Featured: Three Tips for Making Kid’s Parties Fun for Everyone on Cup of Ting

3 Tips for making kid's parties fun for everyone // A Well Crafted Party featured on Cup of Ting

 

I was thrilled when Ting of Cup of Ting asked me to share a kid’s party post with her readers. One of the hardest things for me to learn when I went to having all adult parties to parties that also included kiddos was HOW to throw a party in which everyone could still enjoy themselves at.

Hop on over to Cup of Ting to read 3 Tips for Making Kid’s Parties FUN for Everyone!

Behind the Scenes: Sunjin Lee Wedding Dress Designer

Behind the Scenes of a wedding gown designer // A Well Crafted Party // featuring Sunjin Lee's Studio Space

How do you go to sketching and dreaming about designing buildings in Korea to having your wedding dress designs strutting the catwalk in Portland, OR? Well, you fall in love.

At least, that is what Portland wedding dress designer Sunjin Lee did! She met her husband (who also acts as her business partner in many aspects) in Paris, fell in love, and ended up trying on tons of wedding dresses with unhappy results. Her decision to try her hand at making her own wedding dress is what brought her to today,  just a few years later!

A Modern Love Story

Of course, that is boiling down a romantic, long-distance relationship down to the nitty gritty there. The couple stayed contacted for nearly two years after meeting in Paris, Sunjin in university in Korea while her husband was in the states. The whole thing was sort of a romance that you’d read in a modern storybook. Strong female lead from traditional background with no intention of getting married really meets dashing, talented, and smart young man in a town far from both their homes. They fall in love to be parted by schedules, plans, and obligations. The young couple work for years, traveling back and forth, keeping their spark alive until they are reunited again. I’d read that book.

wedding gown designer Sunjin Lee's architecture sketches

When Architecture and Gown Design Collide

I had the amazing opportunity to visit Sunjin Lee’s studio in Portland, Oregon to see her work and her work space. I also got to talk with her for an hour about life, love, and her passions. Her studio walls give glimpses into her love of architecture, Paris, fashion, and wedding dresses. She has bookshelves packed to the rafters with wedding and Vogue magazines. Two full walls lined with tulle, silk, embroidered, and beaded dresses. A wall covered in gorgeous sketches of buildings. It is a sight to see.

Sunjin Lee pointed out the sketches to tell me a story about meeting her husband. She pointed out a sketch looking up at the Eiffel Tower. All of the sketches are gorgeous.

“Wait,” you drew these!?” I asked. Yep, she drew them.

She tells me about going to school and training for a career in architecture. You can see her love for great architecture in the dresses she designs. She uses strong lines in many of her bodices, she plays with the shape and structure of the dresses using fabric and structure. She tells me how she lets designs of the past inspire her work. She points out a gorgeous high-low wedding dress with 3/4 sleeves, “this shape was popular in the fifties.” It is neat to see her crafts playing together so nicely.

hand stitched beading and sequins by Sunjin Lee for her own wedding

 

Behind the Scenes of Sunjin Lee's wedding gown studio featured on A Well Crafted Party

Where it All Began

Sunjin Lee tells me how she got started in wedding dress design only 3 years ago. After trying on several wedding dresses she didn’t find exactly what she wanted. She also found out that having someone make her a specialty dress would take much more time than she had. So, she thought about what she wanted and decided that she could do it herself. And, boy did she!

She actually wore three wedding dresses throughout her wedding day in Hawaii. One of the dresses was a Nicole Miller dress (actually, the same dress I wore on MY wedding day!) and the other two dresses were of her own creation. She shows me one of the dresses she wore that had a mermaid skirt and had been hand-beaded by her with thousands of sequins and beads. She showed me how the beading worked its way up the skirt so it shimmered like water on a mermaid’s tail. Perfect for a beach wedding.

I promise that I’m trying to convince her to publish the photos of her own wedding day so we can all see the dresses in action!

Junjin Lee's studio space featured on a well crafted party

 

Sunjin Lee's studio space featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Gift Sunjin Lee gives all of her brides featured on A Well Crafted Party

Where She Works

Sunjin Lee’s work space is a home-sewer’s dream. She has a huge table ready for cutting, bolts and bolts of fabric piled beneath it. Ribbons, beads, threads, and other sewing supplies are available everywhere you look in the room. She shows me one of the items she seems most proud of… a shadow box with a dress sketch and material swatches.

“I give one of these to each of my brides with swatches of the material used to make their dress and a sketch of the dress they are wearing,” she explained. It would be an absolutely treasured keepsake for any bride.

