After a full four months in our new house, we decided to set a date and have an open house party for the dual purposes of "warming" our home and forcing us into a finishing decorating and settling in under a deadline. :-)
After a few crazy weeks of last-minute unpacking, organizing, touch-up painting, and other projects, we had the big day on Sunday, and it was a great day!
I made things a bit easier on us by doing a simple cold buffet spread so I could just mingle with the guests and not worry about heating or serving or refilling anything. I used blackboard cloth to make a table runner so I could easily label everything. It turned out really cute!
One of the biggest hits of the party was pimiento cheese sandwiches. I didn't make my own filling, though, because you can't improve on greatness. ;-) (You can buy pimiento by the mason jar at Jack Allen's.)
I turned the chalkboard thing into something of a theme with signage throughout the house.
I had intended to make cucumber sandwiches but realized it wouldn't be possible to do them the day of the party without skipping church, which we didn't want to do. So I decided to improvise a little filling with cream cheese, peanut butter, honey, and a bit of confectioner's sugar, with the justification that there would be lots of small kids there. I thought these may have ended up being the yummiest thing there!
Three kinds of muffins. I wish I had made more of these Rachael Ray cheddar-bacon cornbread muffins. They were a big hit! But I didn't realize until too late that the recipe makes a pretty small batch. I managed to make a huge quantity of the zucchini-raisin ones, which is great -- they're back in the freezer and will take H's breakfasts for days!
I had never made a cheese ball before, but used this recipe for the ball in the middle of my cheese tray. I thought it turned out well, which is good, because the recipe makes four balls and so I still have three in the freezer!
I used cheddar popcorn and chalkboard-style labels I found online to make little party favor bags that read "thanks for popping in." I didn't keep count as I made them and ended up with about double what I needed so... if anyone wants some tiny bags of popcorn...
I had new personal contact cards made up with our new address as well as other personal contact information, for our guests to take home.
N made a really cool backyard Jenga game! I don't know how much use it got at the party because it was too hot to stand around... but it'll keep.
These cute dispensers worked great, didn't leak, and meant I didn't have to refill a thing!
Coffee station. Yeah, that was a big hit on a 100+ degree day. I think one cup was drunk, and that was out of politeness. ;-)
So, that's about it! The best thing about the party was that, even though there was a lot of work leading up to it, once the party started, we were done and got to relax and enjoy our guests!