Snapshots: Portland Bloggers’ Website Has New Look!

Portland Bloggers Website Redesign // A Well Crafted Party

Today I spent literally ALL DAY LONG. Working on getting the Portland Bloggers Website updated and refreshed. The Portland Bloggers’ Master List also got a complete overhaul. Which means… if you are a Portland Blogger and were on the Master List before you need to RE-LIST  your blog. I know… total pain in the tail. But, it will totally be worth it! The new features are seriously going to be so good for bloggers and for visitors to the Portland Bloggers’ website.

If you are a new reader to my blog then you might note that I have a lot of posts on Portland, Oregon. I moved to Oregon from Oklahoma about 7 years ago and have never felt more at home in my life. A few years ago the opportunity came about that I could start planning meet-ups for local bloggers. I took that opportunity and ran with it. The Portland Bloggers’ website and meet-up group is now bigger and better than I could have ever imagined it could be. We’ve got an amazing leadership team of local bloggers volunteering their time to help make each event a success and to keep the website filled with great blogging resources.

Anyways… I didn’t do much of anything “Snapshot” worthy this weekend as I just sat in front of the computer in my pajamas. But, I do think what I got done is pretty noteworthy! If you are a follower from the Portland, Oregon area pop on over to the Portland Bloggers website and check us out!

Not a blogger and/or not in Portland? Well, regular content is coming back tomorrow with a fun recipe!

Sunday Snapshots: Portland Bloggers Friends & Family Picnic

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The Portland Bloggers Family Picnic was this past weekend. I got to bring my sister, her husband, and my nephew to meet my blogging buddies. It was fun catching up with friends and getting to know some new bloggers.

I brought my favorite ice cream to the picnic to share. It was so hot out that even the ice didn’t help much! The ice cream melted pretty quickly and made for a tasty impromptu milk shake!

I also brought sunscreen to share… Because, sun safety is important! I brought a new-to-me brand from Coola Suncare that sent me some samples to test out. I love it! It’s the first organic sunscreen that I’ve had work well and smell good at the same time. It’s also the first spray sunscreen that hasn’t felt too oily or sticky. I also heard great things from friends who used it.

All in all it was a great time. How was your weekend?

3 Tips for Better Photos of People

Photography Tips // A Well Crafted Party
In early May the Portland Bloggers hosted our annual Photography Workshop at the amazing studio space of Favery and Elli. This year’s event was taught by three local photographers, Margaret Jacobsen PhotographyLinnea Paulina Photography, and Aubrie LeGault Photography. We are always trying to offer Portland Bloggers opportunities to learn and build on their skills. So, while last year’s event focused on photography basics, this year’s event was much more specialized.
Photography Tips // A Well Crafted Party

Three Tips for Better Photos of People

Margaret Jacobsen from Margaret Jacobsen Photography took part of the attendees outside on the streets of Portland for hands on practice and to share her tips on fashion photography. It was a great opportunity for bloggers wanting to learn more about photographing people and people with products. I learned a lot in such a short time and have seen my photography improve quite a bit. Here are some of the tips I found useful:

1. Be Bossy.

Let your model KNOW what you want from them. This is especially important if you are working with someone who isn’t used to be in front of the camera. The light glaring off of your subject in an unflattering way? Tell them (or show them) to move. Want to see a different pose or expression… tell them!

This tip was difficult for me…. for about ten seconds. I have no problem being bossy—especially after having been given permission! it made all the difference in how I take photos of other people though. I’m a lot more vocal so that I am able to make sure limbs are where I want them in my shot.

Photography Tips // A Well Crafted Party

 

Photography Tips // A Well Crafted Party

Photography Tips // A Well Crafted Party

2. Make your subject a prop for showing off your product.

Now, Margaret made this sound much more eloquent and put together than my little subject line. But, in blogging, we are often taking photos of product whether it be sponsored items, review items, or DIY items that we created. Just taking product photos with a white background can get sort of boring. Use people in your shots to really feature the product in a flattering light. This is especially handy when featuring accessories like the awesome ones we borrowed from Favery.com.