See Her Work in Person

The young Portland wedding dress designer has been creating her dresses for around three years. She now has two collections of dresses to her name, have seen her dresses on brides, received the 2013 Best Couture Gown Designer award from Oregon Bride, and will see them walk the runway this Friday’s Mimosas & Gowns Portland Fashion Week Bridal Show. Tickets are still available for the show if you’d like to see her work in person!

A BIG thank you to Sunjin Lee for letting me peek into your studio space and for chatting with me for so long. You are an instant friend!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this interview and studio tour. I am a part of the Portland Fashion Week’s Style Collective and will be receiving free VIP tickets to visit the shows. However, no post requirements were asked of us and this post was all my own idea and Sunjin Lee’s awesome story. All opinions are my own. Tickets to Portland Fashion Week are still available! Purchase tickets now to get in for just $20 or pay $30 at the door. There are 6 shows in total, 35 pop-up boutique shops, and 3 after parties. I hope to see you there!

 

Featured: Date Night Printables at Live the Fancy Life

Date Night Printables

 

Fall Date Night Printables

Want to amp up your date night with a few free printables? I created a set of “Fallen for You” printables for a post featured on Live the Fancy Life that is live today. Jump on over to check out the printable set and keep tuned in this week for a coordinating invitation and a recipe for the figs pictured in the post.

UPDATE: Check out the recipe for Fancy Fall Figs over on Live the Fancy Life!

Came here from Live the Fancy Life? Yay! Welcome. Follow along via Twitter 
, Facebook, or BlogLovin to get lots more free printables, fashion, food, and parties!

A few of the giveaways from giveaway week are still live. Hop on over to see what you can win! UPDATE: Giveaway Week is now over. Look forward to future giveaways!

Free Potluck Printables

Pork Siracha Tapas

photo via The Spicy Bee

Printable forks used as confetti — photo by Instagrammer KellyJones (Check out her etsy store Meme & Saysay)

Printable forks used as confetti — photo by Instagrammer KellyJones28 (Check out her etsy store Meme & Saysay)

At the recent Tapas Competition that I helped to host I created a set of printables to coordinate with the Tiny Prints Potluck invitation set that was provided for the event. I wanted to share these printables along with a few others I created. The below sets include: recipe cards that can be used for sharing recipes at a potluck or just in the home; potluck cards to display in front of donated dishes at a potluck; and printable forks. We cut out the forks and used them as a fun confetti throughout the party. They’d also be great for use in floral arrangements or as decorative items. I created a fall set and a holiday set so that you can be prepared for any upcoming potluck parties! If you use the sets I’d LOVE to see photos of the events!

Free Potluck Printables from A Well Crafted Party

Free Potluck Printables:

Potlucks are such fun ways of sharing hosting responsibilities and getting to taste dishes from many of your friends and family. One way to make potlucks look more like a coordinated party is to use sets of printables to connect everything together. In this day and age when people are being careful about what they are putting into their bodies or are aware of their allergies, it is also important to label items at potlucks.

Instructions: Print items on cardstock in full color and cut out.

All of my free printables are for personal use only. Please email me if you’d like to use them for your business. Need a particular color scheme? I’ll change the color scheme and send you all three printables for $5! Email me at jenni[at]awellcraftedparty[dot]com.

Loving all these free printables and want to fuel more free printable designs?

Cups of coffee are appreciated!

 

Sizes




giveaway week on A Well Crafted Party

This post is part of A Well Crafted Party’s Giveaway Week… we are cleaning out the editorial calendar and sharing the love with free printables, party good giveaways, and more! Don’t miss out on any of the giveaway posts by following along via BlogLovin, Twitter, or Facebook!

Welcome to Twosville Town Themed Birthday Party Free Printables

Entering Twosville

Twosville Tattoo Parlor

I’m excited to share some of the printables I made for my son’s “Welcome to Twosville” town themed birthday party. You can check out the many images and ideas from the party by checking out all of my Twosville posts.

twosvillepartyprintables

Printables included in this collection:

  • 1 large “Welcome to Twosville” road sign— Intructions: Print on regular paper, trim margins, assemble on a large poster board with glue or tape.
  • Twosville Bakery Sign— Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color and adhere onto cardboard building
  • Twosville Ice Cream Sign— Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color and adhere onto cardboard building
  • Twosville Tattoo Parlor Sign— Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color and adhere onto cardboard building
  • Twosville DMV Sign—Instructions: Print on regular copy paper (11X17) or card-stock in color and adhere onto cardboard building or prop on table
  • Identification Coloring Sheets— Print on copy weight paper, cut out, and let kid’s color
  • Twosville Cafe Sign—Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color and adhere onto cardboard building
  • Twosville Fastfood Sign—Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color and adhere onto cardboard building
  • Twosville Hatshop Sign— Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color and adhere onto cardboard building
  • Twosville Bakery Party Circles— Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color, cut out, adhere to tooth pick using tape, stickers, or glue
  • Twosville Icecream Party Circles— Instructions: Print on regular copy paper or card-stock in color, cut out, adhere to cups or bowls with double sided tape
  • Twosville Thank  You Tags— Instructions: Print on card stock in color, cut out, use hole punch and ribbon to attach or use double sided tape

Want something for a town themed party you don’t see above? Email me at jenni[at]awellcraftedparty[dot]com! I will create a custom package for you for $25.

