Just recently I had the opportunity to visit a conference in Portland, Oregon all about food! I learned a lot from the FoodWorx sessions that I was able to catch…more-so, they got me thinking a lot! I’ve got copious notes and many great sources to connect with to bring some more food-centric posts to this blog. However, one of these talks has been resonating under the surface for a while now and I feel that I need to share my thoughts… One short talk that has stayed with me was from Ian Rubin of Whole Self Wellness titled “Rewriting Your Food Story.”
What the heck is a food story? Well, in very simplified terms, it is how life and circumstances has shaped your relationship with food. I’ve known for several years now that my food story (though not entirely unique) has made me look at food different then a lot of my friends. While someday I may get into my food story here on the blog, that isn’t what this post is about. Ian’s talk about rewriting a food story made me remember something a co-worker once lamented about…
“Why do people always want to get together for dinner or drinks? Why can’t people get together for something other than eating!?”
Food in celebration is a part of many different culture’s “food stories.” There are Sunday dinners at grandma’s house, big beautiful birthday cakes, holiday meals that people spend months prepping for… the list goes on and on. Food is a big part of celebration!
Photo from my 31st birthday shindig
I actually LOVE this part of my food story. I love how food brings us together. A large portion of this celebration-centric blog is FOOD. I enjoy brining foods to work for people to share and enjoy. I enjoy planning party menus. I enjoy random dinner parties that I throw just because.
However, with a philosophy that everyday is worth celebrating, I have started to re-think this part of my food story a bit.
I’ve started to ask myself questions regarding the role of food in a celebration. Does all celebratory food need to be healthful and consider my guests nutritional intake? No! Not in my book, I’m definitely going with a decadent cake if it fits the occasion. Perhaps it can add to the wellness of the soul rather than the body when eaten as an occasional treat. Though, a little consideration of the nutrition of guests is never a bad thing.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been trying to be more thoughtful in my selection of foods for celebrations. While many of my parties are still planned with food as a central part of the celebration, I try to consider the food stories of those in attendance. When brining food to work I no longer grab delicious donuts or homemade cupcakes. Instead I opt to bring more healthful and substantial offerings. (I’ll still eat the donuts if YOU bring them to me though!)
Other changes I’ve made in food in celebration is that I really look for quality over quantity as much as possible now days. I will opt to have fewer celebrations, or sometimes fewer guests, in order to be able to purchase higher quality ingredients or meals.
What traditions do you have with food in celebration? What changes have you made as you’ve grown older in this area?
This post is the last post in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. There are lots of free printables! (Check out my last post in this series: “Wine Gift Tag Free Printables“) Even though I’m done with my 12 Christmas DIYs… I’m not done bringing fun things to the blog! I’ve got some NYE items up (including free party printables) and more holiday beverages to enjoy!
I work in an office. This time of year the colds start passing from one cubicle to the next. In addition, there is a whole table full of sweet treats in the break room that is HARD to resist. So, when thinking about the ideal affordable, but still welcome co-worker gift I wanted to do something that would encourage a healthful holiday and new year.
These co-worker or neighbor gifts are super affordable and can be filled with whatever you find handy. I bought three little honey containers from Trader Joes for less than $7, a box of tea and some citrus fruit to make these little gifts. After wrapping in cellophane and wrapping in a bow I topped it with a printable tag. Yes, I like printables.
Click here to download—> Happy & Healthy Printables <—Click here to download
This post is the eleventh in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out my last post in this series: “Beauty Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide + Free Gift Card Holder Printable“)
So, I obviously am a tad behind with my 12 Days of Christmas DIYs as today is actually the 16th of December. I have my excuses… but, the most important part is that I’m back and I have a new DIY and a Free Printable for you today!
My favorite kind of DIY is the simplest of DIYs. Give me one to two steps and I am GOOD. Sure, I can do the more involved DIYs. But, I will always choose simple over complicated if given the choice. This DIY is a simple way to dress up a bottle of wine, liquor, juice or other beverage to make it a gift. These are great for holiday gifts and hostess gifts at your next holiday party!
Click here to download —> Free Printable Wine Gift Tags <— Click here to download
At $15 and under the wine pictured in the above photos would make a affordable holiday gift. Josh Cellars shared their Legacy wine and Cabernet Sauvignon wine with me to tas a pair to holiday favorites such as roasted turkey, glazed ham, pie and all the fixins.
In addition, from now through December 31st, for every bottle of Josh Cellars wine purchase, a $1 will be donated to Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military.
