{Real Party} Portland Blogger’s Family Picnic

The Portland Bloggers group that I’ve been meeting up with just had the June Meet-up. The group meets approximately every two months. This month it was a family picnic so that everyone could meet some of the people that we all blog about.
Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate.
A last minute venue change along with busy summer schedules made for a small turn-out.
But, the small turn out ended up allowing the group to really talk about blogging.
As my hubby told me repeatedly “It is quality, not quantity!”
 So, not much on the picnic front, but a lot of great information and some fun new faces.
(I’ll be sharing some of the blogging topics over on my other blog, Leave the Laundry for Later.)
I wanted to share the pretty party details with you.
And, tomorrow, stop by for a couple quick and easy DIY party tips!
All the ladies from the event: Macey, Courtney, Justine, Kae, Suzannah, myself, and Adi
Suzannah, Justine, Courtney, and Kae
We all posed with the balloon. Silly, but fun!
Welcome table put together by Kae of Paper Morning
I loved this photo of my son so I had to share!
All photos were taken by the lovely Macey from Motormouth Studio. She is a Portland-area family, portrait, and wedding photographer. I really like her style and was thrilled when she donated a gift-certificate for the meet-up, coupons for the bloggers, and agreed to take photos of the event!
Bloggers in attendance at the event: 
Baby Daddy PDX—Matt
Charmed in PDX— Courtney
Motormouth Studio—Macey
The Musical Life of a Portlander—Jason

Top Five Things to Do in Portland

My blogging buddy, Danica from GoodHeart asked me to blog a bit about Portland for her one-year anniversary in the Rose City. So, I sent her a list of my top five favorite things to do/places to visit here in Portland. Jump on over to her blog to check them out!
Put a Bird on It! 😉

Weekend Update: Pretty Picnic

This weekend was a busy one! 
The Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up was scheduled to be a beautiful outdoor picnic this past weekend. And, then the forecast called for lots and lots of rain
Instagram shot of the sign-in sheet from the Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up. Professional photos coming soon!
Screen Shot of part of the Instagram Feed #PortlandBloggers
After a lot of calls, and some great support from Portland Bloggers, we got an alternate venue that worked beautifully. The picnic baskets weren’t spread out on pretty blankets in the grass. But, we did get to chat about blogs and be surrounded by little glimpses of what summer has in store for us later.
The sun shined just long enough for us to get some fun photos. I’m excited to see the photos that Macey, from MotorMouth Studio, took of the event. 
After the event my little family got to go to dinner with Suzannah’s (Adventures in Dressmaking) family. It was fun to go over future ideas for events and just unwind after two-months of planning and one extra-stressful week of re-planning.
All in all it was a busy and good weekend. But, I am feeling a little bit sad about the lack of Summer right now. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that you got to enjoy a little bit of summer. 
Professional photos from the {Real Party} and some {DIY} posts coming soon.

Summer, where are you?

A very popular photo making its way around my Facebook feed pictures a loading symbol on a computer that is less than halfway loaded. Above the symbol it reads “Installing Oregon Summer.” It goes on to say there there is an error in installation. Summer has not been found. 
(Google “Installing Oregon Summer” and you’ll see the pic… 
I didn’t feel like posting it because I have no clue where it came from.)
This past weekend when we were supposed to be enjoying a beautiful summer picnic with all the area bloggers and instead drove to an alternate location in the pouring rain I wished for Summer. 
Today when I dressed my son in a long-sleeved shirt and jeans I wished for Summer. 
Fresh Flowers from one of last year’s Beaverton Farmer’s Market days.
Summer for me means Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market, grilling, and eating lots of salads choc full of summer produce.
Vineyards near Forest Grove, Oregon.
I drink wine all year long…but, I love going to the vineyards in the Summer.
Every summer we try to see as many Portland Timbers‘ games as we can. Soccer, great fans, and good beer may be one of the most perfect of summer days for me.
Wasn’t able to go to the game last Sunday… but, got to see highlights and hear the good news later.
 Go Timbers! Good job on the 2-1 win over Seattle!
The Oregon coast is majestic.
I love living so close to the ocean after living in a land-locked state for 22 years. I go to the coast as often as possible. It is beautiful in the Winter, Spring, and Fall. 
But, the coast during the summer is just IT.
There is nothing like Oregon in the summer.
Today I wished it was here already.
Of course, when my Okie friend mentioned that the weather today was 104˚F, 
 I was pretty okay with waiting a little longer for our perfect summer.

Must Have: Etsy Find

I found this lovely little onesie from Little Tree Tops Baby’s Etsy store.
 I thought all my blogging friends would appreciate. 
Or all of you readers who see me in real life and know that everything is up for a blog post.
Little Tree Tops Baby Etsy Store: My Mom is Blogging This.