While these printables are completely free of charge for use they are intended for personal use only. Please do not sell these products or send files as they are your own. Please link to this post if you want to share on your blogs.

Loving all these free printables and want to fuel more free printable designs?

Cups of coffee are appreciated!


Sizes




giveaway week on A Well Crafted Party

This post is part of A Well Crafted Party’s Giveaway Week… we are cleaning out the editorial calendar and sharing the love with free printables, party good giveaways, and more! Don’t miss out on any of the giveaway posts by following along via BlogLovin, Twitter, or Facebook!

Town Themed Birthday Activities

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town themed party activities

I bet you thought I was DONE sharing party posts from my son’s second birthday party… hahah, I’m NEVER done. Actually, we just had so many different photos that I wanted to split this up into posts about the decor, food, favors, and activities. Of course, I’ll be back again later today with free set of printables from this party AND a giveaway. Too much fun going on right now. (No such thing.)

Town Themed Birthday Activities

The activities for this party were fairly simple. I don’t know about you, but trying to wrangle a bunch of 1-5 year olds does not sound like a fun activity to me. So, I set out items for a couple of activities, focused on making the whole party area a fun place to play, and let the kids and adults play and chat throughout the event. If the group had been a bit older I might have made the whole thing just a little more structured. But, for this age group I think the party turned out well.

Town Themed Party Activities // A Well Crafted Party

Make the whole party area a fun play space.

Creating the cardboard buildings for the town was my first real project in creating a fun space for the kids. What kid doesn’t like a cardboard box? We made some of the buildings with doors and windows the kids could play in. The only one that was totally off-limits for playing was the ice cream truck due to some construction issues, and because it didn’t have a door the kids automatically stayed away from it. I added in toy vehicles and a toy kitchen to help give the “town” feel while giving the kids more hands-on activities. The toys were nearly as big of a hit as the cardboard buildings and they were just items we already had on hand!

town themed party activities coloring Identifications

Coloring Sheets

Coloring is great for older toddlers and young children. We put out coloring sheet “Identifications” and let the kids draw their own IDs. Most of the kids just did squiggly lines, but all of the kids above the age of two wanted to color. No crayons were eaten either. So, that’s a plus.

town themed party activities // temporary tattoo parlor // A Well Crafted Party

Temporary Tattoos

I have no idea why kids find these thing so amazing… but, they do. My son and every other kid at the party wanted a fake tattoo. He went around the rest of the day showing off his football that he chose and patiently sat through getting it applied. So much cleaner and easier than face painting, comes off easily in the bath, and makes the kiddos smile. Why not?

Want even more ideas for town themed party activities? Click on the above tabs for ideas for toddlers, young children, and older children. Have ideas? Leave them in the comments so I can add them to the lists! If I use  your idea I’ll link your site (if you have one!) Want more Twosville posts? Click here to check out all of the twosville postsWant free printables? Check back here at 1 PM PST.

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town themed party activities // A Well Crafted Party

Toddler Town Party Activity Ideas

I seriously had a whole list of activities we could have used to fit the theme. But, I didn’t want to overload the kids with activities or take too much time/money prepping the party. The below activity ideas would be great for toddlers:

  • Library & Story Time— Create a library cardboard building, put out some books, have a story time with the kids.
  • Market— Create a market area with real or fake fruits and vegetables. Allow the kids to “shop” and play.
  • Toy Store— Create a toy store and fill it with small toys that the kids can shop for and play with.
  • Pet Store or Pound— Put out stuffed animals that kiddos can adopt!

Do you have more toddler friendly ideas? Leave them in the comments and I’ll post them along with a link to your site (if you have one!)

[/tab] [tab title=”Young Children”]

Entering twosville

Town Party Activity Ideas for Younger Children:

Any of the toddler activities or activities used in the original party work work for children above the toddler age, but still not old enough to really be able to handle a lot of structure. The below activity ideas would be great for a town-themed party that has children from ages of 3-5:

  • Drive In— Make cardboard cars and put up a sheet to project a favorite kid’s movie on as soon as it gets dark outside. After playing in town all day the kiddos can relax and watch a movie at the town’s drive in! It would also work well in front of the TV for an indoor party.
  • Clothing Store or Job Center—Kids love playing dress up! Stock a clothing store with fun outfits or create a job center with uniforms for the kids to try on.

