Many, many years ago I met the guy that turned out to be my husband. At that time I had no desire to ever be married. I had no desire to plan a wedding. Something strange happened to my very unromantic soul in dating my eventual husband. While I am still pretty sure that he is as happy as I am in the choice to marry, I am not sure he was prepared for what the planning of the wedding awakened in me… a love for weddings that would just NOT die.
I’m excited to be participating with a team of some of Portland’s very best wedding vendors to create a wedding space at the upcoming The Toast Wedding Showcase hosted by Elli.
When I say the very best in Portland’s wedding vendors I mean it! I’ve been inspired and incredibly excited by the ideas and work coming from my teammates for this event. We have a 10X10 space that we are creating with our inspiration coming from selected stationary provided by Elli.com.
I’ll be creating a DIY wedding backdrop that I’ll eventually share here on the blog. In addition I’ll help with the styling of the space. Our rental company Something Borrowed Portland Vintage Rentals is bringing out all the stops with some really fabulous vintage rentals… including a brand new custom built item that will see its debut in this show! Lane’ will also be helping us style the space. The food elements are being put together with a custom menu by local northwest-style catering company, White Pepper. I’ve seen the custom menu and can’t wait see how it all looks! No wedding is complete without some gorgeous floral elements and our florist, Intimo: An Intimate Occasion Florist in Portland, has designed something truly spectacular. Local calligraphy artist Kelsey Malie is lending us talents to help really put the icing on this oh-so-gorgeous cake.
This event won’t only be a great way to gather inspiration and DIY wedding tips, but it also be a way to connect with wedding vendors in Portland that truly care about your event and their craft. In addition to seeing all the cool curated wedding spaces designed just for this event, attendees will also get:
I’m also giving away two sets of two tickets! Bring your mom, your groom, your bride or someone from your bridal party! Make a girls/guys night of it or a romantic evening for two.
Please enter the below giveaway only if you are going to be in the Portland area on March 7th and wish to attend the Toast: Curated Wedding Showcase. Winners will receive notification by March 3rd.
I’ve been blogging at A Well Crafted Party for nearly five years now and it has gone through its fair share of change as my life changed along with it.
This little blog started as a way to share my DIY party ideas and has morphed into a community where I share everything from recipes to updates on how life is with my toddler. It went from a very niche blog to a wide array of topics. Sometimes, the wide array of topics ended up hurting the overall feeling of the site and didn’t allow for readers to get to know me and my blog the way I’d prefer. Sometimes it allowed for content I never thought I’d possibly have the opportunity to share and the blog has benefited from that.
I brought in guest bloggers often… sometimes to the delight of readers and sometimes, not-so-much. My husband even started his own series called “A Well Crafted Man” but soon slowed on his postings.
The blog has had its highs and its lows. There have been times where I’ve had so much content and TIME to share that I was posting nearly a dozen posts a week. There have been weeks of silence on the blog.
The design started as a very basic blogger setup with a terrible pixelated header, to professionally designed, to WordPress continuous blog format to a WordPress magazine layout. The logo started out as a crude purple scripted logo all the way to the current clean fonts with elements of blues, greens and yellows.
My mission started as sharing unique party ideas for celebrating life on a budget. It gradually morphed into sharing unique ideas and stories about celebrating life and ways to celebrate moments on a budget. I still feel strongly about both of those missions, I just want to make sure I’m living up to it in my posts.
All of these changes almost directly correlate with the changes in my life. When I started I was a part of a married couple with a non-creative job craving a creative outlet as a hobby. I increased my content schedule and updated the blog look as people began to take notice of that little hobby. Then all of the sudden I was pregnant and about to have a son. I stopped throwing as many parties and wanted to start sharing more about life. That is when I made the switch to a lifestyle blog rather than a parties and event blog. When I became a work-at-home mom picking up freelancing jobs I shifted A Well Crafted Party into a career blog, making “career blogger” moves such as moving to WordPress and increasing my content schedule. When I was sharing so much content in a variety of topics I made the move to a magazine style layout. Then I got a full-time, out of the home job that took me away from this little space I had created.