{Party Planning} X’s First Birthday

I’ve been thinking about my son’s first birthday party a lot lately. I don’t want to go crazy for it. He won’t remember and honestly, I have other things money needs to be spent on. But, I do want to celebrate it. And, I want to have a fun theme. I also want to invite all of the wonderful people who have made this first year be a meaningful and successful one. 
Before I ever thought I’d have a little boy I came up with a 1st birthday party theme for a little boy. I posted about it and titled the post, “If I had an almost one-year-old BOY!
It was a cute “Little Man” party with mustaches and bowties a-plenty. 
But, since then I’ve thrown a “Fancy Pants” Birthday and an “Old Man” birthday. 
Each had their share of mustaches and bowties. 
And, I’ve been around my son for nearly a year now. And, really, the mustaches and bowties don’t feel so much like him to me. When thinking about his birthday I had a hard time coming up with a “theme.” 
But, one day as I was singing, “You are my sunshine,” for the millionth time… I got an idea.

At the moment I’m going with a “You are a Sunshine” theme for the party. I think it really works.
He was born in August (a notoriously sunny month in Portland, a notoriously gray town).
He makes me smile… every single day.
And, the color scheme of yellow, gray, and blue would be super cute for his party.

I do know for sure that I am going to buy these shirts.

Mommy & Me Shirts from Little Tree Tops Baby

Here is where you come in:
I need help! I’ve got a few ideas and sources. But, I could really use some extra ideas/sources.
If you have an etsy store and have an idea that fits for this theme, I’d love to talk!
 If you have a great idea, please share!

One small step for baby

Kiddo has been taking several steps lately. He did 8 feet the other day! And, for the most part, he seems to want to walk first and crawl only if walking seems too much trouble. Today I actually caught a few steps on camera.

I’m one proud momma.

YouTube Video

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Rain Check

Portland Bloggers have been getting together for fun, casual meet-ups since October 2011. It has been great fun. We’ve done crafts, brunch, cocktail parties, and listened to a guest speaker. In planning these events I’ve been able to work with some really amazing bloggers who have offered up their spaces, donated their time and efforts, and rearranged schedules to attend.

 I’ve been wanting to grow the events into six fun meet-ups throughout the year. My hopes for the events are to include guest speakers and DIY projects during at least three of the meet-ups. The other three would be opportunities for bloggers to bring their significant-others along, family members, and eventually readers. This next meet-up is a family picnic that I have been looking forward to for a LONG while. I really can’t wait to meet everyone’s lovely families!

I knew the event needed to be in June to keep up with the every two months goal. But, I wanted a picnic…. and, in Portland the weather is a bit iffy in June. So, I picked late June hoping that the weather would cooperate.

So far the forecast is anything but hopeful. Myself (and others) have put a lot of time and effort into this meet-up and today I’ve just been stressed out about the weather. I’ve also been frustrated with myself, because I know better. I know better to plan an outdoor event without a plan B. Money was certainly a factor. Trying to keep these events cost free has been a difficult, but an important goal for me.

So, I’m habitually checking the weather reports hoping a strong wind pushes the weather away. I’m also trying to think of a good plan B. I’ve spent my entire day working on this…so, my post for today will wait.

In the meantime, I’m coming to you lovely party-people to ask: What do you do in these types of situations? And, if you are in the Portland area: Do you know of a venue that would be a good/inexpensive substitute for our event?

Thanks! And, remember…plan for rain!

UPDATE: Thanks so much to everyone that helped with advice! It certainly helped… and, now we have an alternate venue that is going to work out wonderfully. 

{Weekend Update} Or week in review

I took a vacation this past week. I had a wonderful time with my husband being off work all week and my sister-in-law visiting. I even threw a party and met with a wonderful lady in preparation for another party. So, I’ve been prepping all of the great posts that I hope to be putting up this week. 
I threw my hubby a 30th birthday party and planned an instagram challenge for his big day. 
Instagram shot from an “Old Man” party
I also got to enjoy the sun with my son. 
Enjoying the Willamette River.
Celebrate my husband’s first Father’s Day.
My hubby and baby enjoying Father’s Day at the Widmer Gasthaeus
And, take my kiddo’s 10 Month photos.
It was a fun week!
 this week is going to be all about prepping for the June Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up and Family Picnic. If you are from the Portland area and you blog please e-mail me for all the fun information!