Do you have more young children town activity ideas? Leave a message in the comments and I’ll add it to the list along with a link to your site. (if you have one!)

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Town Themed Party Activities // A Well Crafted Party

Town Party Activity Ideas for Older Children:

Many of the other activities listed on these pages would work for older children. But, once they get older you can also have fun incorporating more activities. Check out my ideas for activities for a town-themed party that has children from the ages of 5+:

  • Jobs & a Bank— Create jobs for the kids, have them dress up and play at their job, and then give them paychecks! This may seem silly or contrite to some who find work a not-fun experience or want kids to be kids for as long as possible… but, I think it is fun for kids to play as adults. I remember loving that when I was a child.
  • Photo Studio—Create a photo backdrop and put up props for the kids to take pictures in the photo studio
  • Theater or Stage— Does your kid love to sing or act? Create a stage with props or a microphone and let them practice being the start that they are.

Do you have more ideas for town-themed party activities for older children? Leave them below in the comments and I’ll add them to the list along with a link to your site (if you have one!)

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Style Shoot: Ocean Party + Madhouse Collection Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received free product to use in the pictured party and to give away to readers. No further compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.

ocean-popup-party01

Ocean Pop-Up Party

When MADHOUSE collection contacted me about their party goods I was over the moon because I had actually not only been eyeing their products, but had been planning on doing a pop-up party at the Oregon coast. When things like this happen it sort of just feels serendipitous, right? Unfortunately, life got in the way and the pop-up party kept getting postponed and people kept canceling due to the craziness of the Summer. Last weekend I just couldn’t wait any longer so the hubs and I loaded up the car and drove out to the beach for a fun pop-up party for two. We got some looks on the beach when we were setting up this lovely little table and eating our lunch in style. But, it was one of the nicest dates I’ve had in quite some time and one of the best beach visit’s we’ve ever had. Even better? No sand in our lunch from eating on the ground!

ocean-popup-party08 ocean-popup-party07 ocean-popup-party06 ocean-popup-party05 ocean-popup-party04 ocean-popup-party03 ocean-popup-party02

 

About MADHOUSE Collection from Michael Aram Designs:

Michael Aram is a sculpture and designer that specializes in beautiful home and dining goods. His work can be seen in stores such a Macy’s and Nordstrom. MADHOUSE is a project created to reflect the way that people are entertaining today. The collection makes an effort to allow people to entertain in an elegant style no matter the occasion. The collection includes dinnerware, service ware, and drinkware of both disposable and reusable items in gorgeous designs.

MADHOUSE Collection Ocean Paper Products Giveaway:

I’m really excited to be able to give away some of the gorgeous items that I used in the above photos. MADHOUSE provided a set for me and a set for YOU. Enter in the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win the following from A Well Crafted Party and MADHOUSE Collection. Giveaway open to US Residents of 18 years of age or older with a US mailing address. Entering the giveaway means that you have read and complied with the giveaway’s rules and regulations. The contest goes from today until the end of the day on Sept. 1 (Sept. 2nd at 12:00 am PST).

MADhouse collection giveaway on A Well Crafted Party

Two Sets of Translucent Twig Cutlery / 1 Set of 8 Ocean Fine Paper Dinner plates / 1 Set of 8 Ocean Fine Paper Luncheon Plates / 1 Set of Ocean Paper Luncheon Napkins / 1 Set of Ocean Paper Beverage Napkins / 1 Set of Ocean Paper Guest Towels 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


giveaway week on A Well Crafted Party

This post is part of A Well Crafted Party’s Giveaway Week… we are cleaning out the editorial calendar and sharing the love with free printables, party good giveaways, and more! Don’t miss out on any of the giveaway posts by following along via BlogLovin, Twitter, or Facebook!

Five Tips for Planning a Community Event + Portland Bloggers Picnic Review

Five Tips for Planning a Community Event + Portland Bloggers Picnic Review

I’ve been behind on posting about some of the many events that I’ve been attending lately. I don’t like filling your feeds with pictures of people you don’t know or things you may not care about. I try my best not to post ALL of the events at once. I also really want to focus on the things that you can use to celebrate one of your own life events, make in  your home, use as style or beauty tips, or at least find pretty to look at.

Near the end of July I posted a week of Picnic posts in honor of the Portland Bloggers’ Family picnic. I seriously have about 5 drafts of picnic posts I didn’t complete. I may have to save them for next Summer for another picnic week. And, while I shared some of the iPhone snaps of the event, I didn’t get the chance to post the gorgeous photos our amazing professional photographer shot of the event.

