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bash, please: thank you for being a friend party

by Paige

Season’s Greetings, Design*Spongers! Have you ever looked back over the past 12 months, and thought about all the great people who helped make up your year? The people you worked with, the people you played with, the people who made you laugh ’til wine came out of your nose (ok, that didn’t happen, but you know what we mean). You know, the really awesome people you get to call your friends? When we thought of all the rad people we worked with this year, we noticed that a lot of them were women. So, why not get all the gals together, and throw a “Thank You for Being a Friend” party that would make any one of the Golden Girls proud… especially Sophia.  We let our pals at Heirloom LA tackle the eats, while we did what we do best, provided the deets. We hope you’re hungry!

When you hand over the kitchen to Heirloom LA you’ve really done yourself a favor, ‘cause these guys know how to leave your guests full and happy. While Tal mixes up a Lemon Belly cocktail, Matt and Tara are bustling in the kitchen, whipping up some farm-to-table delicacies you wish you knew how to create (don’t worry, they’ve opened up the Top Secret cookbook and shared a recipe with us; keep reading).

The full post and party ideas are after the jump!

For the table, we used a combination of vintage bottles filled with wildflowers, potted ferns + succulents, crystals, and hand etched water bottles. Mix-matched vintage plates with calligraphed place cards give our table a homey feel… an easy way to give your holiday table a facelift. Want to make your own etched bottles? Here’s how we did it:

1. Clean and dry glass bottle thoroughly
2. Cut your design out of contact paper using an exacto knife (or use a handy vinyl cutter as we did)
3. Adhere design to glass surface – use popsicle stick or orange stick to rub out any air bubbles
4. Apply a thick layer of etching cream with a paint brush – load it on so you don’t see brush marks
5. Allow cream to set according to directions on the bottle, then rinse with water and soap.
6.  Peel off design and clean bottle with glass cleaner
7. Fill with water and dazzle your dinner guests!

Download our designs here and here.

With one of DJ Smiles Davis’ playlists setting the mood, we could hardly hear Matt calling us in for dinner. Good thing Annie knows how to play the dinner bell! Two rings from her bell and we scurried to our seats, hungry for the feast being set in front of us. Download Smiles’ playlist here for your own party.

Carrot Melon Soup + Farmer’s Market Salad with Stone fruit, figs + concord grapes for starters. Want to make this soup for your next shindig?

Here’s the recipe… we told you to keep reading:

Heirloom LA’s Carrot-Melon Soup:


One ripe cantaloupe melon + refrigerate


4 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 jumbo carrots, peeled + chopped
salt + pepper
•Sauté until caramelized


•1/2 c white wine to deglaze. Cook until carrots absorb liquid.
•Now add 2 cups water + let come to a simmer.


•Puree carrot mixture + refrigerate.
•Once both the carrot mixture and the melon mixture are both cold, combine + serve.
•Garnish with basil and a mild olive oil.


The ever-popular lasagna cupcake. These little babies put Heirloom LA on the map and after eating just one bite, you’ll know why. Order them for your holiday party here.

For our main course, we feasted on Whole Salt Crusted Grouper with blended heirloom tomato romesco + fried marjoram, McGrath Farms organic baby carrots with cumin vinaigrette + toasted pumpkin seeds, and Shaener Farms garlic and shallot sauté of green, yellow + purple haircut verts and warm crushed potatoes.

After dinner, the Handsome Roasters rolled up with their espresso cart, whipping up some strong brews to accompany Tara’s mixed-berry tarts.

After our sweets, we couldn’t let our guests go home empty handed, so we sent them off with their very own jar of preserves… handmade by the Heirloom LA crew themselves.

We are so grateful for all of the wonderful people we are lucky enough to call our friends, so hosting this dinner party was the best way we knew how to say thanks. Good food, good wine, good laughs, that’s what friends are for, right? We wish all of you Design*Spongers a very happy holiday, and wonderful new year. Cheers!


A big thanks goes out to Aaron Shintaku for hangin’ out with us gals and documenting the night for us.


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