Book Exchange

The book in the front there is actually in mommy and daddy’s book collection now that the kiddo is here. It was given as a funny gift from a good friend. I would not suggest reading it to your kiddo or sending it in the exchange.

Anyone else love having a full library to choose from when reading to the kiddo? 
I have a lot of great books to read to my little man… 
but, I’ve read many of them SO many times that I get a little bored.
When a friend on Instagram wrote about a sort of book exchange chain letter I was all for participating in it. The basic idea is that you send out 1 book and get back 36 books!
 What a deal, right?
Here is how it works: 
There is a letter that lists two addresses. 
#1 Address—Kiddo You most likely don’t know along with their age
#2 Address—Kiddo of a friend of yours along with their age

You send one book to the child listed as #1 below. Then send a copy of the letter to 6 friends. Move child’s name and address listed under #2 to the #1 spot and list your child as #2 on your letter before sending it out. 
Be sure to include your child’s age next to their name and address.
And, really, if you don’t get back 36 books, as long as you get back more than 1 book then you got a good deal.  
Wanna take part? I need 6 friends to E-mail me!

A little break

I’m having some trouble getting stuff done this week. I will make up for it in awesome posts this upcoming week. We’ll call this week my very much needed spring break. I promise to give you much love soon!



– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Get Some Cash

One of the gift bag sponsors for the Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up was an Oregon founded internet book buying company called Cash4Books. When cleaning out my house to make room for baby I sold several of my books with them and used the money to help pay for part of my little man’s nursery. The process for selling books is much easier than lugging all your books to a used book store.
 My experience was so great using their services that I asked them if they wanted to be involved with Portland Bloggers. I was more than a little excited when they said yes! 
If you have some extra books lying around and you have been thinking about selling them I’d suggest trying Cash4Books. You can enter the ISBNs and see how much you might make off of the titles you own. Or, if you have an iPhone or Android download their free app. You can mail them in (no shipping costs) or, if you live in the area, you can drop them off and get back a little more cash.
I know this has little to do with parties (although, I have sold and purchased a few event planning books through their site) but, I wanted to pass along the great deal that Cash4Books has set up for you! If you use the bonus code PartyTime you’ll receive an extra 15% payout.
Party posting resumes tomorrow! 
Full Disclosure: The Portland Bloggers were gifted items from the above company to help support the Portland Bloggers. The sponsors were given signage at the event. No posts were expected from the bloggers in return for the donations. But, everyone at the event, including myself were super excited by the turn out and the companies that were involved.  Personally, I have a journalism background and don’t believe in exchanges of promises of positive reviews for products and will not do that on either of my blogs nor suggest that other bloggers do that. I contacted most of these sponsors personally because I believe in their product and have experienced great service with them. This makes it only a joy for me to share any links to these companies with you! 

Ahhh… the sun! SUN!! 
That is pretty much how I felt all weekend long. I love the sun and as soon as Portland sky lights up with that pretty little orb I make sure I have on a sleeveless shirt and a spot on the driest patch of grass I can find. This sunny weekend I had the joy of sharing my love of the sun with my son. 
Saturday I enjoyed a day of outdoor shopping and playing in the park. Saturday evening we had some friends over for an impromptu dinner party. We fired up the grill and I sat out on the porch until late in the evening. It was pretty much the perfect day.
I had to work ALL day Sunday… being stuck indoors when ever the sun is out is pretty much torture. But, as always I am super thankful that I have a job. And, the day ended up being a pretty easy work day and the sun stayed out for my Monday Funday anyways. 
Monday—BEST DAY EVER. 
I love my Mondays… the only thing that could make Monday better is if my husband was off work! 
I didn’t even open my computer on Monday.
I didn’t do any laundry.
I didn’t wash a single dish.
(I’m pretty sure you can figure out what I’m doing today!)
X and I spent the day outdoors yesterday. X wore his new sunhat and lots of sunscreen.
 I wore a sun dress and sandals. 
During the evening the hubby joined us for dinner in the park. 
It was a really, really beautiful day.
Now it is back to reality for me… and, I never thought I’d say this, but I’m thankful for a grey day today. I have 12,000 words to write and blogs to get prepared. I plan on spending the day in front of my computer and cleaning up my very messy home!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Impromptu Dinner Party

I’m a big fan of all the wonderful details of a well thrown party. But, there is also something special about an impromptu dinner party with friends. No stressing over whether the house is perfect. No hours of preparation.
Tonight I enjoyed just that. At 3 PM we texted a few friends an invitation. At 6 PM everyone showed up with items for the grill and bottles of wine. I threw a tablecloth over my card table on the patio and we had a lovely dinner alfresco.
It’s important to not forget how great the small and not planned-to-a-tee parties can be as well as the more elaborate parties.