5 tips for planning a community event

Five Tips for Planning a Community Event

So, to make this post about more than just sharing photos of a whole bunch of (awesome) strangers, I wanted to share a few tips for hosting a community style event. Community events could include a blogging community, church group, Instagram meet-ups, block parties… you get the idea. 😉 Photos feature members (and their families) of the Portland Bloggers group and are taken by the lovely Portland Lifestyle Photographer Macey of Motormouth Studios.

1. Make sure you have the right licensing for your event.

Licensing? But, I’m just throwing a picnic! Well, once you get out of the small group of people that can go anywhere together part of a gathering then you need to make sure that you have all your legal bases covered. Portland Parks have a great website that allowed me to find the park with the amenities I wanted and the prices of the rental fees. Even block parties now days usually need to have some sort of licensing to protect everyone invested in the event. Check for information online first and then give potential venues a call.

planning a community event

2. Make sure your venue has a restroom and parking.

Oiw… this one is a toughie for a lot of venues. Restrooms and adequate parking are MUSTS for events. Yes, sometimes you have to deal with things like metered parking… and, it sucks, but it is better than NO parking or unsafe parking areas. Make guests away of the parking situation before hand whether in the invite, online message, or by phone.

3. Try to get an easy-to-find location or give REALLY good directions in the invitations.

Boy did this not go right for our event. I reserved a fairly popular park, but google maps sent everyone to a different part of the park and the park did not have great signage. It was a MESS. Thankfully everyone eventually found us! A way to avoid what we did is visit the site before your event and inform guests of special directions. Also, check to make sure you have phone reception at the venue in case people try tweeting, calling, or texting you at the event.

planning a community event

4. Put out items that guests can recognize to know that they are going to the right place.

Balloons, signs, and bunting are great ways of letting your guests know where you are visually. Our picnic space at the Portland Bloggers’ picnic was fairly recognizable due to its balloons and signage. As a matter of fact, we had several people come to our site while looking for a different group because they were looking for ANYTHING that resembled an organized event.

making community events potluck

5. Make it Potluck or BYO!

Unless you have a company or well-off organization backing your event then the question of who is going to pay for what is definitely going to come up. Making the event a potluck or a Bring-Your-Own event can help share the costs of the event. Be up front about any costs or expectations in your invitation of the event. We made our event a “bring-you-own and if you want to share extra, feel-welcome” event. Everyone brought picnic lunches for themselves and their family members and a few people brought treats to share!


About Portland Bloggers:

Portland Bloggers is a meet-up group and blogging resource for Portland, Oregon area bloggers and businesses. (Click the above “Portland Bloggers” tab for more information, a list of awesome Portland Bloggers, and to see more photos from our Portland Bloggers’ meet-up!

recomonk

Recomonk was in house at the Portland Bloggers’ meet-up sharing their brand new blogging widget with our group. Recomonk is an easy way to share reviews and recommendation for music, movies, books and products you love with your blog readers. Click over to find out how you can earn rewards and easily share YOUR recommendations with your readers by clicking over to Recomonk.com.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial compensation to mention Recomonk, but they did give away a free gift card at the Portland Bloggers’ event. I know that some of my readers are bloggers and might like the opportunity to discover a new resource. All opinions are my own.

Portland Bloggers 2013

I’ve been so lucky to have been a part of the Portland Bloggers’ meet-up groups for some time now. We have such a great, supportive community and some of my dearest friends have been made through my participation of this group. Sometimes blogging can feel like a very lonely job. While it is great to be your own boss and have full control over content and the likes… it can also become daunting, boring, or just plain un-inspiring at times. Getting out into the real-world and meeting fellow bloggers— people who understand why you continually check twitter and bring a camera to dinner— can help inspire better content, relieve some work stresses, and help build your audience and connections. I’d highly recommend finding a meet-up group in your area.

If you are in the Portland, Oregon area then we’d love to see you get involved with the Portland Bloggers’ group or one of the other many meet-up groups out here. If you live in the Pacific Northwest then the PNW Blogger group is a great one to get involved with!

Portland Blogs you should know

Portland Bloggers You Should Know:

Below is a list of many of the bloggers that showed up to the Portland Bloggers’ picnic. (My memory is a little fuzzy… so, please forgive me if you were there and are not on the list. Email, Tweet, or comment that you were there and I’ll make sure you get added!) If you are looking for some new blogs to peruse and follow then definitely check these out or pin the above photo to come check out later!

