My Secret to a Successful Marriage

Today my husband and I celebrate seven  years of marriage. So far, there is no itch. :)

I honestly can’t even believe that we’ve been married for seven years! Besides my creaky knees and added weight I often feel like I am still 22 and walking down that aisle. I’m still head over heels for my husband of which I’ve seen and smelled farts, endured many stomach flus alongside, and spent several sleepless nights with while tending to our screaming child. Living with and loving someone isn’t all roses and chocolates. There have been many ups and many downs. I can truthfully say today that I am SO glad I married this man. I’m so thankful to be loved by him.

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Saying our vows 7 years ago…. we are babies! Photo by West Impressions Photography

So, you want to know my secret to a successful marriage? Read on!

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Heartbroken for Oklahoma

I was born, raised, and attended college in Oklahoma. You’d think that over twenty years living in a state prone to natural disasters would prepare me for the devastation I am seeing from the images coming out of Oklahoma. Years of learning how to duck and cover… to roll into a ball, covering your neck and head with your arms, in a room with no windows or furniture that can fall. Years of SEEING the devastation first hand. Years of actual loss. None of that prepared me for the images coming from my friends and family this past week.

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Tips and Tools for Productivity

Lately, due to sickness, I have been less than productive. However, I am usually pretty productive.
I like to get things done and I like to do a lot of things. My freelance work has also had me juggling a variety of different responsibilities. Being a mom is busy. In general… I have a permanent to do list that will never, ever be finished because I keep adding items to it!

I am always utilizing a variety of tools to help keep me organized and on track. Hopefully some of these items will be as useful to you as they are to me.

Thoughts and Random Tid-bits

I’m in a weird head space at the moment. There has been so much happening lately that I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed. My blog work is the first thing to go on the back burner when life/work gets crazy. I have several great posts (at least I think so) in the works. But, today is another day that they will sit on the shelf. Here are some thoughts and random tid-bits about life lately:

  • I’m still in a sort of shock over the Boston Marathon bombings. My thoughts about the whole thing are not even close to coherent. My heart goes out to the people that were there and to their families. The anniversary for the Oklahoma City bombings is coming up in a couple of days, so that too is on my mind. This open letter to Boston from Oklahoma says a lot of what I wish I could say.
  • I’m sick. Again. Having a kid is like owning my own personal cesspool. My kiddo caught a cold last weekend and promptly handed it over to me. Kiddo is sick. I’m sick. So much fun.
  • I’m really, really excited about going to the PNW blogger meet-up! It will be my first evening away from my son though, so I am a little nervous as well. Lindsay, Megan, Sarah and myself will be road-tripping up to Seattle for the event.
  • I’m visiting West Elm this evening for a preview of their new line. I’m super excited. I went last year and posted about it. I’m not sort of obsessed with their products. Can’t wait to see what they’ve thought up for this year’s summer line!
Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks for reading and to let you know I’m still here.
I’ll be back to share more very soon!

 

{Weekend in Review} Shopping talk, Brunch, and Blogging Chat

Disclaimer: This post is not a sponsored post. However, I was invited to a compensated focus group at Favery (without expectations for posting). I was also invited to a free brunch at Imperial by the PR company Little Green Pickle. No promises of posting or positive reviews were given. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

Okay, so really….. all of the following things that I’m including in my weekend update really happened during the week. I spent Friday through Sunday working on my computer, so I didn’t take a single photo! But, my week was jam packed and super awesome.

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{Weekend in Review} Working is hard when on cold medication

Happy April Fools! As usual, Google never disappoints!

I was so very sick this weekend that I did nothing at all except try my best to catch up on the mountain of work I had. BTW… writing while on cold medication is a joke. I felt like I was trying to write with half a brain. I’m pretty sure my editor thought I had half a brain while he was going over my work. Because I was so sick and basically chained to my laptop, I didn’t take a single photo of my weekend.

Today is of course April Fool’s Day. I’m loving seeing everything on Facebook today. The lovely ladies from Prudent Baby literally made me laugh out loud with their “How to Knit a Merkin” post today.

I can’t WAIT to see your photos/ posts/ tweets about this past Easter weekend. Remember, anything that YOU did this past weekend counts. Please share about this little linky party. I really want it to be used as a way to connect and share a little bit of our personal lives with each other. I’m all for new DIY items and parties (obviously) but, I want to get to know YOU and get a glimpse into your awesome lives. Feel free to link up an Instagram photo of something you did this weekend, a post about your weekend, or even a tweet that gives us a weekend glimpse!