Everything. Well, almost everything.
I tried ( I really, really tried) to keep up with a more consistent and fruitful schedule of posts in the many topics that I like to post about. I tried taking the time to comment on other people’s blogs, keep up with all the social media, reply to every comment on this site. At some point I realized that I just can’t do it all, no matter how much I want to! One area of responsibility would be going really well, and I’d be failing at so many other areas. So… that leads me to my new view of A Well Crafted Party.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog’s mission. I mean, why in the world am I spending my time and energy brining my ideas to this little side of the internet? Some bloggers make bank on their work and I support them in that endeavor. However, with my focus on my full-time job, this blog is more of a hobby than a career. It needs to be something that I am passionate about if it is going to continue.
In all of my reflection on what I am truly passionate about and WHY I started the blog to begin with I came up with a simple mission statement that I feel I can get behind in everything I do and which supports my personal goals.
A Well Crafted Party is a blog where I celebrate life. My tagline is ‘Life is a Party—Celebrate!’ because I believe that there is something in every day that is worth celebrating and something within every person that deserves to be celebrated. My mission is to explain, inspire and educate others in celebrating the everyday.
Honestly, this is the hardest part for me… I want this blog to be a true reflection of myself, even if it is just the little bits of me and my family that I wish to share. My content will support my blog’s mission. I aim to post three times a week— currently aiming for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday if you are someone who prefers to just check in on posting days rather than following along via a blog reader or social media. I will be posting my usual array of parties, recipes and cocktails. I will also continue to occasionally write about blogging, curvy fashion, non-fussy beauty and family. Though, every post will keep my mission in mind.
I wanted to bring elements of what I have to celebrate every day to the blog in my refreshed blog design. Macey from Moments by Macey took me and the family out to take the images that I’ve shared in the design. I plan on changing up the photos throughout the seasons, but for now it is exactly what I wanted to share with my new mission. I also went with a cleaner and easier to read logo design. Because I am no longer posting several times throughout the week the magazine layout no longer worked for my blog. I’ve reverted to a more traditional blog layout. As I find time I am making my landing pages even more clean and easy to navigate so it is easy to peruse the many posts that the blog contains. The A Well Crafted Pantry page is already up and working and I couldn’t be happier!
Goodness, who knows!? I’m sure it is going to continue to change along with me and my life. I love that I get the opportunity to look back and track my changes through a series of posts and photos. Just like life there are moments of embarrassment and pride. I do hope that I continue to live up to my mission in the future of this blog. I also plan to really strive to be a more consistent blogger. Finally, I have a project up my sleeve that speaks to my mission more than anything I’ve ever done before. I’m so excited to bring share it in March and get the ball rolling on a year long effort!
Thank you for reading A Well Crafted Party. It means a lot to me that you not only stop by these pages, but that you take the time to take it all in. I’d love to know…
In the spirit of the new year I’m looking back on some favorites… since I try to post cocktails on Saturdays for my Saturday Spirits posts I thought I’d share my top five favorite cocktail posts of 2014! These five are the cocktails that I loved the most out of the ones I shared this past year.
This cocktail has to be my favorite of the year… not because it is complex or anything. But, I loved the flavor of the home-made lollipop paired with the sparkling wine. I featured this drink at my Hey Girl— Ryan Gosling themed birthday party.
Not quite sure this one counts as a cocktail really… but, it definitely counts as a favorite. These easy spiked ice cream recipes don’t even need an ice cream maker.
A good lemon drop should be sweet and tart both. This Lemon Ginger Drop gives you the sweet, the tart & an added kick of spice!
Never underestimate the greatness of a good ole’ fashion martini. Twists on the classic martini can make an old favorite a new favorite with ease.