Photography Tips // A Well Crafted Party

3. Practice being a model.

Man, I’m bad at this one. I’m trying to be in front of the camera more… but, it isn’t easy for me unless I am taking 100 selfies and picking through them. Margaret suggested practicing being a model—whether it is in front of the camera or just a mirror. Put yourself in the same situation as your model may be in so that you can feel what they may be feeling, but also to figure out ways that you might have them pose!

More:

Photography Tips: See more photos from the Photography Event and Learn the Tips that the panel of photographers shared at the event.

About the sponsors: Favery set out a variety of jewelry pieces that bloggers were able to use as props while they learned about how to improve their people photography. Elli created small vignettes utilizing their printed products for bloggers to practice their close up photography. Florals are the work of Swoon Floral Design and chairs are from Classic Vintage Rentals.

About the photographers: Linnea Paulina and Aubrie LeGault taught bloggers tips for photographing still life, close-up shots. This session was built for bloggers who often photographed food, DIY projects, or vignettes. Margaret Jacobsen took a group of bloggers outside to work on people photography, learning how to focus on details, step out of their comfort zone, and be more bossy to get the shot that they want.

Blogger Speed Dating: Tips on Networking

I’m not great at meeting people. I love people. I love the idea of meeting people. But, when it comes right down to it meeting people is hard for me. My palms sweat. I forget words. I feel awkward. Then, after it all, I obsess about each and every conversation and how I responded.

When the Social Events Vice President of Portland Bloggers, a local blogging group that I work on, suggested we have a Speed Networking event I definitely broke out in a sweat thinking about participating in an event where I had to talk to EVERYONE. Boy oh boy, was I sure glad I went though! So many amazing bloggers with great goals, hopes, & dreams. I will be working with some of them in the near future and I can’t wait to bring some of the collaborative efforts to the blog.

The event was held in the gorgeous event space at Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery. Cyril’s provided a wonderful menu of meat and cheese platters. We also got to try some of their amazing Pinot Noir. (Read my past review from a dinner at Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery and check out their cheese club if you are in the Portland area and like cheese!)

The cool part about this type of event, a “speed dating” style event, is that I had plenty of practice meeting people. I got the opportunity to work on my “elevator pitch” and figure out just how I wanted to represent my blog in about 90 seconds. Portland Bloggers’ provided a great tool for the bloggers at the event to work out a quick pitch about their blog that they could use at the event. It is now yours to download for free! Use it to craft your own Brand Statement and elevator pitch.

Free Printable Branding Statement Worksheet

Five Tips for Presenting your Brand in a Party Situation

1. Be Prepared. Bring your business cards to parties, meet-ups, the grocery store… you never know when you are going to need them! Need a quick, cute design for your cards? Download this free file and get printed though your favorite business card printer. Moo.com helped to sponsor this event and provided attendees with a discount. I received my Moo cards recently and they were a great quality! I get compliments on them constantly. Business cards are a great prop for talking about your business.

2. Practice talking about your brand. This is going to feel weird…. but, you should practice talking about your brand to a mirror, friend, or loved one. Practice talking about why your brand is different than others. Practice talking about your brands in different ways.

3. Ask Questions.  Yes, you need to talk about YOU when you are presenting your brand. But, if you ONLY talk about you then you and your brand will either be forgotten or thought of negatively. Ask questions about the person with whom you are talking.

4.  Find common ground. While asking questions work on finding a common ground. You blog about fashion and the person you are talking to blogs about their kiddo? Chat about blogging platforms, photo taking, etc. You can find common ground with most bloggers out there… work on it. Give them something useful or interesting to help remember you!

5. Gather Contacts & Reach Out After the Event. While you are working hard on promoting your brand go ahead and keep the business cards you’ve been handed. Write notes on them if necessary. Then email, Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram with your new friend!  Well, they aren’t your friend quite yet… but, they could be! They could be a friend, collaborator, promotor, or future business partner.

What are your tips for networking?