Now… tell me all about YOUR weekend! 
Link up your posts/tweets/instagram pics of something you did this weekend.
 I’ll share some of my favorites on Sunday for my {What a Weekend} feature post!

Linky Party Suggestions:

  • Please add this button to your blog post, or somewhere on your blog, so others can see and share as well!
  • Check out the blog post of some of the people in the party and comment! Everyone loves a little comment love. 
  • By sharing your link in the Linky you are giving me permission to post about the post on my blog, including using photos (with credit).

 

weekendinreview
 


{Weekend in Review} A trip to Texas and Oklahoma

I was on vacation from last Tuesday to tomorrow… So, it feels like a gigantic weekend! Let me say though… vacation when you are a freelance writer and mom is not the same as when you take a vacation from a non-work-from-home job or school. I felt like I was ON the entire week and BEHIND the entire week. I’m so thankful for wonderful family who let me get some time on my computer and helped so much with my toddler. The week would have been impossible otherwise. And, it was so nice seeing family!

For some of my family this week was the first time they got to meet my son. And, for others, it was the first time they’ve seen him as a toddler. That part of the trip was amazing. I loved seeing how he responded to my (and my husband’s) family. I loved seeing how our families responded to him.

I hardly took any photos of the trip because I was entirely too busy catching up with friends and family  or wrangling a rambunctious toddler. But, below is a quick overview of my week via iPhone photos!

Row 1: 1. X and myself had the opportunity to meet a friend’s kiddo that we’ve only seen so far on Instagram. I had a good time catching up with his mom (a friend from high school/college years) while X his new pal played. X was cranky though….so, it was a quick visit. 2. My youngest brother got to meet his nephew for the first time… they look so much alike! 3. My sister and her husband watched the kiddo so I could have an evening out with my two BFFs from H.S. It was wonderful catching up!
Row 2: 1. One of my best friends from HS has an adorable 10-month-old boy…X loved hanging out with him! He pushed him around in the stroller. It might have made my baby rabies come back a tad. 2. My sister showed X how to play trombone. He loves music and had a blast in his aunt & uncle’s music room. 3. My sister (doesn’t look a thing like me) took me out to pedicures. SO NICE. It has been ages since I had a pedicure and my feet NEEDED it!
Row 3: 1. One of the restaurants we visited had a pool table and the little guy was enthralled with how my brother hit the balls. 2. It is hard sharing the bed with a toddler. 3. X got to meet some of my husband’s side of the family while we were in TX. Made me miss my honey!


Now… tell me all about YOUR weekend! 
Link up your posts/tweets/instagram pics of something you did this weekend.
 I’ll share some of my favorites on Sunday for my {What a Weekend} feature post!

Linky Party Suggestions:

  • Please add this button to your blog post, or somewhere on your blog, so others can see and share as well!
  • Check out the blog post of some of the people in the party and comment! Everyone loves a little comment love. 
  • By sharing your link in the Linky you are giving me permission to post about the post on my blog, including using photos (with credit).

 

weekendinreview
 


{Weekend in Review} Petting fish, Packing, & Prepping

After eating way too much delicious pie on Thursday I needed a low key weekend. And, though we got a LOT done, we didn’t DO much at all. I’m actually really looking forward to see all the fun {Weekend in Review} posts, Instagram pics, and tweets that are linked up this week. Someone out there had to have done something for St. Patty’s Day weekend!

Friday I went with some friends and my little guy to the Portland Aquarium in Milwaukie, Or. I didn’t go in with any expectations at all because I hadn’t really heard much about it. And, in all honesty, I have mixed feelings about the experience.

