Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of participating in the planning and execution of meet-ups for bloggers in the Portland and Pacific Northwest area. I love getting to meet other bloggers, talk shop, and bring bloggers and businesses together. Well, and let’s not forget, I sure do love a party!
The PNW Blogger meet-ups, ran by Chelsey of The Paper Mama, happen every six months or so and are either held in the Portland or the Seattle area. Our most recent meet-up was in Portland at Union Pine. Myself and Heather of Aspen Summit (formerly the blog Just Lovely) helped plan the event and with the help of several awesome volunteers enjoyed a fabulous party with PNW bloggers.
As with all great parties… we had guest activities, great food, tasty beverages, fabulous guests, and super cool favors. Even if you aren’t an area blogger the ideas used in this meet-up are fabulous for any party you may want to throw. Click the above tabs to read my tips for throwing a holiday brunch and to see our easy, holiday brunch menu.
All the gorgeous photos in this post are curtsey of Motormouth Studios.
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A Holiday Brunch is one of my favorite types of holiday parties. It can be done in the daytime, so it doesn’t fill up yet another December evening. Bacon is sometimes involved. Daylight makes photos look so much better than a dimly lit room. The list goes on… In helping to plan this party I fell upon a few tips that might help you in planning your next holiday brunch.
1. Have a good selection of food and beverages, but keep it simple.
It is easy to go overboard on food and beverage. Keep it simple and don’t stress yourself out over the food and beverage. Just go for good quality and a couple of different selections for guests to choose between. The most important thing about a brunch is having both sweet and savory, hot and cold. Oh, and you can’t forget the coffee! We had delicious Black Rock Coffee served as one of our beverage selections. We had several different items to choose from for brunch, including a bagel bar filled to the brim with Franz Bakery’s New York Gourmet Bagels. Check out the tab above to see our menu for this holiday brunch— it may give you some good ideas for your holiday party. Our bar, sponsored by The 7th Chamber (a video seeding company that works with blogs), simply had the fixings for bloody marys and mimosas. Perfect for a festive brunch! And, you can’t forget dessert… Pinhole Press sponsored the dessert bar with tons of tasty treats all decked out to coordinate with the event.
2. Have a couple of simple activities.
Super detailed and drawn out activities that EVERYONE has to participate in can be overwhelming. But, a few simple and fun activities can provide conversation starters and keep the party moving. At the PNW Blogger event we were fortunate enough to have Lia Griffith crafting along, teaching people the art of making a paper flower, and Fabric Depot teaching people to craft gift tags out of chalkboard fabric. (By the by… did you know there was such a thing as chalkcloth ??? So cool.) We also had a DIY photobooth area (sponsored by Yoked— a site that helps connect bloggers and businesses) set up with props so that attendees could snap some fun pictures of themselves.
Need ideas for crafting projects for your next holiday party? Check out Lia’s tutorial page on her blog for gorgeous (and easy) paper crafts and Fabric Depot’s blog for holiday fabric projects.
3. Great Favors
I’m a big fan of party favors. I like favors that guests can use and that don’t blow the bank. With big blogging connective events like this… I love it when we can connect awesome companies with bloggers!
The swag bags were great. I can’t wait to do some crafty projects with the wall paper supplied by Graham & Brown, make candies and wrap them up in cute papers from The Land of Nod, and wear my new glasses from Sunglass Warehouse. You’ll be seeing projects and posts featuring some of the items I got in my swag bag throughout the next couple of months. I encourage you to check out the list of great sponsors on the first tab and visit their sites.
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A good brunch should have both sweet and savory, hot and cold. We had very little set up time the morning of the brunch and limited cooking resources. So, we wanted to keep the menu as simple, but varied as possible. And, because we were also serving alcohol, we needed the menu to be fairly substantial as well.