Or, use the tags on mini bottles of champagne for a fun New Year’s Eve favor. Everyone can pop their own as you count down to 2015!
Thank you to Josh Cellars for introducing me to your afforadable reds! FTC Guidelines dictate that I disclose that I received product with hopes of feature on my blog. I was not further compensated for this post. All thoughts are my own. Additional information (in quotes) about Josh Cellars were shared by the company.
This post is the tenth in my series of the 12 Days of Christmas DIYs for A Well Crafted Party. Check in each day for the next 12 Days for new DIY posts. There will be LOTS of free printables to boot! (Check out yesterday’s post: “Foodie Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide + Free Gift Card Holder Printable“)
My next stocking stuffer gift guide is all for the beauty lover. It is for someone who likes accessories and beauty products. Beacause, just like food, they are often items that I don’t want to spend a ton of money on for myself, but I love having and receiving. Beauty items make for fun items to give in stockings because they are typically affordable and small!
This post was not sponsored. I did receive some product to review throughout the year and I chose to include some of those items in this gift guide. Some of the links below are affiliate links.
Gift cards are perfect for stocking stuffers. Personalize your gift card gift just a tad with these free “beauty” gift card holders. Simply click the link below and download the file onto your computer. Print in full color on white cardstock. Cut out along the red of the gift card. Fold along the white lines. Use a glue stick, glue dots or double sided glue to attach the flaps to the back of the flap. Slip in your gift card and you’re good to go!
Printable designs are my own and are free for personal use. The beauty elements are Designed by Freepik
Update: Corrected the business name for Soap and Paper Factory.
Change… it happens whether we want it to or not. How we handle change says a lot about how successful we will be in life.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
If I were to take a test about how well I handle change then I’d pass with flying colors.
In most cases, I’d say I embrace change. Nothing in my home is placed permanently; everything has to be easy to move on a whim because I enjoying changing the way things look often. I seriously have never had the same hairstyle twice since I have been able to enjoy choosing my own hair styles. Heck, I don’t even like eating the same meal two weeks in a row, much less as leftovers the next day. Thank goodness my husband likes leftovers.
See, you might even say I like change. I should be a total success at this whole life thing, right?
The one thing that all of the changes that I like have in common is the fact that I have control over these changes. I like change that I have control over. I will even CHOOSE change to exert some control when all of life’s changes fly at me. (See the impromptu new hair-do for example!)
This year has been awesome. It has been challenging. It has been incredibly sad and it has been deliriously happy. But, holy crap, it has been a year of change.
I’m working through the changes one moment at a time. Afterall…
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
I’m also trying to encourage myself to be open to becoming the change because…
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and today’s blog is in hopes of helping shed a little more light on the desperate need for more funding and research on pediatric cancer. Cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children and adolescents in America. Growing up my best friends family dealt with the impact of pediatric cancer on their world when her sister was diagnosed. A local girl and her family are experiencing the hardships that pediatric cancer brings with it and the community of Milwaukie, Oregon are banding together to help!
The local Milwaukie community is pulling together to host an outdoor family friendly benefit, silent auction and rock concert for a local girl living with a very rare brain tumor. Leah Merklin, a 4-year old girl has one of the rarest forms of pediatric brain cancer, primarily affecting young children, the brain tumor called DIPG is both inoperable and incurable.
On Wednesday, September 10th, local Milwaukie business owners, Portland DJ Ron Rouse, Chris Carpenter & The Collective, a local band, and Good Roots Community Church are joining arms to host an outdoor community fundraiser for Leah.
Banding together, local vendors are stepping up to offer locally sourced, delicious food at the event: Pronto Pizzeria & Kitchen will be selling grilled pizzas and farmer’s market fresh salads. Schoolyard Farms, a local nonprofit educational farm, will be offering build you own kid salads. Pepper & Salt will be selling butternut squash infused mac + cheese and lettuce turkey wraps. Painted Lady Coffee House will be selling hot coffee, Italian sodas, and homemade delicacies and Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery will be whipping up batches of their custom made ice cream.
There will be stenciled face art by Sweet Cheeks Airbrushing; handmade necklaces and headbands offering proceeds back to the Merklin family; and a bouncy house, henna tattoos and a stilt walker for the kids!
Ron Rouse, who works for Portland Fire & Rescue and is also a popular local DJ named DJ Rontourage, will be donating his time at the event. Local band Chris Carpenter & The Collective will be playing live music from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Event goers will be invited to pick out a favorite song from the band’s play list and the band will play songs for donation.