  • 12oz Beehouse— A place for Coffee, Style, Crafting, and lots of pictures of beautiful Portland OR
  • A Tiny Rocket—About a girl chasing after art.
  • A Well Crafted Party— Oh wait… you are already here. Haha. 😉
  • Adventures in Dressmaking—Sewing, DIY, Décor
  • Capturing Grace — I photograph portraits (family, maternity, newborns and seniors) and I shoot editorial assignments and love photographing food. My simple, “Photo Blog”, is where I share my favorite images from my photo shoots. Enjoy!
  • Chic Steals— Staying on-trend with a hefty dose of creativity and a ton of DIY- find some fabulous fashion steals and Chic Steals.
  • Dress This Nest— Fashion buyer turned Portlander and stay-at-home mom renovates a Cape Cod home in Laurelhurst
  • Mind Fit Move— Home of Mindfulness based Fitness.
  • Motormouth Studios— Lifestyle, Family, Children, Senior and Event Photography and Graphic/Web Design
  • Pea Roo—A blog boutique and kids’ fashion, preloved
  • Pechluck’s Food Adventures—A blog that chronicles adventures in eating in Portland- dining out and cooking and imbibing with appreciation for local Portland deliciousness.
  • Pepper Scraps— Healthy Mom = Heathly Family
  • Rain OR Shine— A family blog with a Northwest perspective.
  • The Boho Mama— I’m a free-spirited mama of twin girls writing about motherhood and our daily adventures, coffee in hand.
  • The Spicy Bee— A food blog featuring recipes, restaurant reviews, and events. Introduce some spice to your cooking repertoire.
  • Thyme of Taste— We are foodies from the PNW, who love food to share our food recipes, reviews and everyday adventures!
  • Tossing the Script — Positive body/self image blog- writing a new story one day at a time.
  • Word Savant— Thoughts and Tips on Writing from a Fiction Writer, Blogger, and Writing Coach

The blogging resource that allows bloggers to easily share reviews and recommendation for music, movies, books and products you love
with blog readers and get rewards, Recomonk, was also in attendance at our meet-up!

great picnic recipes

The thing about picnics is that it is all about the food and all about portable food. You can’t have a great picnic without some delicious recipes! Well, actually, I guess you can… you can totally get some yummy sandwiches like my good friend Bee did. Or hit up your local deli and fill your basket with small tastes of delicious delicacies.

Picnic food sandwiches

Great Picnic Recipes:

Many of the bloggers brought tasty treats that they made and then blogged about it after which made it super easy to create a list of some great picnic recipes that are portable and easy to make.

Picnic Recipes - Caprese Skewers

Caprese Skewers from Pechluck’s Food Adventures

Picnic Recipes Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars from Thyme of Taste

chocolate chip cookie recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Made by me from Alton Brown’s Recipe)

Puff Pastry

Cherry Tomatoes, Herbed Goat Cheese with Puff Pastry (Made by me and featured on Live The Fancy Life)

A Wedding Inspired Shootout

Beyond the Wanderlust Shoot Out

above images by Hurtienne Photography

I’m excited to be working with Beyond the Wanderlust for their Portland Wedding Inspired Shoot out this September! I’ll be styling some pretty bridal photo opportunities for participating photographers. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about our concept and venue. For now we are keeping it under wraps… but, it is going to be gorgeous.

What is a shoot out?

From the event website, “A shootout is an awesome opportunity to build your photography portfolio, meet other photographers, models and local vendors. We will do all the work, select beautiful models, hire professional hair and makeup artists, stylists, and prop designers, and pick a beautiful location. All you need to do is show up with your gear and shoot!”

How can I participate?

There are a few spots still available, but space is very limited. Beyond the Wanderlust shootouts are kept small so that participants get one-on-one time with the models, vendors, and other professionals. Click over to the shoot-out event site for more information or to purchase your spot.  Spots in the class cost $199 per person, however there is currently a 25% off flash sale that will last until Sunday!

I hope to see you there!

Real Party: Tapas Potluck and Wine Tasting

Tapas Potluck

Tapas Potluck and Wine Tasting:

I love tapas. The Spanish small plates style of dish is one of my favorite ways to eat. Seriously, give me all the appetizers any day over a full meal. I like the option to try lots of different flavors and dishes without feeling like I need to be rolled out from under the table. So, after a recent wine tasting with some of my foodie friends I had the idea that we NEEDED to have a tapas party with the area food bloggers. (Anytime I can get someone to cook for ME I’m a happy girl.) After a bit of deliberation and collaboration the idea for a Tapas Competition and Spanish Wine tasting was born. Food bloggers brought dishes to the friendly competition, Whole Foods Market hosted a informative (and tasty) wine tasting, and several companies came together to award the winners with prizes! It was a grand time. Enough with the talk… onto the pictures! All the amazing photos are taken by food blogger extraordinaire (and my friend) Bee of The Spicy Bee.

