Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of participating in the planning and execution of meet-ups for bloggers in the Portland and Pacific Northwest area. I love getting to meet other bloggers, talk shop, and bring bloggers and businesses together. Well, and let’s not forget, I sure do love a party!
The PNW Blogger meet-ups, ran by Chelsey of The Paper Mama, happen every six months or so and are either held in the Portland or the Seattle area. Our most recent meet-up was in Portland at Union Pine. Myself and Heather of Aspen Summit (formerly the blog Just Lovely) helped plan the event and with the help of several awesome volunteers enjoyed a fabulous party with PNW bloggers.
As with all great parties… we had guest activities, great food, tasty beverages, fabulous guests, and super cool favors. Even if you aren’t an area blogger the ideas used in this meet-up are fabulous for any party you may want to throw. Click the above tabs to read my tips for throwing a holiday brunch and to see our easy, holiday brunch menu.
All the gorgeous photos in this post are curtsey of Motormouth Studios.
And, a HUGE thank you to all of the great businesses below that helped to make the PNW Blogger Holiday Brunch such a fun event:
A Holiday Brunch is one of my favorite types of holiday parties. It can be done in the daytime, so it doesn’t fill up yet another December evening. Bacon is sometimes involved. Daylight makes photos look so much better than a dimly lit room. The list goes on… In helping to plan this party I fell upon a few tips that might help you in planning your next holiday brunch.
Tips for Hosting a Holiday Brunch
1. Have a good selection of food and beverages, but keep it simple.
It is easy to go overboard on food and beverage. Keep it simple and don’t stress yourself out over the food and beverage. Just go for good quality and a couple of different selections for guests to choose between. The most important thing about a brunch is having both sweet and savory, hot and cold. Oh, and you can’t forget the coffee! We had delicious Black Rock Coffee served as one of our beverage selections. We had several different items to choose from for brunch, including a bagel bar filled to the brim with Franz Bakery’s New York Gourmet Bagels. Check out the tab above to see our menu for this holiday brunch— it may give you some good ideas for your holiday party. Our bar, sponsored by The 7th Chamber (a video seeding company that works with blogs), simply had the fixings for bloody marys and mimosas. Perfect for a festive brunch! And, you can’t forget dessert… Pinhole Press sponsored the dessert bar with tons of tasty treats all decked out to coordinate with the event.
2. Have a couple of simple activities.
Super detailed and drawn out activities that EVERYONE has to participate in can be overwhelming. But, a few simple and fun activities can provide conversation starters and keep the party moving. At the PNW Blogger event we were fortunate enough to have Lia Griffith crafting along, teaching people the art of making a paper flower, and Fabric Depot teaching people to craft gift tags out of chalkboard fabric. (By the by… did you know there was such a thing as chalkcloth ??? So cool.) We also had a DIY photobooth area (sponsored by Yoked— a site that helps connect bloggers and businesses) set up with props so that attendees could snap some fun pictures of themselves.
Need ideas for crafting projects for your next holiday party? Check out Lia’s tutorial page on her blog for gorgeous (and easy) paper crafts and Fabric Depot’s blog for holiday fabric projects.
3. Great Favors
I’m a big fan of party favors. I like favors that guests can use and that don’t blow the bank. With big blogging connective events like this… I love it when we can connect awesome companies with bloggers!
The swag bags were great. I can’t wait to do some crafty projects with the wall paper supplied by Graham & Brown, make candies and wrap them up in cute papers from The Land of Nod, and wear my new glasses from Sunglass Warehouse. You’ll be seeing projects and posts featuring some of the items I got in my swag bag throughout the next couple of months. I encourage you to check out the list of great sponsors on the first tab and visit their sites.
A good brunch should have both sweet and savory, hot and cold. We had very little set up time the morning of the brunch and limited cooking resources. So, we wanted to keep the menu as simple, but varied as possible. And, because we were also serving alcohol, we needed the menu to be fairly substantial as well.
Our Holiday Brunch Menu
Bagel Bar— Franz Bakery donated an amazing selection of bagels and gluten free bread for the PNW bloggers to enjoy. The company recently came out with a new selection of gourmet bagels that the perfect start to a bagel bar. We served Franz Pizza, Tillamook Cheddar, Pumpkin Spice, and French Toast bagels along with wheat gluten free bread.
Our Bagel Fixins:
- cream cheese
- smoked salmon
- a variety of cured meats and sliced ham
Yogurt, Honey, & Granola
Snack Bars from Kind Snacks & Rawdacious Desserts
Our dessert bar had donuts (also a Franz Bakery product), cookies, lemonades, and waters. Everything looked so good using the Pinhole Press stickers and cards!
And, my favorite part…. the bar! For beverages we had bloody marys, mimosas, orange juice, virgin marys, and Black Rock Coffee Bar coffee.
See, a simple menu can still be fun and satisfy at the same time.
(PS. That gorgeous creature holding the bloody mary is the blogger behind The Boho Mama. Photo by Motormouth Studios)