Finally, there will be a silent auction featuring locally procured items, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the family.
Connect with the Rock for a Reason Facebook event or connect with the Support for Leah Rose Merklin and Family Facebook Page!
I often find myself content to sit in my own little world of problems, responsibilities, and issues without thinking ahead to what the future might bring or what issues may be plaguing the world that could possibly use my help, my voice. It isn’t that I don’t care. I do, often more than it shows. Rather, sometimes… my own stuff is all I can handle! Lately, however, I’ve been really pushing myself to extend my reach ad lend my voice to issues where I am able.
One of those issues that has really been laid on my heart (cheesy, but true) has been Alzheimer’s Disease. About a year ago I accepted a full-time position as a Social Media and Marketing specialist for a Senior Living company. It has been an eye-opening, humbling and incredible year. I’ve had Alzheimer’s touch my life personally by affecting the people that I love. It took me seeing how MANY people that this disease really affects to make me realize my voice (and money) was needed. What I can do as a single person is not enough though, I need your help!
” Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.” — Alz.Org Website
A few facts that really hit home with me about this disease from the Alzheimer’s Association website:
When advocating for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s I am thinking about the residents in the buildings of the senior communities I work with, my grandparents and my parents. But, I am also being a little bit selfish. I want to know that someday if I receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, that maybe there might be an answer out there to help slow the progression or to cure the disease. I advocate for my son so that the burden of my care is not put solely on his shoulders.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a series of walks across the United States that help raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s. I will be participating in the Portland Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday, September 7, 2014. My goal is to raise $200 for the cause and as much awareness as possible. I’m about 60% to reaching my goal and am working hard at it! I encourage anyone who can to find a local walk and participate. If you are unable to walk, a donation would be very much appreciated.
If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s please consider donating today. You are welcome to donate via the Alz.Org website or click this link to help me reach my donation goal! For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
Information and Facts about Alzheimer’s disease via the Alzheimer’s Association website: www.alz.org For help or more information feel free to call the 24/7 Helpline at 1.800.272.3900.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. This is just a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I wanted to share to help build awareness for this important cause.
I’ve been very happy to have my house taken over by guests most of the Summer. I’ve had so much fun visiting with family and friends that now that everyone is gone the house is WAY too quiet. I always want to make my house guests feel as welcome as possible. For some that means having certain foods in the house, and for others it is having the wifi password accessible and a few midnight snacks available.
My sister and her husband stopped by a few weekends ago for a quick visit from Oklahoma. They visited with the cutest nephew on the planet (sorry to all the other aunts out there, but seriously, he is the cutest) and I wanted them to feel like they were going on a mini vacation amidst the toddler, infant, and busy schedule. So, I created these fun, tongue-in-cheek printables to decorate items in our home and small guest gifts for them. I think they were a hit!
Get your free printables by clicking the link at the bottom of this post. And, if you like them… I’d appreciate it if you Pinned, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or Facebooked them! (Share them easily by clicking on the social network you like to use up on the left of this post!) It really makes my day.
How I used them:
And remember, please SHARE if you enjoyed these printables!
Right after my skin cancer diagnosis I had the opportunity to meet the owner and creator of the sun safe fashion line SummerSkin. Summer Kramer (yep, that is her name!) is seriously such an inspirational powerhouse of a woman that has really made a beautiful brand of clothing that can also help protect you. I was fortunate enough to be able to sample one of her creations— the Endless Summer Scarf. The Endless Summer Scarf is just too much fun because it can be worn so many different ways. I got the scarf the week before my surgery and had fun creating 7 Different Days of SummerSkin Style for my Instagram feed. Over the next couple of Curvy Girl Style posts I’ll be sharing some of my favorite outfits from that week! Check out all the styles I did by looking up#mysummerskin on Instagram! Check out my summer casual outfit post and my work wear posts to see other ways I styled my scarf!
Today I’m actually sharing TWO different looks I styled with the Endless Summer Scarf... each one styles the scarf in a totally different way. One outfit features the scarf as a shirt. I layered on the sunscreen and donned one of my favorite sun hats to help protect my shoulders and arms. The other outfit features the scarf as a skirt!
Over 8 years ago I married my husband and we went on our very first camping trip as a married couple for our honeymoon. It has always been one of my favorite things to do with my husband, friends, and family. My son’s first camping trip was when he was 6 weeks old, but we then got out of the habit of stealing away to the woods for a weekend because life happened. This year I promised myself that we’d make time for trips like this instead of looking back at another Summer of missed opportunities due to busy schedules.