Tapas Potluck for Food Bloggers' Meet-Up

wine tasting

 

whole foods market wine tasting

Our evening started out with Justin from Whole Foods Market in Portland pouring and teaching about four Spanish wines. If you were going to recreate this at home you could use the wines listed and read a little information about each, or pick your favorite Spanish wines and try pairing them with cheeses. Wines we tried: Marques de Gelida Brut Reserva Cava 2009 (light and refreshing white wine); R Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Vinos Finos de Roja Vina Gravonia 2003 (I wouldn’t even try pronouncing that one, but it was amazing if you love a rich white wine); Dehesa La Grania 2006 (A tasty Tempranillo); and finally, a Manzanilla La Gitana Sherry.

Tapas Competition

Tasty Tapas

Pork Siracha Tapas

Tapas for a Tapas Potluck

Tapas at a Tapas Potluck

Recipes Galore

You get food bloggers together and have them bring food items that they’ve made and then you suddenly also get a full deck of recipes that you’ve tried yourself. It is amazing and I will be utilizing this tactic in many more events. 😉 If you are drooling from the photos above then check out these recipes (I’ll add more as they are published):

Tapas Party Goodie Bags

A gigantic thank you to…

A huge thank you goes out to all of the companies and people that made this shin-dig possible. Obviously, the Portland Food Bloggers group is awesome and I was so excited to be able to work with them on this project. Whole Foods Market is one of my favorite local companies because they continually make efforts to teach, interact, and just plain get-to-know their customers and local influencers. Tiny Prints provided the beautiful printed signs, thank you cards, and personalized napkins. Ulysses Press provided books for the winners of the Tapas Competition— You’ve got to check out their awesome titles. I’ll be reviewing one of their titles in the near future. Goodness Knows donated snack squares and coupons to the goodie bags and prizes— seriously tasty and handy sized snack squares for kids and adults alike. Black Rock Coffee provided gift cards for the gift bags. Pukka Herbs sent an array of teas for the blogger’s goodie bags— I’ve tried the “Love” blend and thought it was the perfect way to end an evening with my hubby. And, thank you to all the lovely bloggers who attended, brought food, and shared about the event.

Can’t get enough?

Check back next week for free printables that coordinate with the Tiny Prints Potluck Invitation designs. I’m dubbing next week giveaway week because I’ll be giving away some awesome party goods and lots of free printables throughout the week. Follow along via BlogLovin, Facebook, or Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun!

To learn more about the sponsors connect with them on Twitter:

Disclaimer: Companies donated products, event space, and services to help make this event happen. I was not financially compensated for working on or posting about this event. All opinions are honest and my own!

 

Featured on Tiny Prints: A Tapas Potluck

tiny prints potluck party // a well crafted party

Photo taken by Portland Food Blogger Bee of The Spicy Bee

A Tapas Potluck featured on Tiny Prints

I’m excited to say that some of my work on a recent Tapas Potluck is featured over on the Tiny Prints blog today! Go check it out! And, don’t forget to come back here later to see more images from the event, get links to some of the tasty recipes, and receive some free printables to coordinate with the Tiny Prints items used in the party. Photos and recipes go live later today and the printables will be a part of my “giveaway” week next week. Follow along via BlogLovin, Twitter, or Facebook so that you don’t miss out on a full week of giveaways and free printables!

A few words about Tiny Prints: I’ve now ordered three orders from the company and I can’t begin to tell you how awesome they are. The website works with ease, you can have a designer look over the work before printing, the print quality is AWESOME, and each order arrived in a timely manner. I’ve ordered business cards, invitations, gift tags, and personalized napkins. All beautiful. Definitely check out their website and pin a few items for future events. Since registering on their site I’ve also received discounts in my inbox. Sign up on their site for a free account to see discounts in your email inbox as well.

Follow Tiny Prints via social media: Twitter Pinterest Facebook

Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary party invitations, thank you notes and personalized napkins from Tiny Prints and The Wedding Divas in exchange for using the products in a party and sharing it with the Tiny Prints blog. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Town Themed Party Favor Ideas

Town Themed Party Favor Ideas // A Well Crafted Party

Town Themed Party Favor Ideas // A Well Crafted Party

Party favors are sometimes difficult for me– I don’t want to send home a bunch of plastic, useless items that will just create clutter and end up in a landfill. I also don’t want to spend a ton of money because parties are expensive enough without lots of extra costs from items like favors. I do love party favors though- and rarely like throwing a party without sending guests home with something.