I guess I really like a kick in my cocktails. This Jalapeno Margarita recipe was inspired by the best margarita I’ve ever had.
The “Top Posts” blog posts that are going around seem to get a 50/50 response to whether people enjoy them or not. Regular readers are probably bored by them because they have read all of the posts within the list… but, new readers get a quick hit list of posts to check out. I thought about this when deciding whether or not to include a couple of my own “top” posts lists. If anything else, it is a good form of blog maintenance for me so that I can keep track of what readers like to read and what I like to write. So, with no further ado… here are the top 5 posts visited on my blog in 2014 according to Google Analytics:
My top post of 2014 was the free printable blog planners. Check out the 2014 blog planner edition of the printables. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter… the 2015 edition is coming very soon and blog subscribers get first downloads!
My second most visited post of 2014 are the potluck printables I created. Click on over to download the free potluck printables! If you liked those potluck printables then you might like the holiday potluck printables and facebook invite cover images I created. Pin them for next year.
My third post that vistors frequented the most is actually a favorite from 2012— First Birthday Activity Ideas. I loved this party so much… but, we had even more fun at the kiddo’s second birthday a Town Themed birthday party filled with tons of town-themed party ideas!
My fourth post that readers seemed to visit the most is another free printable post— Free Printable Mini Cupcake Toppers. The Luck in Love party (another highly visited post) featured these adorable toppers. I think they’d make for a cute Valentine’s party element.
My fifth highest post that readers popped in to view is a DIY project that will be perfect for you upcoming Spring parties… it’s just around the corner after all! These DIY Cherry Blossom Branches are beautiful decorating the home or as a centerpiece at a party.
I swear that I am always filled with good intentions, but sometimes my follow-through kinda sucks. I prepped non-stop for my 12 Days of Christmas DIYs and just didn’t get my last two posts completed and scheduled. Then, suddenly… my internet went down due to a storm. It has been down for the past 4 days!
I’m popping in on my lunch break at work to say that though I’m behind on my DIY posts, I’ll be back with not only the last two DIY posts, but a tasty cocktail recipe, AND a ton of fun NYE party ideas.
Being without internet usually makes me a batcase. However, this weekend I was way too busy with a holiday party and a swanky fun birthday shindig (see pic above) in my honor. My phone saved me from a total unplugging.
The hubby texted me to say the internet is finally up again… so, tonight I’ll finish up my blog posts and get them out to you as soon as I can. Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog. And, happy Monday!
Last week I was asked to be a part of the DIY Blog Tour! Here’s how it works:
Debi from Adorned From Above was nominated by Kim from Curtain Queen Creates. Then, she featured 3 bloggers, one of which was Jessica from Plucky’s Second Thought who in turn featured ME! (Thanks lady!) I shared my House Guest printables as one of my favorite DIY projects to date.
Now it’s my turn to answer the same four questions and feature 3 bloggers, giving a 2-3 sentence bio on each of them, a link to their blogs and their favorite DIY project.
I was supposed to get this up Monday… but, one or two million things kept getting in my way! Hopefully the bloggers I feature will be able to get a DIY blog tour up and running by next Monday so the tour can keep on going. I’m having fun going through the blogs that have been featured and connecting with awesome projects.
Part of this tour is answering four questions about me.
Favorite DIY Post: DIY Gender Reveal Party
About: I’m Amanda and you can find me at my own personal creative outlet, Burlap and Babies! I am a wife of four years to my handy husband, Justin, momma to two furry children, Charlie and Molly, and soon to be mom to a little girl due at the end of November. DIY-ing, organizing, and party planning are my passions while making our house into a home.
Favorite DIY Post: Thankful Jar Tutorial & Printables
About: Blogging has been a journey of discovery, unlocking new passions and recovering ones that I’ve forgotten along the way. Sometimes I talk about my family or my faith. Sometimes I share stories, or projects, or recipes. This is my outlet. My therapy. My space to be me . . . however I need to be me on any given day.