The good:

  • Hanging out with my friends and the kids while they were oohing and ahhing over the fish and sea-life was pretty awesome. My son was entranced. He loved every moment.
  • The staff was awesome. One guy in particular was so good with my son and comfortable in his job. He was holding a giant snake and I didn’t feel like fleeing… so, that is a bonus. I’d like to teach my son to be interested (safely) in things that creep me out. I was thankful there was someone there explaining about the snake and introducing it in a safe way to my son.
The not-so-good:
  • The price was fairly expensive in my opinion. My son was free (he is under the age that starts charging), but my ticket was $10 for a five room facility with two of its exhibits down. I also bought $5 dollars of fish feed… at the time I thought it was way too pricey for the amount given, but I had some left over still after visiting all the rooms, so I feel like that was probably pretty reasonable. And, the kids LOVED feeding the fish. 
  • I was glad that they had hand washing sinks in several of the rooms. The floor was dirty. And, go figure, the place smelled like fish. I was in severe need of several hand washings.
  • I didn’t find this out until after visiting…. but, the owner of the Portland Aquarium has been in some pretty nasty legal issues lately. They are not involving the Portland Aquarium, but rather a similar facility in Boise. While I love the idea of my son and other children learning about wild-life. I feel like it should be in a completely legal, safe, and good-for-the-animal kind of way. 
Did we have a good time? Yes. Will we go back? I’m not sure. I do hope that the staff gets the wonderful attention they deserve though. They were very good. 
Well, I certainly didn’t mean for this post to turn into a review of an aquarium… but, that was the most interesting thing that happened this weekend! Saturday I was able to meet up with a friend to talk about life and the upcoming Pacific Northwest Blogger meet-up. I’m excited that details will be released soon! I talked more than any human should find possible. Talking to a toddler all day has done some wicked things to my social skills. 
The rest of the weekend was spent working (writing) and prepping for my upcoming adventure back home to see family. Just me and the kiddo are going to brave flights to LA and on to Texas. Then a drive up to Oklahoma. We’ll be visiting friends and family in both TX and OK. Not sure how we’ll do it… but, I’m super excited about it!
Oh, and we can’t forget that we did a low key St. Patty’s Day celebration. We wore green, ate cabbage, and drank a bottle of beer. :)

Now… tell me all about YOUR weekend! 
Link up your posts/tweets/instagram pics of something you did this weekend.
 I’ll share some of my favorites on Sunday for my {What a Weekend} feature post!

Linky Party Suggestions:
  • Please add this button to your blog post, or somewhere on your blog, so others can see and share as well!
  • Check out the blog post of some of the people in the party and comment! Everyone loves a little comment love. 
  • By sharing your link in the Linky you are giving me permission to post about the post on my blog, including using photos (with credit).

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* This post was in no way sponsored by The Portland Aquarium. I did not receive anything from the Portland Aquarium. I paid for my own admittance into the venue.

{Weekend in Review} Games, Clothes, and a Meet-Up

And, whoa… this weekend was a blur of fun! It was go-go-go and I am still recovering. So sorry for getting out my {What a Weekend} post and this linky party so late in the day!

Friday— The hubs, kiddo, and I hung out with our friends Joan and Brandon. Hubs bought me tulips for International Women’s Day. He is also brought some for my friend Joan! (He is a winner.) We played Cards Against Humanity and had so much fun. I’ve been wanting to play that game for FOREVER. It did not disappoint. I wouldn’t want to play with just anyone… but, with close friends it was fun.
Saturday– The sun was shining in Portland! YAY! I went by Bettie Page Clothing and tried on some beautiful clothing with my friends Bee and Macey. We each got to pick out an outfit to wear to the Portland Bloggers’ meet-up. It was fun trying on such classic vintage styles. I had such a great experience at the shop that I know for sure I’ll be going back again. I’ll be posting more about my dress when I get the pictures back from the event!
Photo by a fellow Portland Blogger via Instagram @jennmccormick  Jenn’s blog is A Home in the Making
Sunday— The Portland Bloggers meet-up has been such a huge effort on so many people. I feel like the event was a complete success. I can’t wait to read everyone’s updates on the event, what they learned, and see the images that our photographers captured! I’m still exhausted and have tons of after event work to finish off. Today though, I just watched as Facebook and Twitter went crazy with fun updates!

What did you do this weekend?

Link up your posts/tweets/instagram pics of something you did this weekend.
 I’ll share some of my favorites on Sunday for my {What a Weekend} feature post!

Linky Party Suggestions:

  • Please add this button to your blog post, or somewhere on your blog, so others can see and share as well!
  • Check out the blog post of some of the people in the party and comment! Everyone loves a little comment love. 
  • By sharing your link in the Linky you are giving me permission to post about the post on my blog, including using photos (with credit).