Holiday Mingle Pt. 2: Tips for Bloggers from PR Pros

Bloggers working with companies

One of the craziest things about this whole blogging thing is getting to a point that your email inbox is filled to the gills with companies wanting to work with you for one thing or another. Blogs are great formats for sharing products and opinions about products/ businesses– and, boy are companies realizing it!

Each blogger must come to a decision about his or her blog and whether they want to work with PR companies and what guidelines they plan to utilize. It is a wild-wild-west out here. There are really no set-in-stone rules yet. Many people who blog are not people with years of experience working with publications. Though, the content they are churning out is worth something and the time that they spend on creating that content should be worth something too. But, deciding the worth is the hard part.

It is also quite difficult balancing the line of being simply a promotional fountain that spews out whatever a company will pay for to being an open, honest review with absolutely no obligation to a company. We aren’t quite journalists, yet we aren’t a particular company’s marketing team either. Unless companies, advertisers, or readers pay a blogger then a blogger is making NO money for work that takes hours and hours to complete. A blogger MUST find a comfortable position for where they stand on these issues for their blog.

These are not only issues that I’ve come across in my blog, but they are issues that every blogger I know has had to deal with at one point or another. Which is why I was thrilled to get the PR perspective at a recent Portland Bloggers meet-up sponsored by Little Green Pickle, the 2013 Holiday Mingle.

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Tips for Bloggers for Working with Companies and PR Representatives:

These tips come from the awesome Public Relations professionals that donated their time and expertise, and got in a room with their competition, to talk about blogging. If you are a blogger (not just those in Portland) and want to get involved working with some really great PR pros then check out their websites and contact them via email. They love that, by the way! The PR Panel consisted of  Carrie Welch of Little Green Pickle, Meaghan Burns of Broussard Communications , Lisa Hill of Lisa Hill PR, Heather Jones of Heather Jones Consulting, and Vicky Hastings of Maxwell PR . (Click on over to their websites and connect with them via email or Twitter TODAY!)

Tip One: Be Ready to Work with Companies

  • Have your blog up to snuff! Doesn’t everyone have that list of to-do items they want to get done for their blog? I know I do… the PR pros said not to wait any longer. Get your site where you’d like it right away.
  • Have an updated media kit ready to go! A simple one page explanation of your site, your site’s demographics, your numbers, and your guidelines will suffice.

Tip Two: Get Your Numbers Up

Many bloggers hate to talk about this side of the blogging world. Numbers matter. That doesn’t mean that small blogs have no shot. But, it does give incentive to work on getting your numbers up.

  • Most PR pros look for at least 10,000 Page Views Monthly– ideally, Unique Page Views
  • Most PR pros aim for at least 1,000 followers/fans for each social media platform

The panel said that it definitely isn’t ALWAYS about the numbers. Having a dedicated following in a niche field is also a great way to get in with working with good companies.

Tip Three: Act Professional

Think of your blog as your store front. You want to keep it looking nice, have the shelves stocked full (content!), and you want to provide great customer service. Interact with companies in a professional manner by answering those emails, sending updates on posts, and presenting your expectations and guidelines from the beginning.

Now, I’m the first to say that this isn’t easy… bloggers are often working more than on just their blog, life can get busy, and email inboxes can get a little bit insane. The thing to take from this though, is that being upfront, honest, and professional will help you in working with companies.

Want More?

For more tips from the PR Panel at the Holiday Mingle check out the post over on the Portland Bloggers blog. To read more about the Holiday Mingle and the awesome companies that were in attendance click on over to my first Holiday Mingle Re-Cap. To check out the websites of the people that helped make the Holiday Mingle happen…. click one of the logos below!

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Holiday Mingle Pt One: Food in Portland

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I was beyond thrilled when one of the Portland Blogger organizers, Bee from The Spicy Bee, worked with local PR company Little Green Pickle to bring together an amazing opportunity for local bloggers. The Holiday Mingle was slotted as an opportunity for local bloggers to get a chance to meet and connect with some amazing restaurants and food vendors from the area– right in time for their holiday projects!  It was also an opportunity to listen to a panel of PR professionals talk about working with bloggers. Only in Portland can you get competitors working together to create an amazing event that hopefully, in the end, is beneficial to everyone involved.

