Link Love

Today I worked on the Portland Blogger meet-up pretty much all day. 
Tomorrow and Friday will be more of the same. 
But, check out the pretty little logo that I worked on:
It isn’t perfect and it probably won’t be the final version. But, it will work for now and I think it is pretty darn cute with the Portland skyline in the background. 
I have also been trying to catch up on my mega-huge blog feed. As I have been reading along I’ve come across a lot of great articles. 
  • In this crazy world of mommy-bloggers, instagram, and Pinterest it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the great things parents do for their children—or the amazingly cute houses, tasty food, cool crafts, and trendy parties. I don’t know how many times I have told my husband that I wish I were better at being a mom and wife. He always looks at me like I am CRAZY and tells me I’m awesome. But, it was good to read “Your Children Wants You” today and see that not only am I not the only one, but my kid might actually appreciate me for me someday.
  • Even though I might whine about the occasional biting, I really love nursing my son. It is great for the lazy person in me that doesn’t want to deal with bottles! But, I am still amazed by women who not only make it work, but they make it work with twins. Boho Mama gives an update on breastfeeding twins (although it applies some to those single kiddos as well) with some seriously great advice!
  • I’m always trying to stay inspired for my many projects that I work on. These “5 Tips for Staying Inspired” and a free on-line course on “Finding Your Muse” have helped me stay on track!
  • I have a blogging friend that recently found out that she is expecting her second boy! If you haven’t been to Vintage Pretty Pearl’s blog yet go check it out and say congrats! You’ll want to dig through her amazing DIY posts and outfit posts while you are there. 
  • Also, a dear friend of mine was recently laid of from their job. She is getting back into blogging and is looking for work as she goes. Check out her blog and encourage her…. she is a great writer and a lot of fun to read!

I hope you had a great Wednesday!

Portland Bloggers Button

Okay, I know I promised a West Elm inspired party inspration board post today… 
but, I got side-tracked with the planning and executing of a real party. 
I promise to get you lots of great photos and some DIY posts from it to make up for it. 
But, until then I’ll slap my wrist and say, “Bad Blogger,” every now and again.  
Working Logo for the Portland Bloggers Meet-Ups
I’m currently working on getting together a blog space for the Portland Bloggers so that you don’t have to see all the updates on here. But, running three blogs at the moment isn’t in the cards for me. Until then, I hope you don’t mind seeing some of the updates every now and again. Hopefully they can inspire you to do the same in your home town or come join us if you live in the Portland area!
I’ve been playing around with getting a Portland Bloggers logo working so that we can have something at the event. I’m not 100% on it yet, but it is coming along and it’ll work in a pinch. 
Kinda cute, right?
 I’ll let all the Portland Bloggers know soon when and where these will be available for their blogs or for posts about the events. 
Oh, and the picture of the portland skyline is edited from my husband’s photo.
 Follow him on instagram @portlandporter !

8 Month Photos

Today has been a long day… So, my original post for today is being moved to a different day. If you really miss me a lot then you are welcome to pop over to my other blog to see today’s post. I’ll be back here tomorrow.

But, I can’t leave without posting some of my little guy’s 8 Month Photos. He is a wiggly little guy. I love his big personality. I see my husband in his big blue eyes and long legs. I see me in how impatient he is and his loudness.

If you need to see more of this cute little bug check out his other monthly photos!

West Elm Summer Line Preview

Last week I was invited to join fellow bloggers at the West Elm (Portland) to check out their summer line. I was super excited to be invited because I have just recently fallen head over heels for their products. More affordable than Anthropologie and slightly more artisan-esque than Target?  
Sign me up! 

(Don’t get me wrong…still love me some Target and dream about Anthropologie nightly.)
Pretty outdoor lanterns and chairs.
I was happy to learn that West Elm actually works with artists around the world to collaborate on items for their stores. Check out their collaboration list:
Yep, Etsy is on that list.
I even learned that that location hosted an Etsy pop-up shop before and is planning on a floral pop-up shop soon.
 