 

weekendinreview
 


{Weekend in Review} Dinner with friends and Home Decor Work

This weekend was needed. It was restorative and easy. Next weekend (actually, this whole week) is going to be GO GO GO. So, a laid back weekend was ideal. We had friends— Bee from The Spicy Bee and her husband, Kevin— over for dinner on Friday. Homemade pizzas, drinks, and lots of talking ensued. I think that staying at home with a toddler has made me starved for conversation. I don’t think I stopped talking on Friday. We made and ate THREE pizzas. Bee, being awesome, made a homemade dough and created a spicy, thin-crust pizza. I bought some pre-made dough to try in my cast-iron skillet with rosemary… YUM. And, I tried making a pizza on puff pastry. I liked the puff pastry dough  a lot… although, notice how poofy it got! Next time I’ll do the puff pastry, but put olive oil and a good sea salt on the pan so it cooks into the dough.

Saturday I printed out a few photos, put up curtains, and bought a rug. We’ve had essentially NO budget to work on our home. But, a few little pieces here and there and things are finally coming together. We’ll be doing some painting of furniture as soon as the weather is better. I’ll post photos if and when we finally get things together!

Sunday I spent the day making crepes! I used Food For My Family’s recipe/tutorial for crepes, but the batter made so many crepes that we had them for breakfast, lunch, and dessert on Sunday. They were delicious though, so I am not complaining!
I also picked out three clothing items to style for a Seven Days of Style challenge I am participating in this week and sketched out my ideas. I’ll post more about that tomorrow! If you want to follow along to see some cute baby/toddler styles during the week check out my Instagram profile @JenniBost  or the hashtag #7daysofstyle .


What did you do this weekend?

Link up your posts/tweets/instagram pics of something you did this weekend.
 I’ll share some of my favorites on Sunday for my {What a Weekend} feature post!

Linky Party Suggestions:

  • Please add this button to your blog post, or somewhere on your blog, so others can see and share as well!
  • Check out the blog post of some of the people in the party and comment! Everyone loves a little comment love. 

 

weekendinreview
 


{Weekend in Review} Party like a one-year-old, networking, and blog posting

Happy Monday! I spent three days of last week as a solo-mama as my husband was in California for work. Of course, that meant that I had very little time this past week for the business of posting/working. It also meant that we packed our weekend full of events.

During our time of just the two of us, the kiddo and I both had visits to the salon to get our hair done. I visited Franny from Edward Wadsworth Salon for a much needed hair appointment. I haven’t had my hair done by a professional in years… she did a great job explaining the costs, color ability, and best cut options for my hair. She was the perfect mix of chatting and being quiet. Sometimes I really just enjoy resting and letting someone take over! She did a great highlight job on my hair! I’ll be seeing her again in 10 weeks for another lightening. Just in time for summer!

The boy visited Little Clippers in Lake Oswego. The place was AMAZING. It was like we were walking into an indoor playground. He was thrilled to see cars, slides, and lots of bright colors. I was afraid, from past at home experiences, that he would be too wiggly to get his hair done. Instead he was completely content the entire time! His stylist, Lolita, did an AMAZING job. She was quick and able to anticipate when he was getting bored or uncomfortable. We even hung out a bit after the hair cut so the little guy could enjoy the toys.

On Saturday we visited our friend’s home for little A’s first birthday. The rainbow themed party was just ADORABLE. And, all of the attendees wore their favorite rainbow colors. I can’t wait until I get back some of the better photos taken at the party so that I can share all of the fun details her mom put into the event.

Saturday evening I was able to meet-up with some awesome women for Creative Connection. Some fun collaborations are sure to come of this great event. Twenty Portland creatives in one room created such a buzz of energy. There was some major power-houses in that room! A big thank you to Margaret for putting it all together! Oh, and the cute decorations above will be on the blog later this week.

What did you do this weekend?