I’m breaking this post up into two posts because there is just so much to cover… so, now I give you the amazing food and some fabulous companies! I’ll be back soon with tips for bloggers from real PR pros!

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The restaurant owners and vendors that came out for the Holiday Mingle brought their A-game. I highly encourage you to read on if you are in Portland looking for great places to eat, are planning on traveling to Portland, or are looking for an item or two for your foodie friends and family for the holidays.

I’ve been impressed with many of these restaurants in the past:

  • The Original Dinerant was the site of last year’s birthday party (where I had amazing food and excellent service) so getting to try some more of their dessert menu and some seriously amazing deviled eggs was certainly a highlight of my evening.
  • The Bent Brick wow’d me back in May with a fabulous Happy Hour selection. They brought their tasty smoked salmon chips (and other tasty menu items) to the Mingle. The only thing missing was their Peat & Peet whiskey drink that I fell in love with on my last visit.
  • Besaws is one of my absolute favorite places to go to brunch. The hubs and I usually bring visiting friends or family there over when they are traveling over the weekend. But, did you know they also do dinner!?
  • Another place I bring visitors to is Departure Restaurant and Lounge– not only does it have an amazing deck with a view of the city, but seriously tasty drinks and foods. Chef Gregory Gourdet showed up at the Mingle to pretty much everyone’s delight.
  • Olympic Provisions is a local salumeria. Their meats make for the best charcuterie platters! I’ve totally dined on and purchased Olympic Provisions goodies before… but, was completely unaware that they also have restaurants in the area. I can’t wait to try them out. (Also, they sell their meats… and, if you didn’t know, my birthday is just around the corner!)
  • Water Avenue Coffee and I go way, way back. ;) I fell in love with their rich, smooth coffee at a past Portland Bloggers’ meet-up. Since then I’ve visited their shop to also enjoy a great latte, tasty treats, and their laid back atmosphere. Whenever a blogger wants to meet at Water Avenue Coffee for a meeting the answer is always YES.

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The Original Deviled Eggs

And, the new-to-me vendors really gave a great first impression:

  • Tails & Trotters specializes in Northwest Hazelnut Finished Pork. O.M.G. (I don’t use that phrase often.) I couldn’t believe that you could actually TASTE the hazelnuts on the pork that we tried. It was amazing and it will end up in one of my holiday dishes this year. I can’t wait to start recipe testing! Oh, and if you are in NE Portland then you should stop by and grab a ham sandwich at their sandwich counter!
  • Double Dragon‘s appetizers at the event were the first that I had the opportunity to try. They brought a selection of bites that had the most amazing flavors and spices. I’m pretty sure I had a foie gras pate on bread and a mushroom pate.  AMAZING. And, I often frequent the SE area of Portland… I’ll be there to try some of their Banh Mi as soon as possible.
  • Fishpeople Seafood sent everyone home with packs of their Seafood Entree Pouches that have whole food products and no gross ingredients. I can’t wait to try these for dinner or even a quick to make lunch in the office. The ingredient list on the back of the package is the thing that really made me excited. I understand every word on the package and would cook with the ingredients in my own home.

A lot of my readers are from the PNW area and I hope that this list helps bring to light some of the awesome companies we have available. But, even if you aren’t from Portland, some of the products above can be shipped! I would be thrilled to find many of these items under the tree or at the holiday dinner table this season!

A big thank you to Macey Snelson & Chloe from Little Green Pickle for photos!
And to these amazing vendors and professionals that donated their time, expertise, and product:

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doubledragon1maxwellpr olympicprovisions

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tailsandtrotters thebentbrick theoriginal

wateravenue broussard communicationsdepaturefishpeoplebesaws

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)

Snapshots: Portland Bloggers’ Family Picnic

Today was a LONG day. But, man… was it fun! We had our Portland Bloggers’ Family Picnic today. Sunshine, friends, good food, and blogging… sort of my favorite things wrapped up in one! I’ll be back a different day sharing some of the professional photos that Macey of Motormouth Studios shot, but I wanted to share a glimpse into today! Photos are iPhone photos via my Instagram, the Portland Bloggers’ Instagram, and the Portland Bloggers’ Facebook Page.