Favorite DIY Post: DIY Reusable Cup Sleeve
About: At MacSuzie.com, you will find a little bit of everything: cooking/baking, crafts, beauty, home stuff, things for all seasons, family, travel, and a little of the wisdom I pick up along the way. I’d call my style comfortable and homey, with a lot of color. I’m especially inspired by my mom and grandma, and our family’s traditions. I also love things from days gone by (a Buzzfeed quiz aptly placed me in the 50’s), although I’m not exclusively a vintage girl. I love to re-purpose, giving old things a fresh look with a dash of “MacGyver” and a sprinkle of “Suzie Homemaker” thrown in for good measure.
My favorite time of year is quickly approaching. Besides obsessively checking Brooklyn Limestone to see what Stephanie’s Halloween theme will be this year, I’m busy planning my own annual Halloween party. I’ve even got some Halloween posts up my sleeve for BEFORE the big day this year! I might have already thrown a small Halloween get-together over Labor Day weekend just so I could have some fun goodies for you.
Before I get to the new Halloween goodness (which will begin in October) I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the past few years. I’ve thrown a Halloween party each year since 2008. It has been the highlight of my year nearly every year. (The birth of my son pushed Halloween 2011 to second place, but it sure was close since I had a cute little baby to dress up as well as a fun party!)
This year we are going a little bit more pop-culture with our theme. I’m actually having a bit of a hard time trying to figure out all in the little details for the party. But, I’ll be sure to give some hints closer to the big day. Look forward to lots of fresh Halloween posts this upcoming October. I’ve got a Fang-tastic party with great DIY details and free printables that I can’t wait to share! And, as October approaches, I’m going to be going back through some of my old parties to share some DIY details that never made it into the posts above!
Mmmmm… It’s Blackberry Thyme!
Well, it is blackberry time here in the Pacific Northwest. The Farmer’s Markets are overflowing with delicious looking berries. I created a Blackberry Thyme cocktail to be featured on the amazing InComplete Magazine! Go check it out and let me know how you like it!
Tomorrow, June 21, is the official first day of Summer! While some parts of the country are probably already HOT, HOT, HOT… it still feels like the late Spring here in Portland. The sun is beginning to come out and I’m sure we are well on the way to enjoying a gorgeous Summer season. I’ve been daydreaming about my Summer bucket list and wanted to share a few of my Summer To Dos for 2014.
I’m excited to be sharing my DIY Sunscreen Station with Today’s Creative Blog! It is a totally customizable station that you can put up near the door of your home so that you are reminded to put on your sunscreen before leaving the house!
I’d like to gain as much Skin Cancer Awareness as possible this month. Hopefully, people all over will take some precautions when it comes to sun safety and save a whole generation from going through skin cancer in the future.
Today my “Naturally Green Cocktail” is featured on [In]Complete Magazine! It is an Herbs, Gin, & Cucumber Concoction to tickle your taste buds. Check it out for a refreshing Spring drink that works great for St. Patty’s Day or your next Spring Soiree!
I’ve decided after three years of blogging that it is high time to get my newsletter running! Newsletters are great ways to connect with readers and to offer fresh, new content. I have so many different types of topics on my website that I thought it was also a pretty spiffy way to connect readers to what they want to read.
Everyone who signs up for the A Well Crafted Newsletter will receive an email with a link to my FREE blog planner printables!
*Newsletter readers will receive a link to download the FREE Blogger Planner within the hour of signing up!
Stopping in to share that I’m guest posting over on Plucky’s Blogging Tips and Tricks Series! This is an amazing series of blogging tips from 30 bloggers! There is a pretty sweet giveaway too. I’ve written a few tips on how to host a blogger meet-up. There are a ton of tips and tricks for people looking for information other than hosting meet-ups! Check it out and leave a comment or two!
*Featured photo and photo in the above post is by Motormouth Studios and is used with permission