Buffalo Chex Party Mix + $50 Giftcard Giveaway

Buffalo Chex Mix Recipe - A Well Crafted Party

The Summer holidays are coming around quick (Memorial Day is this upcoming Monday!) and with that comes the opportunity to spend time with the people in your life celebrating, remembering, and just enjoying each others company. It likely will also bring together a lot of hungry people! Enter Chex Party Mix… Chex Party Mix is super versatile and can feed a crowd. I came up with a couple easy recipes for an “All-American Chex Mix” flavors in honor of Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Though, they’d also work for any get together or even as a great camping snack.

I chose Buffalo flavor as one of my “All-American” flavors just because it reminds me of Summers back home in Oklahoma. I’m a huge fan of Buffalo Chicken Wings—especially during grilling season! Check out my first “All-American” Chex Party Mix recipe below and don’t forget to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card from Chex!

Buffalo Chex Mix Recipe - A Well Crafted Party

Buffalo Chex Mix Recipe - A Well Crafted Party

Buffalo Chex Mix

Buffalo Chex Mix

I really wanted an easy, "All-American" feeling Chex Party Mix to feed a crowd. Because I didn't want to overwhelm everyone with spice, I only used the Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce as a spice. However, if you want to kick it up a notch then you could also mix in a packet of Zesty Ranch Seasoning or a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. I used the oven for this recipe because I enjoy how the roasted cereal tastes. Microwave instructions for Chex Party Mix can be found on the side of your Chex cereal box.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Wheat Chex
  • 3 Cups Corn Chex
  • 3 Cups Rice Chex
  • 2 Cups Roasted, Shelled & Non-Salted Peanuts
  • 2 Cups Pretzels
  • 2 Cups Cheez-It Crackers (I used original, but white cheddar or a spicy version would also be delish!)
  • 6 Tablespoons of Butter Melted
  • 4 Tablespoons of Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the Chex cereals, peanuts and pretzels in a large bowl. Leave out the Cheez-It crackers for the time being.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter with the Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce.
  4. Slowly pour the Buffalo Sauce & Butter mixture over the cereal mixture, stirring as you go to make sure that everything is well coated.
  5. Pour out the cereal mixture on to a baking sheet. Make sure the cereal mixture is out flat and not piled up on itself. I had to use two baking sheets.
  6. Roast the mixture at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes.
  7. Once out of the oven, mix in the Cheez-It crackers and package in an airtight container.
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Chex.com has a great site full of even more delicious Chex Party Mix recipes along with a bunch of other recipes that can be made using Chex! I’m also not the first person to come up with a Buffalo Chex Mix recipe… there are a ton of great ones out there. Mine is a fairly mild version that only gives you a little taste of that yummy buffalo sauce. Don’t forget to check back again soon for my other “All-American” Chex Party Mix recipe!

The fine people at Chex are giving away a $50 American Express Gift Card so that one lucky reader can go buy as much Chex Mix ingredients as they could need for future snacking needs! Winner must be in the United States. Please read the giveaway terms and conditions for more information.

Enter to Win!

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Sources: The USA Marquee Sign and patriotic travel mixing bowls came to me compliments of the Kohl’s Summer Entertaining Mailer. Check out your local Kohl’s for your Summer entertaining needs!

This post and giveaway was in partnership with Chex. Recipe and opinions are my own. Thank you for reading and participating in posts that help support this blog! 

Tips for a Great Outdoor Meal & Grocery Outlet Giveaway

Simple decor for an outdoor meal - A Well Crafted Party

The warmer days of Spring are here and Summer is just around the corner. For me this means that it is time to bring dinner OUTDOORS! Spring and Summer holidays and special occasions (Mother’s Day is Sunday!) are the perfect opportunity to bring a meal outdoors. The change of scenery can help make any meal feel like a special meal. But, not every meal makes for a great outdoor meal. You’ll want a meal that can hold up to the weather, be easy to serve and not too complicated to pack up and bring to wherever you are having your outdoor meal. When Grocery Outlet asked if I wanted to work with them on a post I immediately thought of all the fun outdoor items that they get this time of year, and wanted to throw a little outdoor party in honor of Mother’s Day. Below are some of my tips for creating a great outdoor meal. Check in tomorrow for a few recipes that anyone can make that are great for an outdoor meal!

