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.


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

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

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

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

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

  7. Gorgeous cake! Looks like so much fun!

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

  9. Looks like a great party and the cake is beautiful!

  10. 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!!

  11. 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!

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

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

  14. looks like a great spread, happy birthday nick :)

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

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

  17. 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!

  18. 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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