I totally love the wonderful products using the illustrations by Claudia Pearson—Perfect for a summer outdoor dinner party! Also, lots of handmade items being highlighted at the store. I was given beautiful Maria Moyer pottery at the end of the tour and was super excited to add it to my home decor. Clinton Friedman‘s photos and prints were swoon worthy (check out the huge flower photograph from the photo above). 
Succulents were everywhere!
The purpose of this event was to get to see West Elm’s Summer collection and the inspiration behind it. They are featuring a lot of neutrals with bright (and BIG) pops of colors. Nature is also taking a big role in all of the items featured in the store. While there, we got to see all the different DIY elements that can be brought in with their items and given suggestions on how their items would fit in with the items in our home. 
Of course, I couldn’t walk a store full of beautiful home elements without thinking of a thousand ways I’d incorporate those elements into a party. So, I’ve decided to start a semi-regular series based on party inspiration that can be found at stores near most people… 
West Elm, Target, Dollar Tree, Rite Aid, etc.
(If you have a store you’d like to see on my list please let me know!)
Really gorgeous cloth napkins in a variety of colors and prints- and not too expensive at 4 for $16
I want this table SO bad.
Sam from Sam Rosen taking a photo of The Paper Mama at a really cool West Elm Coffee Table in front of some awesome paper mache animal busts.
Sam and myself right before the tour.
If you want to see more posts about the West Elm Summer Collection then 
check out #WESummer on Instagram and Twitter!
Full Disclosure: While this post reads a little like an ad it was not a sponsored post. I was invited to the West Elm Summer Preview, but did not have an agreement to post about the event. I was given a gift for coming to the event and received a really yummy cupcake from Jones Cupcakes. I enjoyed my time and thought you’d enjoy seeing some of these products. Hey, it also explains the inspiration behind my new series. Check back tomorrow for the first installment!

Teething Bites

See those adorable little teeth poking out of that sweet little mouth? Yeah, those little things are the source of a lot of pain, frustration, and worry. His first two teeth (bottom front teeth) came in fairly easily. He was cranky a few evenings and he drooled like crazy. But, then they came up and the cranky was gone! Currently, though, he has eight teeth coming in all at once.

The past few days have had a lot of screaming. But, that hasn’t been the worst part.

When he got his first two teeth he bit me while nursing. I jumped three feet and he didn’t bite again. But, now that he is getting even more teeth he has been biting every time I breastfeed him. Jumping hasn’t helped. Stopping the feeding hasn’t helped. If this continues weaning may have to happen…something I didn’t want to do until he was at least a year old.

I’ve googled quite a bit about biting while breastfeeding and have found a lot of sources with ideas on why it is happening and how to prevent it. Some of these sources have only succeeded in making me feel like a bad mom.

I typically love Kellymom.com for breastfeeding advice. But, this quote made me so frustrated:

“If your baby is nursing properly, then you should not feel teeth, even if baby has a mouthful of them. And keep in mind that it’s physically impossible for baby to nurse and bite at the same time, because the tongue covers the bottom teeth/gum when baby is nursing.”

So, my child who has been nursing successfully for the past 8 months all the sudden is not nursing properly? And, yes, the tongue covers the bottom teeth/gum, but his top teeth are the ones that are getting me currently.

The posts also says that most moms only experience this problem “for a couple of weeks.” I’m sorry if this makes me a terrible mom… but, being bit on my nipple every feeding for a couple of weeks doesn’t sound like something I can go through.

I have found some good advice (even in the article that made me cranky) and will try to make it work for a little longer. But, teething bites in my opinion!

When did you wean your child?
 Or, did your child bite during nursing and if so, how did you get them to stop?
My boobs and I thank you for your advice!

Happy Easter!

Well, there is 30 minutes (my time) to wish you happy Easter….so, Happy Easter! I hope you had a lovely spring day. I worked today and then enjoyed a late Easter dinner with friends. It was fun!
I think my ideal Easter would include a late Easter brunch ( hello mimosas!) and a fun Easter egg hunt. Someday!

My sister sent me photos from her Easter celebration in Oklahoma. She made a lovely table!



She even made an Easter basket for her dog, Betty. So cute!



I didn’t plan on having an Easter dinner, but enjoyed a last minute soirée. I even decorated the table last minute.



It was a fun evening! What did you do for Easter?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Happy Easter!

I have 40 more minutes (my time) to wish everyone a very happy Easter. I worked this morning, but was fortunate enough to spend a sunny afternoon with my baby and the evening dining with friends. X got his very first Easter basket! It had a bunch of new baby foods (we make some and buy others), teething biscuits, a rubber duck (he loves his other one), and a new stuffed toy. So fun!

How was your Easter?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Streamlining My Social Networking

I’m just getting hip to the world of social networking and professional blogging.
Sure, I’ve had my party-related blog for over two years and a Facebook account for around seven years. But, I just recently started doing the whole Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Facebook Page stuff. Anyone else get tired just reading the list?
How I feel when I think about all this social networking stuff!
I currently have 4 e-mail addresses that I check regularly, 3 twitter accounts, 1 Facebook account with 2 pages, and of course two blogs. I don’t know what I’d do without my iPhone checking all of those accounts with just a click of an app or two!  
My Social Networking Folder on my iPhone

