Neskowin Family Vacation

Neskowin Family Vacation

This photo pretty much sums up how me and the family felt about stealing away to the Oregon coast for a family vacation this past weekend. We were all smiles! Family vacations can be difficult, costly and tiresome sometimes… and, while this trip had a tinge of those things at times, it was mostly AMAZING. We have a favorite spot out on the coast that is affordable, comfortable and just perfect for families and it seems that every year around this time when itching to get out of town we are always able to snag a room! Our whole family piled in the van and met up with friends who also got a room at the hotel. We enjoyed most of our meals in the rooms (complete with great kitchens) and spent our time on the beach and soaking in the sea air.

Proposal Rock Inn and Neskowin Trading Company - A Well Crafted Party

 

I’ve been going back and forth about whether I want to share about this place because right now it feels like an unfound secret getaway venue… but, that isn’t fair to the amazing people that run this place. We like to vacation at Proposal Rock Inn a great inexpensive hotel in Neskowin, Oregon. Now, this is not a super swanky hotel, but rather a unique, family-friendly and inexpensive getaway option. Each of the rooms at this Inn are actually condos owned by different people. Each one is decorated and stocked differently. The one we stayed in this weekend was a three bedroom, slightly dated, room that had a full kitchen stocked with supplies and tons of seating. It also had a VHS/DVD player with a ton of old movies. The beds were extremely comfortable and the price was so right for the weekend.

In addition to the inn there is a great little restaurant and store. The Neskowin Trading Company is actually stocked with pretty high-end items including a great wine and beer selection along with the perfect picnic snack foods.

Perfect vacation lunch spread after a long day at the beach - A Well Crafted Party Sandwich, Chips & Beach... oh my! A Well Crafted Party

 

Vacations for us are partially about getting away and mostly about eating great food. I’m lucky to have friends who love good food as much as I do and we never skimp on our food selections. Our lunch spread after a morning on the beach was perfect for adults and kids alike because it was a build your own sandwich bar! The sundried tomato bread was purchased at Panera and made for a really fantastic sandwich. It all paired perfectly with the chips that were sent to me by Tim’s Cascade Snacks in honor of their 30th Anniversary. We tried both new limited edition flavors of Coney Island and Hawaiian Island Lemon Chips. The lemon were so refreshing and just tart enough.

 

Great Seafood found at Barnacle Bills in Lincoln City - A Well Crafted Party Great Seafood found at Barnacle Bills in Lincoln City - A Well Crafted Party

 

We can’t go to the coast and NOT get fresh seafood. Because we had great kitchens in our rooms we decided to hop on out to Lincoln City to Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market to grab some fresh seafood for dinner. My friends are amazing cooks so I did nothing more than drool and supply a tasty wine for this meal. They picked up half a pound of Dungeness crab to make a sundried tomato cream crab & linguine pasta and a bunch of big beautiful shrimp for shrimp cocktails.

Fresh Seafood is a MUST when vacationing on the coast - A Well Crafted Party

Fresh Seafood is a MUST when vacationing on the coast - A Well Crafted Party

 

I didn’t have to lift a finger… well, until I lifted my fork!

 

Neskowin Beach Family Vacation - A Well Crafted Party Neskowin Beach Family Vacation - A Well Crafted Party

 

A recharge this weekend was totally needed. The drive home was a little tiring as both kiddos were entirely worn out and all of the adults were tired as well. But, it was just the thing needed to get through the next couple of crazy busy months. I am already planning my next trip to Neskowin!

 

Note: This was not a sponsored post and I paid for all of my Neskowin adventure. However, Tim’s Cascade Snacks did complimentary bags of chips in celebration of their 30th Anniversary. All opinions are my own. See my policies for more information about sponsored posts on this blog. 