Sunny Saturday

I love the sun in Portland. It might be the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen when the sun is shining.
Today we went walking about in SE Portland. We enjoyed the weather by going to a local coffee shop, hitting the park, and some outdoor shopping! We bought X a running stroller today (so much better than the stroller we had). We also went to a garage sale and an estate sale. It was my first estate sale and I’m pretty sure I’m addicted. I spent $5 at the estate sale and came out with 7 yards of great fabrics and 5 beautiful vintage sheets. So excited about all the future projects! We spent $10 at the garage sale and I came out with a craft supply set-up like no other. Oh, and a set of prisma color pencils! Good day. Now, resting a bit before a dinner with friends out on the patio.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Simple Flower Arranging

I love real, fresh flowers at events.
 I think they just really give an event a little something extra. 
Sometimes I go the super market route and buy a pre-made bouquet and throw it in a vase as nicely as possible. If I am feeling flush (which, is usually about never) I’ll go to a florist and buy a pre-made centerpiece. I appreciate a good florist’s work more than the average person…
but, this blog is called “A Well Crafted Party” for a reason.
 I love crafting up inexpensive solutions to party decor—that includes floral decor.
When thinking about Spring decor for the Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up I really wanted to have some beautiful flowers filling the room. I spent a large portion of time working out the costs of the amount of flower’s I’d need for the event. For even the simplest arrangements I was looking at quite a bit of money AND limits on the type and amount of flowers I could find at the market. 
Floral Arrangement at my sister’s wedding image via West Impressions Photography
So, enter in the wonderful sponsorship with FiftyFlowers.com. I contacted FiftyFlowers because I’d used there services for my sister’s wedding and fell in love with the quality of the flowers, the wholesale flower prices, and the excellent customer service we received.
FiftyFlowers.com provided the Portland Blogger’s with the beautiful yellow and purple carnations shown above. During the ordering process I had a question about the flowers and was surprised to find out that the site had on-line chat support. My question was answered in exactly 1 minute of waiting. Then, soon after putting in my order I received a phone call from FiftyFlowers.com explaining where my flowers were shipping from, making sure my order was correct, and explaining the best way to take care of my flowers. Oh, and did I mention, there was free shipping? 
The flowers arrived on Thursday.

Not even thirty minutes after the flowers were delivered did I receive a call from FiftyFlowers asking me how the flowers looked and to tell me how to take the best care of the flowers. I snipped the ends of the flowers and placed them in a large bucket of water. 
The day of the event (two days after receiving the flowers) I got all the tools together to create my centerpieces. These are very simple arrangements that can be adjusted for your needs.
Tools:
—1 Vase
—Flowers 
(I went with all the same kind of flower, but you could also do this with a mixture of blooms)
—Water
—Good Shears
Optional: You could use floral foam or floral tape to stabilize your arrangements. I opted to use many blooms crossing their stems to stabilize the arrangements. 
They stayed together traveling to and from the event!
Step 1: Fill vase with water.
Step 2:  Cut stems to just above the top of the vase. Arrange in a circle, crossing the stems. 
Step 3: After the perimeter is set cut a few more stems just a bit longer than the previous stems and begin filling in the holes of the arrangement.
Step 4: Stand back and admire! The great thing about carnations is they can be a great arrangement on their own, or they make a beautiful filler flower. This same arrangement could be brought to the next level with the addition of some beautiful roses.
All together they are pretty eye-catching, don’t you think? 

Want to win some flowers? 
FiftyFlowers.com has a monthly contest on their facebook page where you can win $500 worth of flowers! A new winner is picked EVERY MONTH!
Full Disclosure: The Portland Bloggers were gifted flowers from the above company to help support the Portland Bloggers. The sponsor was given signage at the event.  Personally, I have a journalism background and don’t believe in exchanges of promises of positive reviews for products. I will not do that on either of my blogs nor suggest that other bloggers do that. I contacted this company personally because I believe in their product and have experienced great service with them. I hope you enjoyed this DIY floral arrangement post and think about FiftyFlowers.com next time you are looking for flowers for your events because I had great service from them!