So, today I started my way to streamlining things. Here is what I did:
  1. Ditched my blogger profile and connected my blogs to my Google+ profile. I’m still not digging Google+, but I do like that someone can click on my name and find out ways to contact me, see a quick bio, and even get to see things I’ve put out for the public to see. 
  2. Ditched my twitter accounts for my separate blogs. I thought I would want to keep my name private and just for my friends to look at…. I’ve decided that Twitter is a public enough venue that I’m going to just use it that way. I’ll keep my personal Facebook for friends only and twitter open to people I find interesting and who are interested in what I do.
  3. Moved most of my important e-mail work to two essential e-mail addresses. Things basically get filtered into these two accounts so that I don’t need to worry about checking all of my accounts and keeping 4 different sets of contacts!
  4. I am now utilizing many of the iPhone’s great apps and capabilities to stream-line my social-networking. My favorite apps for streamlining my social networking scene are: 
  5. Instagram— I take a lot of photos and by a click of a switch I can send my photos to both my Twitter and Facebook feeds OR select which feeds I’d like them to go to.
    Buffer App— I read blogs throughout the day and often want to share with my followers by putting links on my Facebook or Twitter feeds. But, honestly… if I shared them as I read them then everyone would be drowning in posts from me for an hour everyday and see nothing from me the rest of the day. Buffer lets me dump all my links and tweets into one spot and it will post at selected times throughout the day. 

    My Wunderkit App with my many different “Workspaces” listed and my daily TO DO checklist on the left hand corner. Wunderkit is part organizing app and part social networking app! 

    Wunderkit— This is part social networking tool and part mega to-do list app. It allows me to make different “workspaces” and keep my to do lists for each one separate. But, by adding in their due dates I can see what things I have to do today all in one list. It has really helped keep things more in order than several different hand written todo lists in several different places. The social networking part of this app is my favorite part. I am able to add other members to different workspaces. So, for instance, my Household Workspace has myself and my husband listed. When I add tasks to the todo list he can choose to claim certain tasks or I can assign tasks if needed. The other day he made my morning by “claiming” the clean kitchen task off of my todo list! Eventually I think this will be a great tool for different projects that I am collaborating with others on, like the Portland Blogger Meet-Ups! 
What have you done to simplify your social networking, or do you just abstain from it all? Also, do you have a Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, or Facebook Page!?
If you do and you want a loyal follower just leave the stats in the comment section and I’ll find you. I’m always looking for new and interesting people to connect with!
Or find me at:
Twitter @jennibost
Instagram @plainojeni
~*~
Oh, and if you are a Portland Blogger and want to receive the Portland Blogger Meet-Up Newsletter please e-mail me!

{Guest Post} Easter Party Ideas

The Easter bunny is hopping our way, which means it is time to plan your festivities for Easter Sunday. Regardless of whether you celebrate the sacred or secular aspects of Easter, this holiday offers a great excuse to gather your loved ones and plan a day that the whole family can enjoy.

Planning activities to keep the kids entertained is always important – because if the kids are having fun, it gives the adults the opportunity to have some fun too. Planning an elaborate Easter egg hunt can keep the kids occupied and excited. Disney’s Family Fun has some great tips for putting together a fun-filled hunt for the kiddies. We suggest that you invite the Easter bunny himself to join in the fun – the kids will be thrilled!

In addition to hosting a hunt, you can also set up a craft station, and let the children decorate their own Easter eggs. Hard-boiled eggs, paint and glitter is all you need to let the little ones channel their inner artist. Plus, they can take their beautiful creations home with them.

A little entertainment could also go along way this Easter. If you are having a large gathering with a lot of kids, you may want to hire a performer to engage the youngsters. Balloon twisters, magicians and clowns would all put on a great holiday show!

Of course, no Easter would be complete without festive Easter baskets.  Punchbowl offers a variety of basket ideas that will help you customize the perfect gift for any recipient – young or old.

To decorate for your Easter party, try to DIY and put together a festive party styling without breaking the bank. You can get a lot of inspiration from the internet – start with stopping by the craft and décor section of Martha Stewart’s website. You will find tons of adorable ideas that are perfect for Easter (like these tulip egg basket centerpieces and adorable Easter egg wreaths).

Great food and some tasty drinks will keep the adults entertained on this lovely holiday. Brunch is a popular Easter meal, as is dinner, and we found some great recipes for both! If you are serving brunch, this baked French toast casserole, looks absolutely amazing. If your celebration involves a traditional Easter dinner, this tangerine-glazed Easter ham with baby carrots will surely wow your guests. Looking to serve some scrumptious cocktails? Fresh strawberry bellinis or a champagne punch would work for either a brunch or dinner meal.

Want to keep the kids busy while everyone eats their meal? Download these adorable (and free) coloring pages from Kaboose. The kids can color their favorite pictures while you get to enjoy a delicious meal.

Good luck with your party planning. We hope you have a wonderful holiday. Happy Easter!

~*~
What are your Easter holiday traditions and plans?