Link up your posts/tweets/instagram pics of something you did this weekend.
 I’ll share some of my favorites on Sunday!
Feel free to add this button to your blog post, or somewhere on your blog, so others can share as well.

weekendinreview
 


{Weekend in Review} Valentine’s Day, Ladies’ Night Out, and a Lazy Weekend

My weekend began on Thursday with a lovely Valentine’s Day! I mean… it was the BEST. My little guy and I hung out during the morning hours and met my husband for a delicious Japanese lunch at Koji Osakaya in downtown Portland. We love this restaurant for its authentic cuisine and great service. The little guy even managed to work his chopsticks a bit! While my husband went back to work the little one and I hit Playdate PDX for some good ole fashion playtime. I was certain that after 3 hours of playing hard on the Playdate PDX indoor playground X would go to bed early in the evening. But, alas…. he was not giving in! I made a steak for dinner and topped it with a spicy cherry salsa. SO GOOD. And, finally, the night ended off with a nice hot bubble bath with a glass of wine. It was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had in a long, long time. What did you do for Valentine’s Day?
Lately I’ve been trying to make a point out of hanging out with just the ladies at least once a month. Friday night the hubby watched the kiddo while I went out to paint the town red with a few ladies. The night was an evening filled with delicious Paddy’s lemon drops, an amazing steak sandwich from the Realto, and a lot of laughs. The pictures above are at the end of the night when we started getting silly with our iPhone cameras. Jenn, of Pfaus Photography snapped the beautifully lit shot of us ladies being ridiculous with her iPhone… check her out on Instagram!
After such a busy couple of days we decided to hang out at home and be a little lazy. We played outside in our pjs, enjoyed homemade cauliflower-crust pizza, and chilled on the couch. I did get some new sketchs done and they’ll be heading to my Etsy shop soon!
What did you do this weekend?
* This is a for-profit blog that accepts sponsorship in many forms…. however, none of the companies mentioned on this page are sponsors of A Well Crafted Party. I really did go to these places! No product/money was given in exchange for this post. 

{Weekend in Review} Valentine’s Day Prep, Party, and Portland Bloggers Meet-Up

I’m always amazed with how quickly the weekend flies by… and, then I sit down to write a “Weekend in Review” post and I realize that there was a good reason for the quickness— I’ve been busy!
This weekend I prepped and help host a Valentine’s Day Ladies’ Night over at my friend Suzannah’s beautiful home. I spent my Friday evening making fabric roses, hand-lettering signs, and prepping Valentines. I have some fun projects from the party to share with you this week, and of course, photos from the party itself!
Saturday was all party, party, party. We invited a few friends over and had a blast chatting, snacking, crafting, and taking photos in the photo booth. (see animation above) These ladies have STYLE! You can look at any of them to get some ideas for something to wear this upcoming Valentine’s Day!

I also secured some final details on the March 10 Portland Bloggers’ meet-up and set up the ticket sales for the event. If you are a Portland-area blogger then you will certainly want to get your ticket before they sell out… this event is going to be AMAZING! Attendees are going to get the chance to pose for Portland photographers, learn tips on how to make their photos better, and more. Click here to purchase your $10 ticket!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow to share some more Valentine’s Day fun!

Weekend in Review: Recipe Testing and the Super Bowl

I feel like my weekend ran over into today… still catching up! What started out as a weekend with no plans ended up being packed full of fun and lots of cooking. So, here is my weekend in review. Remember, if you’d like to link up YOUR weekend in review… do so in the Linky below!

Friday— Don’t those pictures just make your mouth DROOL. I’m working on a fun project with a couple of friends that requires a LOT of recipe and taste testing. The coconut curry and vegan lettuce wrap are two of the creations that came out of the testing as winners! We had a few other tasty items that I will be sharing on the blog as the project forms. So, be prepared to see more and more recipes on this blog and tasty food pictures in my Instagram feed.
Saturday— I laid low Saturday… but, I still ended up making these delicious Ham and Swiss Sliders for lunch. Oh dear… they were amazing. I also helped a friend research information on self-publishing his writing and in the process learned a lot of the hoops I am going to be jumping through in the semi-near future. Then as the night was winding down and the kiddo was tucked in I got to work on a gift for a friend. I did several versions of this hand-lettered wall hanging. And, after some Instagram feed back I finally wrapped it up and put a bow on it!
Sunday— Super Bowl Sunday!!! It may not be a surprise…. but, while I am not a HUGE fan of football I do love a good party. I was happy to head out to a Superbowl/ Birthday party. I made these tasty mini corn dogs and mustard dip for the party. They were tasty enough that I am going to share the recipe with you tomorrow. :) Aren’t I sweet?
Sometime this weekend I also did my taxes. Yep… they are DONE!
Many more weekends like this and there is no way I’ll ever have Beyonce’s legs. They are amazing, aren’t they?
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Enough about me… How was your weekend?

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