Party Prep

Today I spent the day working on a clothing swap party. Basically, everyone brought clothing, accessories, or home goods that they no longer wanted and swapped it for new-to-them items. We had a good evening and I got some cute stuff. I think everyone else got some cute items as well. More photos and how to posts coming next week. In the meantime here are some iPhone pics:



– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Bumps and bruises

The one thing I feared the most when they told me I was having a boy happened today. Today my rough and tumble baby really hurt himself. Not just a face plant in the carpet or a small bump on his noggin. Not even a tongue biting (happened last week). Today he tried standing while playing with a box, tumbled over the box and smacked his head HARD on the TV stand.
The coffee table has pads on the corners. The sockets have covers. The kitchen a gate. But, he somehow hurts himself on the tiny ledge of the TV stand.
Scariest noise I’ve ever heard. Then, seeing a dent in his perfect little head- an immediate bruise. My heart stopped for a moment. His scream was the worst I’ve heard yet (and, he has been teething for a while now).
Moments later he was back to smiling and playing. The nurse I talked to seemed to think he was okay, but gave me things to look for just in case. His naptime I checked on him every ten minutes. Tonight we are sleeping close to him.
I’m pretty sure he is just fine. And, I’m pretty sure I have a lifetime of worry ahead of me!



X during his nap with a bump on his head.



X after his nap–happy as a lark!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Loving Lipstick

Me, I haven’t ever been a big fan of lipstick. My bow shaped lips are a pretty color—Why change it? Also, I’ve always wanted to play up my eyes rather than my lips.
Most the time I just slap on some gloss and call it good.
But, the goody bags from the Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up had a tube of Radiant Cosmetic’s lipstick in it and I thought I’d try an experiment. I got a fairly light pink shade called Peony (perfect for Spring, don’t ya think?) So, I took a photo with and without my peony pink lipstick.
Without:

With:

What do you think?

I think the little extra color on my lips actually made my eyes light up even more.
It also brought out some color in my cheeks. I think I might be addicted.

I also wanted to experiment on how long the lipstick would last on my lips.
I applied lip liner and then my lipstick and then gave my little man a bunch of kisses.

 

The lipstick was still on my lips after 50 kisses! Not bad, right?
And, I can feel even better about wearing lipstick by knowing that the lipstick helps support a good cause. Radiant Cosmetics has dedicated time and resources into the fight against human trafficking.
From their website:
“We are not your ordinary makeup company.
We believe that through ordinary purchases we can make a difference in this world.
Radiant Cosmetics was built around our passion to fight human trafficking.
With every product you purchase we donate our time, money and effort to help fight the injustice.”
I think I am going to have to go through the other colors available and see if I can’t pull off wearing lipstick more often!
Full Disclosure: The Portland Bloggers were gifted items from the above company to help support the Portland Bloggers. The sponsors were given signage at the event. No posts were expected from the bloggers in return for the donations. But, everyone at the event, including myself were super excited by the turn out and the companies that were involved.  Personally, I have a journalism background and don’t believe in exchanges of promises of positive reviews for products and will not do that on either of my blogs nor suggest that other bloggers do that. I contacted most of these sponsors personally because I believe in their product and have experienced great service with them. This makes it only a joy for me to share any links to these companies with you! 

Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up Decor

I had a great time coming up with some ideas for the decor for the 
Spring Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up.
 I wanted it to be bright and filled with color and flowers.
I worked with Sam creating ideas for the event and pulling off the set-up. 
Throughout the week you’ll see some DIY posts so you can recreate this look
 (or improve upon it) for your spring parties!
Photos are from three different cameras and are all labeled.
 Check out Sam & Olga‘s blogs for more wonderful images!
I had a wonderful time and I think everyone else did as well! 
Thank you to the lovely ladies who helped me with everything Sam, Adi, and Nicole
Thank  you to all the lovely ladies who joined us for the event.
Check out some of the fashionable ladies over at Leave the Laundry for Later.
And, the event was made ten times better due to contributions from some really great companies wishing to say “hi” and support the Portland Blogging community. 
Radiant Cosmetics
Blue Strawberry Scents
Full Disclosure: The Portland Bloggers were gifted items from the above companies to help support the Portland Bloggers. The sponsors were given signage at the event. No posts were expected from the bloggers in return for the donations. But, everyone at the event, including myself were super excited by the turn out and the companies that were involved.  Personally, I have a journalism background and don’t believe in exchanges of promises of positive reviews for products and will not do that on either of my blogs nor suggest that other bloggers do that. I contacted most of these sponsors personally because I believe in their product and have experienced great service with them. This makes it only a joy for me to share any links to these companies with you!