Instagram Birthday Photo Challenge

My hubby’s 30th birthday was this past week. My sister-in-law came out for the week and the hubby took a vacation. We had a blast. There was a beach visit, a tour of Portland, many picnics, and a lot of pictures taken. My sister’s boyfriend brought a really snazzy camera and took family photos for us. I can’t wait to share those photos… 
but, in the meantime, I wanted to share one of the “gifts” I did for my husband’s birthday. 
My husband LOVES instagram. 
(As a matter of fact… if you have Instagram and you like seeing pretty photos then you should follow him, @PortlandPorter. He really does have some great photos and 
he counts his followers…so, it would be a gift in itself!) 
It was such fun to play this little game throughout the day on his birthday. And, some of his other friends played as well. I didn’t get to number 30 because my phone died in the middle of the day. 
But, it was a fun time. 
Some of my favorite photos:
#8 Beer— I love that my phone is in the background. Photo by @PortlandPorter
#1-5 and #29 all in one photo! Photo by our friend in Tulsa, Oklahoma @gthorne
#6 Tall— Super creative photo by @Julie_Sachiko
#13: Japan— Photo by @YolyPants
#7 Coffee— Photo by me @jennibost
#19 Earring — Photo by @PortlandPorter 
I’m sure my instagram followers were overloaded by photos from me… but, it was a lot of fun.
I love instagram challenges. May have to come up with more. 
Maybe something baby related…sure do love looking at baby photos! 

{Guest Post} DIY Flower Decoration Ideas for a Cocktail Party

 I’m on a bit of a vacation this week…
but, I didn’t want to leave you high and dry for the week. 
When Patricia, a part-time florist for Serenata Flowers UK, asked if I would like a guest post on DIY floral ideas, I jumped at the opportunity. You know how much I love DIY Floral Decor.
Enjoy Patricia’s tips!

DIY Flower Decoration Ideas at a Cocktail Party

The one thing to remember when choosing the perfect flowers for your cocktail party decorations is that they don’t have to be costly. Creativity and imagination when creating the flower decorations are the most important factors. Think outside-the-box when coming up with ideas for decorating the cocktail party, and use items already at the party location to showcase the floral decorations. The next step to helping choose the right flowers is to decide if the cocktail party is going to be casual or formal. A great place to find a cheap florist to help select affordable, beautiful flowers for your decorations is at your local supermarket. Most larger grocery store chains have a florist department with a knowledgeable staff. If a person wants flowers shipped to them, then try a postal flower service. The flowers usually come boxed, and they can be delivered to the cocktail party destination on a specific date. An online florist usually has specific floral deals marked postal flowers on their website. These deals offer the customer affordable flower choices specifically selected for those wanting flowers for their cocktail party or special event.

Casual Cocktail Party Flower Decorations

Mason jar centerpieces are a pretty floral decoration idea for a casual cocktail party. Wild flowers, daisies and carnations are great flower choices for a casual event. Chose flowers in vibrant colors like yellow, deep purple and pink. If the cocktail party has a specific color scheme, then dye the florals to match. Another option is to ask the florist where the flowers were purchased if they offer this service, most do.

The fastest way to get several flower decorations done at one time is to line the containers being used in an assembly line fashion. Tie a pretty floral bow around the top of each mason jar. Arrange the florals into a full bouquet. Secure the bouquet at the stems with a rubber band. Place the bouquet in the first mason jar. Make several of these mason jar centerpieces to be placed throughout the areas where the cocktail party is being held. Place a solid colored runner down the main table being used for the cocktail party. Place a few of the mason jar centerpieces down the center of the runner. Another fun idea is to place a mason jar with small bouquets at each table setting, which could also be used as place setting cards. Also, place a few mason jar centerpieces in the entryway and throughout the areas of the cocktail party. When the cocktail party is over, give each guest an arrangement as a thank you for attending the event.

Formal Cocktail Party Flower Decorations

Marble vase centerpieces are an elegant floral decoration choice for a formal cocktail party. Lilies, roses and peonies are great flower choices to use for the decorations. Choose flowers in ivory or soft pastel colors to decorate a formal cocktail party. Fill a large glass vase with clear marbles and water. Arrange the flowers in the vase until a beautiful bouquet is formed. Tie an ivory or white satin ribbon around where the stems meet at top of the vase. Make elegant flower decorations in various sized vases with arrangements varying from one single flower to a full arrangement. Place full marble vase centerpieces at the center of the main tables being used for the cocktail party, fireplace mantles and entryways. Place smaller vase arrangements in front of each plate to be used as name place setting cards. If there is a staircase in the entryway where the cocktail party is being held, then attach single flowers with satin ribbon cascading down the banister.