For the little man’s town-themed party I went with edible snacks “for the road.”I got a lot if great suggestions and ideas from Twitter and Facebook however and thought I would share some of those ideas and other ideas that crossed my mind for a town-themed birthday party.

**Photos from Portland lifestyle photographer Macey of Motormouth Studios. To see more Town Themed Party ideas check out the town themed party pictures and town themed party food idea posts!

Party Favors for a Town Themed Birthday Party

  • Snacks for the Road- “Thanks for visiting Twosville. We hope you take time to enjoy…Three Town is just around the corner!”
  • Job Uniforms- give kids dress up items for different jobs in the community like a police officer or nurse.
  • Toy of Choice- create a toy store and let kids go shopping
  • Candy- create a candy shop and let kids fill goodie bags with their favorite treats
  • Pay checks- give kids paychecks and have them cash them at the town bank. Use $2 bills for a two year old’s party!
  • Wrapped Sugar Cookies- stock the town bakery with to go treats

What would you give for a town themed party favor?

 

Town Themed Party Food Ideas

Town Themed Party Food

All Photos by Motormouth Studios

This year’s birthday party was scheduled between in the mid-afternoon, after lunch time and before dinner. I wanted to keep the food simple and didn’t want to worry about a lot of food getting wasted. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters!

My menu for this event was pretty simple: fruit, veggies, cake, and ice cream. True to form, I still wanted to match the party food up to the theme a little. That is the beauty of having a town-themed party though… you can build your town around your menu and activities!

I found cute little french fry containers at Target and instantly new we had to have a Fast Food restaurant with a healthy twist. So, the fast food restaurant served veggie sticks as french fries. We then built a bakery to house the cupcakes and an ice cream truck to serve the ice cream. We built a cafe for the beverages and served water or juice in disposable coffee cups. My son was thrilled to be walking around with a coffee cup like his daddy.

Veggie Stick French Fries

 

Town Themed Party Cafe

Juice Served in Coffee Cups for Kid's Beverage Option

Town Themed Birthday Party Ice Cream Truck

More Town Themed Party Food Ideas:

  • Sandwiches— Set up a deli for the kiddos to play in or to house deli sandwiches.
  • Meals— Create a replica of your favorite restaurant and serve little meals on table cloth covered cardboard box tables.
  • Cake Pops— These can go in a bakery setting, or you can get really creative and decorate the cake pops to match your town’s businesses. You could make little cakepops that look like basketballs, footballs, or baseballs and put them in the town’s athletic store.
  • Candy— Create a candy shop for your little’s to shop at!
  • Fruit— A cute little fruit stand or market would be a great place for the kids to shop for their snacks.
  • Lemonade— Let the kiddos play in and serve lemonade from a lemonade stand.

The list goes on and on!

What would you serve at a town themed party?

Welcome to Twosville: A Town Themed Second Birthday Party

 

Entering Twosville

When it came to planning my son’s first birthday I had a theme in mind for AGES before he turned one. I prepped weeks before the big event. I did it all. As his second birthday came tumbling around I had NO idea what I was going to do to celebrate the big day.

I finally happened upon the idea of creating the town of Twosville. I thought it would be so much fun for the kids to have a town themed second birthday party. It gave me a ton of ideas to work with! It also allowed me to reuse and repurpose many items that I already had in my home— saving a bundle on the party! I used cardboard, tape, paint, and paper to create the town. My family and friends came over to help build the town. We did discover that we should have used some more sturdy and not-so-used boxes to create the town… ours looks a little Suess-like, but I still found it cute and the kiddo’s still loved it. Printables and my son’s toys helped put together the rest of the party. I feel like this is a theme that can be taken to the next level with time and supplies or done even simpler with imagination.

I posted some of my inspiration earlier in the month and a few of the party pics (and the story of the event) were featured on Tiny Prints this weekend. Throughout the week I’ll be sharing items from this party in addition to regular posts. I’ll be sharing town-themed activities, free printables, town-themed food ideas, town-themed favor ideas, and more ideas on how to make the town theme work for any age. Follow along via BlogLovinTwitter, or Facebook to make sure you don’t miss any of the Twosville Party posts!

invitation party hats

Twosville DMV

twosville hat shop

Twosville Tattoo Parlor

twosville cafe

twosville-bakery twosville-fastfood Twosville Ice Cream Truck

 

Twosville Birthday Party Cake Eating

All photos are by Portland Lifestyle Photographer Macey of Motormouth Studios. If you are looking for an awesome, affordable photographer in the Portland area then check her out!

The invitations and gift tags (pictured on the party hats) were sent complimentary from Tiny Prints.

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