Bagel Bar— Franz Bakery donated an amazing selection of bagels and gluten free bread for the PNW bloggers to enjoy. The company recently came out with a new selection of gourmet bagels that the perfect start to a bagel bar. We served Franz Pizza, Tillamook Cheddar, Pumpkin Spice, and French Toast bagels along with wheat gluten free bread.
Our Bagel Fixins:
Yogurt, Honey, & Granola
Our dessert bar had donuts (also a Franz Bakery product), cookies, lemonades, and waters. Everything looked so good using the Pinhole Press stickers and cards!
And, my favorite part…. the bar! For beverages we had bloody marys, mimosas, orange juice, virgin marys, and Black Rock Coffee Bar coffee.
See, a simple menu can still be fun and satisfy at the same time.
At 8AM PST TODAY the PNW Blogger Holiday Party tickets will be on sale! There’s limited space, and I really have no idea how fast they’ll go. Twice they’ve sold out in a day. The price is $30 + the $1.74 Eventbrite fee.
– The event will be held on Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 from 10 am to 1 pm.
– The location is at the fantastic Union/Pine, in Portland, OR.
Want to see what this shin-dig is all about?
Check out my posts about past PNW Blogger meet-ups!
You can click HERE, or buy your ticket below at 8AM PST!
We hope to see you there! If you’d like to keep up to date with future events, sign up for our newsletter here.
P.S. We are accepting last minute sponsors for the goody bags and event. Please contact us by the end of the next week. Thanks! Email: thepapermama at gmail dot com or jenni[at]awellcraftedparty[dot}com
I feel so fortunate to be in a community rich with collaboration, networking, and support. For those bloggers who read my blog… I can’t even begin to say how important it is to find other bloggers to connect with off-line! It helps to ground me, inspire me, and put things into perspective for me over and over again. For those of you out there reading who aren’t bloggers… It is still important to find a great community to be involved in! Whether you enjoy crafting, reading, beer-making, biking, or something entirely different you can find a group of people that enjoy doing those same things. I google like crazy when I am looking for a community group. Other places to look are on Facebook and Meetup.com.
At the last Pacific Northwest Blogger meet-up I got to combine two of my joys together… blogging and crafting! I was able to meet a great group of bloggers who also enjoy the crafting. I also got my photo taken by the lovely local photog Cara Denison. I had JUST cut my hair off and was excited to get pics of my new ‘do!
We crafted a tote bag from Brit + Co, a macrame project from The Paper Mama, and (though we didn’t have time) a small party set from me! Click the “PNW Bloggers You Should Know” tab above to see a list of great PNW blogs that were in attendance!
Okay, so I’ve been wanting to do the Asymmetrical haircut for forever now. But, I just didn’t get the guts until recently. I finally took the plunge and got a cut where one side was longer than the other! I didn’t do as drastic as I could have… but, it was certainly a change. I mostly love the cut. It is a lot of fun and I’ve been getting a ton of compliments.
What I don’t like… photos of me with the cut! What!? I think it plays into the whole “beauty is symmetrical” idea and I just cringe at every photo I see of myself with this cut. So weird. I look in the mirror and LOVE it. See a photo and go, “meh.” I don’t know what to look at I think. I currently need a hair cut again and will still be going with the asymmetrical cut for a tad longer. I am going to keep my longer side as long as it is now and cut the shorter side short again. It will be just a tad more dramatic than before and I’m stoked. Hopefully I’ll also figure out a way to pose that shows off the haircut for its true cuteness. Next month I’ll share some of my favorite styling tips and tricks for asymmetrical short hair.
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There are SO many awesome PNW blogs out there… this list doesn’t even come close to covering them all. But, these awesome people were in attendance at the last meet-up and have awesome blogs. Check them out and maybe you’ll find a few new blogs to follow! (Above photos by Cara Denison) (Also, I feel like a bonehead because I completely couldn’t remember a few of the bloggers blog URLs and didn’t put them here on the list. If you were there and didn’t get on the list I AM SO SORRY.. please let me know!)