Rob and I hosted the other Wilderness Couples for a party at our house over the weekend. We’ve lived in this house for just over a year and put off hosting friends until we had the main living areas finished. Together, we’ve worked really hard over the last couple of months, crossing lots of to-dos off of our list and decided it was time to break-in the place. We thought it would be fun to host friends for a pumpkin carving party.
I was really excited to decorate the house for the party. I was inspired by the bright colors and folk art of Dia de Los Muertos. We filled the house with tiny pumpkins, candles, brightly colored flowers, feathers, doilies and of course lots sugar skulls.
We built an ofrenda using a vintage leather suitcase, thrifted fabric and tea light candles. In our invitation, we asked friends to bring photos of lost loved ones and fruit, which is a traditional offering. Everyone brought something to add to the shrine. As they placed the photos among the fruit and candles, they shared memories of their lost loved ones. Rachael even brought strawberries, her grandmother’s favorite.
We served baked chicken taquitos with a creamy cilantro lime dipping sauce, a chopped green salad with avocado, roasted red peppers, corn and pepitas, spicy popcorn and chips with spicy queso blanco. For dessert, there were Mexican hot chocolate donuts, sugar cookies and lots of candy. Rob & I stocked our bar cart ahead of time so that guests could mix their own cocktails or use the recipe we featured on a chalkboard to concoct our drink of the night — an Apple Cider Margarita.
Outside on our patio, the set-up was simple. We wrapped our new table in craft paper and set out pumpkins, carving tools and bowls (to collect sticky pumpkin guts). All of us ate, drank cocktails and carved pumpkins into the wee hours of the night. It was bliss.
I’m so happy our first party in this house was a success. We love our home and feel really lucky to live here. It doesn’t hurt that we have such great friends either.
Be sure to read this week’s Friday Links post, when I’ll share recipes for the delicious food we served!