More about Tim’s Cascade Snacks: “For over three decades, Tim’s Cascade Snacks has stayed true to its mission. Just like when they started in 1986, Tim’s still supports local farms and businesses, many of whom started out with the company from its inception, 30 years ago. Additionally, Tim’s has supported the sustainable movement well before it was the thing to do. The Association of Washington business announced Tim’s Cascade Chips as the recipient of their Environmental Excellence Award of the Decade.  Tim’s was also recognized for water conservation, packaging reduction and a 10 year continuing Environmental Commitment Award in May 2001.In honor of their 30th anniversary, Tim’s Cascade Snacks, producer of Tim’s(r) Cascade Style Potato Chips, Hawaiian(r) Kettle Style Potato Chips and Erin’s(r) Popcorn  is offering Special Batches of Potato Chipflavors from the past and new flavors for the future. These new limited edition flavors will be in stores for a limited time and will launch a new tradition.  Every year, Tim’s Cascade Snacks will now offer Special Batch items for Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips and Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips with unique flavor trends. ”

Tell me…what is your favorite family friendly vacation spot?

DIY Mother’s Day Flowers

DIY Mother’s Day Flowers

Mother’s Day is around the corner! Writing about all of these amazing working mothers has certainly got me thinking about Mother’s Day a little more than I normally would. It has made me want to tell my mother and mother-in-law just how much I appreciate them. Makes me want to snuggle up with the two boys who made me a momma. These DIY Mother’s Day Flower Arrangement tips make giving flowers easy and inexpensive.

Flowers are such a beautiful way to say that you are thinking about someone. But, with prices starting at $50 for a nice small Mother’s Day flower arrangement it is fairly cost prohibitive to many. I typically love giving flowers in addition to a small item that will last for some time or be a sweet treat for that person. Often spending $50 or more on flowers is just out of my budget. Thankfully, I know a few tricks to make a DIY Mother’s Day flower arrangement look like a million bucks.

Tips for DIY Mother’s Day Flowers:

Simple Flower Arrangement

Keep it simple!

Use one flower (or one color scheme) in a low vase to make a simple, but beautiful, flower arrangement. It doesn’t take much time to  make an incredibly easy flower arrangement. Your mom will love it, I promise!

 

Float your flowers for high impact and low cost.

Floating one or two stems or buds of flowers in water is a cost effective way to make a statement. These don’t last as long as some flower arrangements, but they are beautiful! The photo above shows a beautiful black lily floating with the bud of a white rose and some lily grass. If you would like some sparkle, try putting some sequins in your vase as well!

 

 

Use unexpected vessels for your DIY flower arrangement instead of vases.

 

I love using unexpected vessels for flowers. Use bottles, cans, baskets, or boxes to house your arrangement. (You may need to put a small vase or jar in to hold the flowers with water, but the outer vessel can be anything really!) Get a beautiful serving bowl for a gift and put the flowers in it! Two gifts in one. We used picnic boxes for flowers on the tables at my sister’s cheery Summer Wedding. Guests received their lunches in the same boxes so it was a lot of fun seeing them all together.

 

Sprinkle your tea table with flower buds - A Well Crafted Party

 

Sprinkle your table with flower buds!

 

Last year we had a little Mother’s Day tea on the coffee tables in our living room. I simply sprinkled the tables with the buds from a few flowers that I picked up at the store and snipped out of my yard. The table looked festive throughout the entire tea party. The buds do get a bit wilted over a long period of time. But, this was a short tea party so I was able to make a small, low arrangement in a jam jar after the party that I was able to enjoy for a few more days.

 

Want to make some flowers that will last a little longer? Check out the posts below:

 

DIY Cherry Blossom Branches - A Well Crafted Party

Photo by Aubrie Legault – First featured on Hostess with the Mostess

DIY Cherry Blossom Branches

These DIY Cherry Blossom Branches will last for years and are so pretty to look at! A large vase with these sticking out would be a stunning gift.

Mix up your Mother's Day Flower Arrangement by adding in some paper flowers and leaves with real, inexpensive blooms. - A Well Crafted Party

Use Paper Leaves and Flowers to Fill in Real Blooms

I love real flowers. Sometimes when wanting to create a fun, whimsical look and to save money I’ll combine paper flowers and leaves along with inexpensive real blooms.

Make Mom a Tissue Paper Flower Arrangement - A Well Crafted Party

 

Make a Tissue Paper Flower Arrangement for Mom

 

Tissue paper flowers are easy to make, inexpensive and a lot of fun. Plus, they don’t die!

