, I cannot wait to host another wine and cheese party (those themed parties are kind of our thing πŸ˜‰ ) Oh, and I guess one thing I’m looking forward to in the next month is closing on our new house!

    1. Hi Becky! Yay for closing on your new house. Wine and cheese sounds fun! We did that on a very small scale in one of our last small apartments, but we can do it bigger now. Give me ALL the cheese! πŸ™‚ ehheh Happy Tuesday!

  2. So glad you’re party turned out well! Sounds like a great time. I’m impressed with all the cooking you did, especially those red velvet brownies. They look amazing! The last really great party I went to was a New Year’s Eve party at Brian’s cousin’s house. That girl should be an event planner because she goes all out and always nails every single detail.

    1. Hi Chrissy! I remember you mentioning that party and that it was themed. Event planners always throw great parties!! Glad you are almost related to one! πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday!

  3. I definitely had the same thoughts when making the decision to move outside the downtown core and I love it! Just like you, we had lived in a small space and the lack of everything was driving us crazy. Wow, you guys threw an awesome party! There’s nothing better than spending the evening with a group of amazing people from your life. It’s so nice that you had a great turnout and that everything went smoothly. The food looked amazing! One red velvet brownie over here, please πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Taca! I know, I’m glad you understand my story. I WANTED to leave the City, but was dreading it. And no looking back now. I still go into the city for events, but like my comfy larger space at home. And the brownies? SO good. Hope you’re having a great Tuesday! πŸ™‚

  4. Love everything you did! Your party surely showed off your personality and showed all the work you put into making it an absolute blast. I also like that you didn’t introduce the garage for a few hours. When we go to parties with rooms like that, it definitely segregates the party pretty quickly!

    1. Hi Heather! Yes, of course, that’s what happens at parties, so we were sure to wait to introduce the lounge hehe. Thanks for the kind words, it was such a good time! Happy Tuesday to you! πŸ™‚

  5. Congrats on your successful soiree Ashley! It looked absolutely fabulous and I can only imagine what an outstanding hostess and party planner you are. I haven’t met a meatball I don’t love, so that likely would have been my favorite. And those red velvet brownie bites, oh man!

    1. Hi Courtney! Thank you! It was so fun to be back to hosting parties again, and I really enjoyed making all the food. And I think I liked the meatball and the brownies the best too! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Leslie! You sure do! You don’t need a special to-do. Just put a snack plate on a platter one night to be festive heheh! Happy Tuesday!

  6. Looks like an awesome celebration! Love your top- I just bought it in black the other day! πŸ™‚

    I love the East Bay- such a fun area! I would highly recommend visiting Sideboard in downtown Danville- it’s my favorite coffee shop in the Bay, and they offer amazing food and atmosphere! Also, Yogurt Shack in Danville is the best frozen yogurt I’ve ever had!

    Enjoy your new area!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Annie! Did you get it from Nordstrom Rack? That’s where I got mine. And I haven’t made it to Danville yet, but will keep those suggestions in mind. Thank you!! πŸ™‚ Of course, a place like Yogurt Shack sounds like it is right up my alley.

  7. Wow!!! Has it already been almost 2 1/2 years since your cross country move!!! It makes me so happy to know that y’all have found what looks to be some wonderful friends! (Although we miss you too!!!) I’m so sorry that I didn’t get to see you while you were last here, this pregnancy was so tough on me in the beginning and I had to take it slow. Keep enjoying life Ashley! You are so good at it! Xoxo

    1. Hi Allison! I know! Time flies! We miss you guys and the Magic crew so much, but things are great here. Hoping we can see you when we visit in May. Take care and give L and C a hug from the Pitts!!! πŸ™‚

  8. We’ll have another little baby girl, Reese, by May 8th so you’ll have to swing by when you’re in town!!!!!

    1. Hi Kelly! Those are fun parties too. And the brownies tasted as good as they looked. Hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday! πŸ™‚

  9. You and Dave were such great hosts. The maps were so helpful too. Thank you again for having us!

    By the way, I didn’t get a chance to tell you but I loved that color on you! You looked so pretty. Don’t forget to give us a full house tour soon! πŸ˜‰

  10. I absolutely love this post! Dan and I are currently saving up for a house, so seeing this is making me really excited to move and host our own housewarming! Those treats look amazing as well πŸ™‚ Congratulations on your first successful party in your new place!

    1. Thank you Gretchen! Saving for a house? Awesome, that’s very exciting stuff!! And have a wonderful Tuesday! πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed this one.

  11. House warming parties are so fun! Stressful trying to get everything together but once its happening it is so worth it! And I have to say your food has me drooling over here! Everything looked so good!

    1. Thank you so much, Jessica! It sure was fun to have people over and play hostess. Hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday! πŸ™‚

  12. Yay! So glad it was a success! All of your appetizers look so tasty! I, too, love to host parties and get togethers. We used to do it more before Hunter came along. Now it’s usually smaller groups that also have kids, which is still super fun. Glad you’re loving your new place! Can’t believe you’ve been in it for a month now!

    1. I know, Ash! Time flies! And yes, I’m sure the party scene changes are you have kids. We have quite a few couple friends with kids, and they were actually excited to get away to a party by themselves for once and leave the kids at home with a sitter heheeh! πŸ™‚ Have a lovely Tuesday!

  13. your party looked amazing! I love the chalkboard signs. Cards Against Humanity is definitely my favorite party game – it’s always so much fun and incredibly funny. I’m glad your first get together went well!

    1. Thanks, Pragati. Those little chalkboards were super hard to write on with chalk, by the way. It took me forever and I wasn’t crazy about how my handwriting looked heheh. But it certainly didn’t ruin the party! πŸ™‚ Happy Wednesday to you!

    1. Thank you, Beth! I also love using the servingware — hosting can be so much fun. Hope you’re having a wonderful day so far. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Katie! Thanks! Yes, the meatballs are the easiest – just set them and let them cook on their own. It was a fun party!! Hope all is well with you! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Annette! I do love to throw a party! And food is the best part. Too bad there weren’t too many leftovers. πŸ™‚ Hope all is well with you this week!

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