The First Party

Nick’s birthday party was so much fun!


We ended up having 15 people, 4 dogs, and 1 baby at the house, and even though the afternoon started with some rain, the skies cleared out and gave us a great afternoon to cook out, hang out, and play games.

Thanks to Foodbuzz and Cost Plus World Market, the party looked great, too.




Our old house was really small and didn’t have a yard that worked well for entertaining, so Nick and I didn’t have many get togethers at our place.

But since our new house is bigger and has the porch and a somewhat level yard, we knew we wanted to throw a birthday cookout and have our friends over.

And the Foodbuzz + Cost Plus World Market party promotion they were doing this month worked out perfectly! World Market has such great outdoor entertaining items (plus all kinds of other things for your house). I was finally able to get things to entertain and we actually have a place to store it.



One of the best things I’ve learned from watching too much Food Network is to have your guests bring things to contribute – especially if it’s the first few times you’re having a party at your house. It’s less stressful for you and it lets your guests get involved, too.

Nick and I had some beer, sparkling water, and tea and had everyone bring some other drinks to contribute.

For the food. we made chicken spiedies on freshly baked bread with butter, and all our friends brought the side dishes.IMG_3638

Our table was almost overflowing – and I’m sad we don’t have any leftovers.


We had broccoli salad, a mixed green salad, an asparagus/tomato/mozzarella salad, spicy pasta salad, chips, and some homemade dumplings.


Plus the cake. I’m so excited that my layer cake actually turned out well!

It started out by overflowing in the oven on Thursday night and burning to the coil…so I was a little worried.

But I finally made a cake with even and straight layers, despite the messy beginning.


And I’m pretty sure nothing else mattered much once it was slathered in chocolate buttercream.IMG_3646

Now we just have to deal with the aftermath…IMG_3647

A sink full of dirty dishes and a cake that’s almost gone = sign of a good party.

25 Responses to “The First Party”

  1. #
    Sarah R — June 19, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Sounds like a great time! I love World Market–they have such cute stuff.

  2. #
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy & Healthy — June 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I usually ask people to bring something too. I used to feel a little guilty about it, but I think people feel better bringing something anyways. When I host girls nights at my place, I’ll usually make dinner for everyone and ask them to bring the wine, and they are usually more than happy with that deal ;)

  3. #
    Cynthia (It All Changes) — June 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Chocolate icing on vanilla cake is the best! Chocolate butter cream is making me drool. Happy birthday Nick!

  4. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — June 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    What a lovely home you have! Looks like a great party!

    • admin replied: — June 20th, 2011 at 2:09 am

      Thanks Maris!

  5. #
    Clarice — June 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    I love throwing parties. Good job remembering to take a picture before all the food was eaten; I always forget.

  6. #
    Lauren — June 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    What a great party!! So happy everything turned out so well and a very Happy Birthday to Nick!

  7. #
    Kacy — June 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Gorgeous cake! Looks like so much fun!

  8. #
    Erica — June 20, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Looks fabulous! I love the plates and cups-so colorful. And the cake looks perfect!! Happy birthday to the man

  9. #
    Megan — June 20, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Looks like a great party and the cake is beautiful!

  10. #
    Melissa — June 20, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Are those chocolate covered sun flower seeds on the cake? Cause that’s what it looks like!! And it looks super yummy!! Yay for good weather!! I really need to come visit soon!!! Miss you guys!!

    • admin replied: — June 20th, 2011 at 2:09 am

      Ha, no they’re just sprinkles, but they do look like sunflower seeds!

  11. #
    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels — June 20, 2011 at 11:37 am

    What a fun party, love all of the decorations too! :) It looks like you all had a great time. Your cake looks soooo good. Love the sprinkles!

    • admin replied: — June 20th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you SO much!

  12. #
    Paige @ Running Around Normal — June 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Sounds like a great party! Everything looks so pretty – and delicious :)

  13. #
    Stacy Myers — June 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Go Hokies! :-) Yeah, I saw the floor mat. Everyone else saw dishes, and I picked up on the VT floor mat. lol

    • admin replied: — June 20th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Yeah! :)

  14. #
    Shannon — June 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    looks like a great spread, happy birthday nick :)

  15. #
    Sues — June 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Looks like so much fun!! And your cake looks amazing. I so wish we lived closer, so we could attend each other’s parties :)

    • admin replied: — June 20th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      I know – how fun would that be? :)

  16. #
    janetha @ meals & moves — June 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO NICK! That cake looks exquisite. Lucky guy :)

    • admin replied: — June 20th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks :)

  17. #
    Andrea — June 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Totally jealous of your screened in porch! I very much would love to have one of my own sometime. :) The party looks great Brandi and the cake is perfect!

    • admin replied: — June 23rd, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Thanks Andrea!

  18. #
    holly — June 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    i yearn for the day i have a house to entertain. i will seriously be throwing parties every week! looks like a great party – soooooo glad it went well my dear!!

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