 

What do you like giving mom for Mother’s Day?

 

Brunch Potluck — Portland Bloggers’ Meet-Up

Brunch Potluck — Portland Bloggers’ Meet-Up

The Portland Bloggers, a local bloggers meet-up group and resource, hosted a Valentine’s Day brunch potluck this past month. We were happy to have decoration supplied by Minted.Com and tasty mimosas with Santa Margherita Wines. All thoughts and opinions are my own. To see my sponsored posting guidelines please visit my policies page. Thank you to Jennifer Landers for helping us find a swanky venue and Suzannah Stanley for these fab photos! 

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

 

What kind of potluck should I host? …. BRUNCH!

 

When you live in Portland you tend to come around to the amazing-ness that is B-R-U-N-C-H. You see, it may have to do something with the rain and the grey skies or perhaps it is the laid back nature of this town… but, getting up early in the morning and heading out to breakfast really is just not our thing. Yes, it happens. Yes, there are people that seem to make it out of the house before 10 AM. Those are the people who get to walk right in and sit down for a tasty meal with no wait.

The rest of us, well, we do brunch and we do it hard. We have some of the most amazing restaurants out there creating brunch menus just for us. Heck, even the amazing Gregory Gourdet of  Departure (you may know him from Top Chef) is getting into some brunch mischief with a pop-up brunch feature this Easter. Personally, I love brunch. There is something about the perfect mix of sweet and savory breakfast food paried with a breakfast cocktail all while fully rested. My love of brunch is one of the many reasons why we decided our recent Portland Bloggers meet-up was going to be a brunch potluck. One of the other reasons is that brunch is perfect for a potluck.

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

 

Brunch Potluck Food

 

There was such a great variety of foods and treats. I love brunch foods for potlucks because they can be savory or sweet. Great brunch potluck foods include mini bagels with cream cheese, quiches, muffins, waffle bites, deviled eggs… the list goes on and on! And for this particular brunch, because we hosted the party near Valentine’s Day, there were a lot of sweet treats on top of the great brunch foods.

 

Brunch Potluck Beverages

 

One of my favorite parts of any party is the beverage choices. Because we were having a brunch, we felt mimosas were a must! Santa Margherita wines sent us some of their Prosecco to try out. The crisp Santa Margherita Prosecco was stationed in a ice bucket ready to pair with either orange juice, peach puree, or strawberry puree. My favorite pairing was with the peach puree because the lightly tart taste of the Prosecco brought out the bright and juicy flavors of the peach. We also had plenty of sparkling water to pair with the juices to round out our beverage selection.

 

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

 

Beautiful and EASY Party Decor

 

We decorated the meeting space using Minted’s Party Suites. Seriously, such an easy and beautiful solution to party decor. You simply pick your suite, customize and purchase and then a neat little party package comes to your door complete with custom items, paper straws, plates, and napkins! We chose the Valentine’s Ombre Love Party Decor in the Perfect Party package. The mini note cards made for perfect labels for the food for the potluck. The banner is such great quality of paper that I’ll be keeping it to use over and over again at upcoming Portland Blogger meet-ups.

 

Simple and beautiful party decor compliments of Minted

Simple and beautiful party decor compliments of Minted

Simple and beautiful party decor compliments of Minted

 

What makes potlucks so great?

 

I go on and on about potlucks like they are the butter to my bread… but, heres the thing, hosting parties can be quite expensive. Going out to eat and be expensive. Heck, even a drink or two at a bar can break the bank at times. Hosting events potluck style gives everyone the opportunity to gather together to enjoy a meal while not sticking one person with the check. I love the laid back feel of potlucks. I enjoy getting to try the items that other people bring. To be perfectly honest, in the end, I love not paying for everything. Cheers to whoever invented the very first potluck—those cavemen and women who all came to the table with something to share. Cheers also to the awesome guests that came to this potluck. They brought their A-game in the food and networking departments!

 

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

Portland Bloggers Valentine's meet-up with sponsored decor by Minted and beverages from Santa Margherita

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