We unveiled the new Portland Bloggers' logo at today's event. I so dig it. Carly J. Cais designed this awesomesauce logo for us.

We unveiled the new Portland Bloggers’ logo at today’s event. I so dig it. Carly J. Cais designed this awesomesauce logo for us.

Isn't it so great!?

Isn’t it so great!?

My kiddo really, really liked the balloons.

My kiddo really, really liked the balloons.

My yummy picnic food... recipe coming to the blog SOON!

My yummy picnic food… recipe coming to the blog SOON!

Bee (The Spicy Bee) and Me getting in at least one photo together!

Bee (The Spicy Bee) and Me getting in at least one photo together!

The kiddo was worn out after the picnic. Heck, I was worn out after the picnic. We both looked a  little like this when we got home. Hopefully my feet weren't quite as dirty!

The kiddo was worn out after the picnic. Heck, I was worn out after the picnic. We both looked a little like this when we got home. Hopefully my feet weren’t quite as dirty!

 

 

 

 

 

Portland Bloggers’ Meet-Up: Social Strategies for Bloggers

Just a couple weeks ago I helped host another Portland Bloggers’ meet-up. I’ve LOVED being a part of this growing community. It is so fulfilling! We have area meet-ups every other month. We try to do four educational events and two events that are purely for socializing. Our past event was a workshop on Social Media Strategies for Bloggers. I learned a lot and have been putting much of the info to use (check out the slideshow from the event to get some tips for your own social media straegies!) and have seen actual results already! Read on to see the beautiful images and learn more about the event.

Continue Reading…

{Real Party} Portland Bloggers’ Strike a Pose Event Pt. 1

Disclaimer: This post features companies that donated to the Portland Bloggers meet-up group and items that I received free of charge. All opinions are my own.

Almost a month back we had our latest Portland Bloggers’ meet-up. If you have no idea what I am talking about then check out the Portland Bloggers’ website and hop back on over here! This will be a photo heavy post with some beautiful images from Portland Photographer Macey Snelson of Motormouth Studio. Read on for my review of the event and links to more about the event and Portland Bloggers!

Continue Reading…

{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: Portland Bloggers’ Meetup, goal making, blog design

Ahhh… what a weekend! I was BUSY, as usual… but, it was such fun and so refreshing! This weekend I enjoyed a Girls Night with some old friends, met up with the Portland Bloggers’ group, helped a friend refresh her blog design, and did some major blog planning for my own blogs. While I am now EXHAUSTED I am also feeling super excited about all my goals and plans.

Saturday’s Portland Bloggers’ Meet-Up was better than I could have imagined. I actually anticipated the meet-up to be a smaller one because it is the first one of the year… but, we had double the people I guessed we would. There were old faces and new faces… lots of great input on our theme, “Give Your Blog a Buzz in 2013!” I’ll be posting a full review on the Portland Bloggers’ website later this week. I’ll also be posting some free printable blogging planners that I created. Speaking of…

I used the printables to FINALLY work on some plans and lists for my blogs. I’ve got a lot of changes in store for this little blog. I promise they will be grand though! I’m getting around to resolutions late this  year. I’m still recovering from the holidays. But, as I finally have the next few weeks planned out… let me tell you that you’ll be seeing some fun Valentine’s Day items coming soon!

Finally, I helped my lovely friend Sam from Sam Rosen refresh her blog design. She has fabulous tastes and I loved that she went with such a simple design so that her images and posts really stand out. If you love a little sparkle in your life, some really great outfit ideas, and some fun party images then head on over to Sam’s blog and FOLLOW!

So, friends… what did YOU do this weekend?