I’m so glad that I made that commitment. The past two weekends I’ve enjoyed some real quality time with my family, friends, and good ole’ Mother Nature. I came back to the real world with posts about a delicious summer sipping cocktail perfect for camping and a tutorial on how to make fire roasted corn on the cob.
While I love a good rustic campground, I also know that there are a few items that are just awesome to have while camping. Here are some of my favorites and some items that are on my wish list for future camping trips.
(Please note that many of the below links are affiliate links. Purchases made from these links helps to support this blog and keep fresh content coming your way. Thank you for your support!)
That is my current gear list… though, I know I’m missing quite a few items.
The Portland Bloggers Family Picnic was this past weekend. I got to bring my sister, her husband, and my nephew to meet my blogging buddies. It was fun catching up with friends and getting to know some new bloggers.
I brought my favorite ice cream to the picnic to share. It was so hot out that even the ice didn’t help much! The ice cream melted pretty quickly and made for a tasty impromptu milk shake!
I also brought sunscreen to share… Because, sun safety is important! I brought a new-to-me brand from Coola Suncare that sent me some samples to test out. I love it! It’s the first organic sunscreen that I’ve had work well and smell good at the same time. It’s also the first spray sunscreen that hasn’t felt too oily or sticky. I also heard great things from friends who used it.
All in all it was a great time. How was your weekend?
This weekend we took a very necessary break from electronics and the rest of the world by heading out to camp near the Clackamas River near Estacada, Oregon. I had a bit of anxiety when I realized my cellphone had no reception. But, after a bit, it was a relief to just sit back and rest. We enjoyed amazing food on the fire, simple (yet delicious) cocktails, and sleeping with the stars overhead. Breathtaking and refreshing.
Today we came back to reality where I was greeted with 100 emails and several messages. I probably should have told someone we were going away for a bit… Whoops.
I also attended a friend’s memorial this afternoon. It reminded me that taking moments to unplug and enjoy the simpler things in life is very much important. Not saying that you can’t be connected and still connect– but, sometimes, it helps to put the phones/computers/video games down.
Happy Sunday everyone!
The Portland Bloggers group recently had the opportunity to visit local party and craft shop Fancy That for a fun crafting event. Lisa, owner of Fancy That, prepped a great customizable craft that each of the bloggers in attendance were able to make for the coffee or tea lover in their lives. Many people talked about giving to friends or teachers. I personally wanted to keep mine for myself! This is a really easy and fun DIY friend gift idea that you can completely customize for the gift recipient.
This isn’t your typical tutorial. It is completely adjustable to your style and materials. Nearly all of the materials can be found at the Fancy That shop who has both an online and brick-and-mortar store.
The picture above shows what each attendee to the craft event received at their table. The tables were also covered with party circles, double sided tape, washi tape, bakers twine, and hole punches. Nearly all items below can be purchased through the Fancy That shop!
Optional items used for decorating and customizing your gift:
Decorate your supplies as you like, put everything in the drink carrier, and deliver to your friend!
I hate to be so simple on a tutorial’s directions… but, this craft was THAT EASY. You can decorate as little or as much as you want. Placing custom tags or printables on items or just labeling with your pen. You can even just put everything in the drink carrier with some napkins and a sweet note and call it good. But, here are some ideas for further inspiration:
PS National Friendship Day is August 3rd!
PPS Love this idea, but aren’t really into crafting? Fancy that is selling an adorable Tea for Two drink carrier with fixins on the website!
** I attended a free craft event put on by Fancy That for Portland Bloggers. Portland Bloggers is a product of my company Jenni Bost Creative Services LLC. This event was a break out event with no promise of posting or review. I just enjoyed my time and thought the craft would fit nicely on my blog. I also believe in supporting local businesses when possible. I hope you enjoyed the craft as much as I did!**
This was a tough week that I’m not quite ready to go into about on here… But, on Friday night the family (including my wonderful in-laws who are in town visiting) visited a local park for Movies in the Park. It was absolutely the most perfect ending to a very long week.
I had read a little about movies in the park program and knew we’d go to a park, picnic in tow, and see a little live music and a movie. We picked a local park playing the movie Frozen. It was all of that, but so much more! I was impressed by what the City of Portland and the local sponsors put together for a free evening of entertainment.