Oh So Stylish Portland Bloggers

The Portland Blogger Meet-Up this weekend was a seriously wonderful way to spend a Saturday.
One of my favorite things about getting together with a bunch of blogger?
They are oh-so-stylish!
I got so many cute ideas from these lovely ladies.
My camera and I didn’t get along at the event…. 
so, most of these photos are via Sam from the Sam Rosen blog and Olga of Vintage Pretty.
 They are labeled—Thanks Sam & Olga for the beautiful photos!
Adi – Justine – Miranda – SamOlgaSarahIrina – Me!

Sam’s outfit is detailed on her blog. I need that dress.

I love this photo of me… outfit details at the end of the post!

 

RoxanaChelseyCourtney JustineShannonGracie – Irina

 

Miranda & Sarah looking ready for spring in colored pants, white arm baring tops, and nautical!

They are sporting some of my favorite trends-
glam of a sequined (or glittered) shirt and the sweetness of stripes.
Isn’t she just one of the most beautiful pregnant ladies you ever did see?
Her outfit is detailed on her blog!
Suzannah and her hubby- She MADE that dress. Amazing.

Susannah is the picture of spring with a beautiful lace dress and a flower in her hair!

See what I mean… seriously stylish bloggers here in Portland! 

What I wore (links to stuff still available):
Banana Republic Black Draper Lace Dress from the Mad Men Collection
Black and Tan heels from about 7 years ago at Dillards
Burnt Gold Leaf Earrings via Target
Burnt Gold ring necklace via Forever 21
Burnt Gold Bangles via H&M

These photos were created using goodies from puglypixel.com

Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up Sneak Peek

It has been a busy, busy few days and today I took a much needed break.
But, all of my hard work means lots and lots of posts for you to read and hopefully become inspired by!
Here is a sneak peek of the Spring Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up from this weekend.
This meet-up was extra special because it was the first meet-up that had sponsors to help make the event even better. We were amazed about the quality and generosity of the sponsors that came through. You’ll see some more posts about the awesome sponsors throughout the week.
Also, I’ve got some fun DIY posts coming over the next couple of weeks:
  • Pretty, easy, and inexpensive vases and candle holders
  • Using watercolors in your party decor
  • Easy and eye-catching floral arrangements
  • Three signature cocktails
How was your weekend?

Weekend in Review: Whole Foods, Party Prep, and Portland Bloggers

Today I am taking it EASY. I’m playing with my little guy and resting while he rests. The house and the rest of my to-do list can wait around for me to catch a breath. I had a really busy and really wonderful few days this past week. I’ve been going non-stop and have a ton of posts in the works to share with you over the next week!

Here is a quick photo recap of the past few days!
1. Thursday—Did finishing touches on the Portland Bloggers Meet-Up planning with Sam and Nicole. 2. Thursday—Was invited to enjoy delicious foods and a cooking lesson at Whole Foods (more on that later this week) 3. Thursday—Whole Foods provided tasty cherry mojitos for a refreshing beverage. I think I’m going to try to recreate these soon! 4. Friday—Worked on creating product for my upcoming Etsy venture and for the Portland Blogger Swag bags. I was thrilled with how cute they looked in the packaging I created.

1. Friday—The Portland Bloggers were donated 100 gorgeous carnations from wholesale flower source FiftyFlowers.com and I had a blast creating simple, yet eye-catching centerpieces with them. 2. Saturday—I was in awe of how gorgeous the venue was for this event. We were so lucky to have such great weather! Photo by @PortlandPorter (my hubby)3. Saturday— I love me a signature cocktail and I made three different ones for the blogger meet-up. TASTY. The beautiful photo is from Sam at Sam Rosen. 4. Saturday— Sam also took this pretty photo of me all dressed up in my Banana Republic dress.

 1. Saturday—Twenty wonderful Portland Bloggers joined us for the meet-up and some even brought dates! It was a really wonderful time! 2. Sunday—Pulled out all the lovely swag from the event. There were wonderful treats from Strawberry Blue Scents, Meemee & Saysay, Radiant Cosmetics, A Well Crafted Party, and Nuvrei! 3. Sunday—It was a gorgeous day Sunday…but, I was stuck inside at work. I got a text with this beautiful photo of my son enjoying the weather. Photo by @furiousjonny (my bro-in-law) 4. Sunday—After three days of NO napping and lots of screaming X finally crashed. Such a cutie. Photo by @PortlandPorter

So, that was my long weekend. What did you do this weekend?

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