If you do a weekend in review post then I’d love to see it! Feel free to link it up here:

Portland Bloggers’ Night Out

I love, love, love my fellow Portland Bloggers. It has been SO amazing getting to know the many talented people that reside in good ole PDX. I’ve been lucky enough to get to attend several of the Portland Bloggers’ events. *It helps that I now make the schedule ;-)

This time we had a Bloggers’ Night Out. Super low key, super fun! We visited Bridgeport Brewery and  then head over to Salt & Straw to finish the evening out.

As much as I love detailed parties and events… sometimes it is so nice to just have a night out!

Sam from Sam Rosen, Abby from CheersXO, and Me!

The men and all the purses. At least they had beer!

So many awesome bloggers!
Some head done by Mortormouth Studio for the Portland Bloggers’ website. Lots to do! 

We had a lot of faces at the meet-up. Please check out their great blogs and leave a comment. We ALL love some comment love.

Spencer from 12 oz beehouse
Erika of A Tiny Rocket
Kayla of Keep Moving Forward
Sam Rosen of Samantha Rosen
Abby of CheersXO
Macey of Motormouth Studio
Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking
Susannah of Simple Moments Stick
Ashley of This Valley Life
Bee of The Spicy Bee
Sarah of Will Run for Pasta
Brian of Bost Beer
Chelsey of The Paper Mama
Leah of The Content Owl
ME of A Well Crafted Party and Leave the Laundry for Later

If you want to get in on the fun then visit the Portland Bloggers’ Website and find out all about upcoming events! The next meet-up is a SEO workshop scheduled for Nov. 17!

Portland Bloggers’ August Meet-Up Party Details

I’ve missed you friends! But, know that I haven’t been gone all this time with nothing to show for it. I am still looking for full-time employment in my field… but, I have been lucky enough to find some great freelance gigs. They are time consuming (which is why it has been so long) but, certainly helpful. In the very little free time that I have had I have been able to create a few fun party items. So… I am hopefully back to blogging and sharing real parties, party DIYs, and much more!
*****
Attendees of the August Portland Bloggers’ Meet-Up photo by the fabulous Motormouth Studio
Every two months I get together with some fabulous bloggers here in the Portland, Oregon area. This August we met at the beautiful (and fairly new) Belmont Library for a Photography Workshop.
 Becky from Studio 623 Photography and Macey from Motormouth Studio spoke about photography and gave us some really great tips at the workshop. 
I created a lot of the little party details and wanted to share some of them with you. The easy black and white color scheme can be used for several different style of events. I hope you find something that can easily inspire you for the next event you throw!
We live in a world of hashtags and social networking. Instagram and Twitter has made it super easy to gather together all the photos taken at your event by the use of a simple little pound sign. 
When wanting the whimsical feel of chalkboards, but not wanting to buy or create a ton of boards for one party, try using a white gel pen on black cardstock. It will also give you more control over the look of your text. Personally, I can’t write pretty with a piece of chalk, but I can rock a gel pen. 
Also, want to have pretty floral arrangements without busting the bank? Hit the local grocery store, pick out a couple of bunches of flowers in one single color scheme and then mix together. Simple and beautiful arrangements for little money.
I am a huge fan of party favors. It is a momento for guests to remember the great time they had at your party. For the photography workshop I wanted guests to have something to take notes on so I created little notebooks with cardstock (I had on hand), scrap paper, a stapler, and a white gel pen. It took me about an hour and the cost of one pack of pens to create these favors. 
And of course… no event is complete with out all of the amazing people who helped make it happen.
A big Thank You to all the event sponsors and volunteers!
—Giveaway & Speaker Gift Sponsors—
Nicole’s Classes: On-line courses in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Photography.
A Beautiful Mess: A DIY, fashion, and style blog with e-courses in art journaling, blogging, and more!
Dijana’s Designs: Beautiful handmade jewelry from Portland, Oregon.
Motormouth Studio— Portland based photographer and designer
—Volunteers—
Megan from The Boho Mama
Sam from Sam Rosen
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