This post was a guest post written by Nicole Steeger. She is the Marketing Manager at GigMasters.com, the #1 event entertainment booking service, guiding party planners and hosts to the perfect entertainment for any event. GigMasters combines the efficiency of the web with the personal touch of a private event planner. From bands and DJs, to balloon twisters and fire dancers; GigMasters can help you find the life of your party. For more entertainment advice from the GigMasters team, check out their party blog and wedding blog.

Woodland Themed Party Snacks

I made several different treats for the Woodland Themed Sprinkle I threw recently. As the woodland theme is really big right now I found SO much information through resources such as google and Pinterest. I had a couple of simple savory treats and a dessert table.

Midweek Update: Teething, Writing, and Social Networking

My week has been an eventful one! I’ve spent all week dealing with a teething baby, a huge freelance writing deadline, and learning more about social networking.



The teething baby and I had to see the doctor after a day of screaming (him, not me…although, I was close to it). We found out that on top of trying to get 6 new teeth at one time he also has a bit of thrush. So, we got some meds for that and he seems to be doing better.

I am so behind on a freelance writing project that I’m spending every free moment writing. I even managed to write one story mainly on my phone!



Lastly, I am twittering, blogging, face-booking, Pinteresting, Wunderkiting, Google+ing and more. I was fortunate enough to be invited to learn all about West Elm’s summer line. So much pretty stuff all in one place! And, I’ve been gathering sponsors and supplies for the April 14 blogger meet-up! That is just over ONE week away!!

A trip to OMSI

Last week I had the opportunity to visit OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) for the first time. I went with an 8-year-old girl and my almost 8-month-old son. It was so cool to see how into everything the 8-year-old got. I’m a bit of a science geek (robotics club, science camp, and built a computer once kind of geek) so I was incredibly excited to see so many kids having a good time learning about science. There was a lot of items for all ages. I really enjoyed the special LEGO exhibit. The 8-year-old loved building a salmon friendly damn and stream. And, my son loved the ball pit and soft padding of the infant playground.

Things I learned about a trip to OMSI:
1. Plan for an entire afternoon. We went for 4 hours and there were so many more things I wanted to see!
2. Don’t go on Spring Break if you don’t like crowds.
3. Don’t go when it rains if you don’t like crowds.

I can’t wait to go again!

BTW- this post was not sponsored in any way- I just happened to really enjoy my trip and would like to recommend it to parents in the PDX area!

{Real Party} Woodland Baby Shower

I recently (January) had the pleasure of hosting a Sprinkle for some dear friends to celebrate the birth of their second child. We wanted to celebrate the upcoming birth of a new baby, but also help the couple get some much needed supplies for the new addition. 
Their first child was a boy and their second is a girl! 
We went with a Woodland Animal theme as it was also going to be the theme for the nursery.
I did a lot of easy DIY projects to help decorate for the Sprinkle. 
The baby shower was centered around sweet activities, yummy food, and the happy family.
 I am not a big fan of baby shower games. Instead of shower games I put together a few simple activities for the guests to do as they chatted and treated themselves to foods and drinks.

Pretty fresh flowers, fun fabrics, and woodland characters decorated the sprinkle.
As guests entered the room they were asked to leave a message for the family in a children’s story book.
I sent my husband to buy the book. I told him it needed to have Forest Animals in it..He came back with Bear In Underwear by Todd H. Doodler— not what I had in mind for a baby girl. But, it was a cute little book! Oh, and the underwear on the bear on the cover were made of real cotton underwear-like material.
I bought a selection of different sized onesies and left out some fabric paint and markers for everyone to decorate onesies for the new baby girl. There were some really cute ones in the mix!
One of the big focal points was the Dessert Table with cookies and three kinds of cupcakes.
We had Toadstool Cupcakes, Spice Cupcakes, and Owl Cupcakes at the party…. check back tomorrow for recipes and tips!

“Rabbit Food,” “Caprese Toadstools,” and “Tree Ring Pinwheels” rounded out the foods. Check back for recipes tomorrow!
Small Jars of Strawberry Freezer Jam went home as favors.
Seriously, how cute is this family?
Check back later this week for recipes for 
Woodland Themed Party Snacks
 and Activity Ideas for a Sprinkle, Baby Shower or Sip & See!
The adorable woodland creatures were bought in a package from Peach Pops Clip Art.

Okay, you know I’ve been talking about the Portland Blogger’s Meet-Ups A LOT if you follow me on twitter or read my blogs. I just discovered a beautiful site for the Pacific Northwest Blogger Meet-Ups and the next meet-up is in Portland! 
Tickets for the event ($25 each) are on sale now and I hope you’ll join me in attending!
The Paper Mama Blogger Meet Up
Gotta Get Paid
Googleicious Ads
Super Sponsors
Check This Awesomeness Out
Past Posts
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