{About the Author}

Patricia Hall works part-time for Serenata Flowers UK an online florist and loves to surround herself with flowers at any given point of time. Even in her free time she loves to involve herself with everything flora and fauna. ‘To me there is nothing more beautiful and global as the language of flowers – it is the easiest to understand all around the world in the same way. That is one reason why I truly admire flowers for what they represent in some ways – unity of all mankind!’

{Full Disclosure}
Patricia contacted me about hoping to do a guest post. This is not a compensated post. I have not used Serenta Flowers before and cannot recommend them first-hand. But, posts like these do help keep A Well Crafted Party running, because I needed a vacation this week! So, thank you for reading and I hope the information inspired! 

{Creative Daily} Using iMovie

Today we went to the coast. It was a wonderful day of sand, semi-sun, and a delicious picnic. I took a lot of photos and videos on my iphone and wanted to have some creative fun with the videos that didn’t include just uploading them to Facebook for friends to see. So, I pulled out my iMovie app and got to work. The coolest feature on iMovie (for iPhone) is the “trailer” option. You get to splice great images of your videos together to make a trailer like video. My video isn’t the coolest thing out there. But, I like it and will cherish this little thing forever.

And, that my dears is how I was creative today. How about you?

{Friday Finds} Neon

I really, really try to like neon. 
I do. But, most the time it reminds me of this: 
Old photo of me sporting neon tie-dye
or this: 
Hubby sporting neon when he was younger. He had just scraped up his face pretty bad in a bike accident…boys, eh?
But, there are some people out there doing neon right. 
I applaud the following for making neon look good:
1. This neon polkadot lunch sac via A Fabulous Fete is awesome. Of course, anything A Fabulous Fete does is awesome—check out her Summer Etsy product shoot in all its bright-colored goodness.
2. These neon beer bottles turned vases are so bright and cheery. Hey, they may even glow in the dark so you can see your pretty flowers at night as well! (disclaimer: probably don’t actually glow in the dark)
3. Cupcakes and Cutlery makes neon look like SO much fun. Her “Neon & Neutral So Glad You Were Born” party is such a fabulous idea for a birthday party. 
4. The above party was also featured on Hostess with the Mostess blog….where I also found an awesome Neon & Radical 80’s themed 30th birthday bash. Celebrating a milestone birthday with a party based on the decade they were born– totally rad. Also on HWTM— “He Makes My Heart Glow: Neon Bridal Shower” which not only has a great, original theme, but also uses the neon trend with washi tape and gold fringe banners. This party is more than a little bit trendy and I love it.
5. Then, there are some of my real-life blogging buddies pulling off neon in such a stylish and fashionable way that I’ve been thinking I need some in my closet once again (might stay away from the tie-dyed variety though):
So, how about you… are you feeling neon?

{DIY} Newspaper Wedding Program

Yesterday was my 6th anniversary with my hubby. 
I posted our wedding images a couple days ago.

Today I want to share with you my favorite part of the wedding details— The Program. 
I was a Journalism major in college and really wanted to incorporate that love with my wedding. I didn’t think I’d be able to afford it, but a friend gifted me the money for the programs as a wedding gift. It was an expensive wedding detail…. but, it was SO worth it.
Two weeks before the wedding my husband (to be) and I gathered photos, discussed story options, created content, and put together an entire 6-page newspaper about us and our wedding. It was so fun seeing guests pulling out the newspapers and reading them during the event. Some of my favorite photos were of guests looking through the newspapers. One guest who arrived late was confused by the whole thing and said, “I can’t believe someone was reading a newspaper during your ceremony!”

Made me smile.

After 6-years in storage these guys look a little faded and wrinkled… but, are still in pretty great shape.
How we did it: 
—We used QuarkXpress to create the page layout for the newspaper. But, you could also use Adobe InDesign to set this up for a newspaper printer. You can create something similar in a word processor and get it printed in large format at local printer rather than a newspaper printer.
—We used a local newspaper printer to print the papers. The thing about newspaper printers is that you have to print in reams… this particular printer could only print in reams of 1,000 papers. Our guest list was 150. We still have hundreds of papers leftover. This isn’t a project for someone who doesn’t love newspapers. 
—Standard dimensions of a newspaper broadsheet is about 15 inches wide by 22¾ inches long, though some have shrunk it to 12 inches instead of 15. Tabloids come in smaller sizes. I found an online printing source for tabloid newspaper prints. But, I have never used them so I’m not recommending…just sharing a source. Let me know if you’ve used them! 
—We gathered stories from our relationship, our plans for the honeymoon, the schedule for the wedding, tidbits of information about our wedding party, a cartoon, and created a game. 

What story would you write about if you made yourself a wedding newspaper?
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