It was high time to throw a housewarming party, as we moved into our place in July! (I can't believe Thanksgiving is already almost here.) We pulled it together in a week, and thankfully a bunch of our friends could come on short notice. I quickly mailed out invitations the week before (after a strategic "save the date" on text.) The stamps were my only cost for the invitations. I grabbed a bunch of (free) paint color chips from Green Depot to be the paper, and then I used my typewriter to type out the invites.
The theme of our housewarming party was Color Me Happy. Basically, Dan and I were a sad, frustrated pair at our last apartment. The list of things making us unhappy there was long: mice (so awful!), cramped quarters, no decent closet space, poor plumbing, smallest kitchen in the world (with no dishwasher), the nearest washer/dryer being a 6-block walk away, neighbors above that you could clearly hear (and didn't want to, trust), and below us was one cranky, crazy man. We had to get out.
The new place makes us so happy. Everything about it works for us. We also love the new neighborhood and are surrounded by nice, creative people in the building. I think Dan and I feel lighter in general because we don't have to deal with all the everyday pull-your-hair-out annoyances we had in our last place.
My friend Erin (above) came early and was an amazing help. I'd made three dips that morning from my new favorite cookbook, Pestos, Tapenades & Spreads. I whipped together curried hummus, beet tapenade, and a roasted red pepper spread. We put out an assortment of vegetables, breads, and crackers for dipping. I picked up some extra radishes and apples from the farmers market that morning that I nestled around the serving bowls as decoration. Dan picked up a bunch of cheeses that were finished by the end of the night. The menu was super simple, but the homemade dips were on the unusual side and turned out to be a crowd-pleaser.
For dessert, I made rainbow cupcakes, inspired by this rainbow cake that looked so cool. The cupcakes were simple to make — just a little time-consuming. I followed a recipe for vanilla cupcakes and vanilla glaze from the book Cupcakes. After making the cupcake batter, I divided the batter among glass bowls and added the gel food coloring. Then I spooned the colors into the cupcake liners one by one. Erin made the vanilla glaze and iced the cupcakes while I showered. Team effort!
I took photos of our friends before they headed out. I set out my moustaches on a stick that I'd picked up from Renegade with my friend Sue-Anne (above.) I love these photos of everyone! I did put rainbow fabric in the background, but you can't see the fabric in many of the shots. Next time I want to set up the camera on a tripod, which is something I need to buy anyway.
Sue-Anne brought a homemade apple pie that was so good. I love how she always wraps up her food gifts in fancy tissue paper.
The second batch of rainbow cupcakes was definitely better because I used a vanilla bean along with the vanilla extract.
I want to make an intention to take photos at every party we host. I often forget to bring out my camera once I get wrapped up in a party, so it helped to designate the photos as an activity. Look at my friend Kevin channeling the serious side of a moustache, even though he's moustache-less. So fun.
This may not be the prettiest table shot, but I would write its photo caption as "a good party was here." We had a great time, and I let go as soon as friends starting arriving. I plum forgot about what wasn't put away and didn't notice what looked messy and didn't mind that I'd run out of time to make the rainbow ribbon wands that I was planning to give away as favors. Instead, I just soaked in the joy of having a bunch of people we love in our happy apartment for the first time. And ate a lot of rainbow cupcakes and curried hummus (not in that order.)