Quick, Easy Outdoor Meal Anyone Can Make - A Well Crafted Party

What makes a great outdoor meal?

I think that there are a few factors that make for an outdoor meal, including simplicity. Part of eating outdoors should be that the whole meal has a more relaxed feel to it. Even if you are going super fancy and formal, the meal itself can be made simple and easy to eat while still being elegant. Last year I went to a wonderful outdoor farm to table meal that completely hit all my favorite notes of an outdoor meal! Here are my tips for what makes a great outdoor meal:

1. Keep it Simple – The meal does not need to be complicated nor have a lot of steps. The perfect outdoor meal can either be cooked outdoors, or packed up and easy carried outdoors. When planning an outdoor meal you’ll want to keep your ingredient list down (at least the items that are going to the table, if you want to prep a complicated many ingredient meal at home that still carries nicely and is easy to serve then by all means, go for it!), keep the garnishes to a minimum and let the meal really be the centerpiece of the experience.

2. Make sure it holds up to the weather- Besides food safety, considering the weather is important for the overall meal experience. If the meal you are serving really tastes best piping hot then you’ll need to figure out a way to cook or at least reheat outdoors so that the wind doesn’t take down the temp. Or, you can choose a meal that can be served at room temperature or cooled. If it is really hot then you might need to think about whether your desserts or meal items are going to just melt while waiting to be served. Of course, don’t forget about food safety as no one likes food poisoning. Items that are sitting out need to be properly cooled or heated to keep the items out of the danger zone.

3. A pretty setting – Eating outdoors can be a wonderful experience that can make any meal feel like a special occasion. Of course, if that meal is served in a not-so-ideal space and handed out wrapped in plastic it can feel more like a fast food experience than a special occasion. Take a few moments to make the meal special by taking care on how it is served. Even dressing up your picnic items a bit can make an ordinary meal feel extraordinary. When throwing parties in my back yard I often opt to cut flowers from my yard and use my basic dishware from the house. I leave my really nice dishware inside, but the basics can still feel dressed up when surrounded by nature! When I picnic I try to make things nicer by wrapping them in parchment paper and twine rather than just plastic baggies, or serving items on bamboo plates or reusable outdoor plastic plates instead of opting for paper.There are also a lot of great brands of really beautiful paper plates out there that can be perfect for making an outdoor meal feel special.

4. Think about pests – Nothing can ruin a meal faster than a few pests. Supply bug spray, plant bug repellent plants around your yard, or use some citronella candles to ward off pesky mosquitoes and flies. I found these adorable yellow tins with citronella candles at Grocery Outlet for less than $2 and bought a whole bunch of them for my outdoor parties. Not only do they look cute on the table, but they help ward off unwanted bugs!

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for some super easy recipes that ANYONE can make for a great outdoor meal!

Enter to win a giveaway to Grocery Outlet

Grocery Outlet wants to help you serve a great outdoor (or indoor) meal and are sharing a $25 Gift Card with one lucky reader. Grocery Outlet operates 210+ stores in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Check out the Grocery Outlet website to find a store near you!

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This post was created in collaboration with Grocery Outlet. All opinions are my own. Thank you for reading and sharing posts that are created in partnership with brands that help support this blog. 

Celebrating a New Addition to our Party – Free Printables!

This bright pregnancy announcement is welcoming the new addition to the party! // A Well Crafted Party

A few months ago we got the news that we are adding one more to our little party. The new addition has RSVPd for November 10, 2015 and we can’t wait to welcome him or her to our family!

If you know me, you know I like to celebrate the tiniest of moments. Sharing the news that we are having our second child feels like just the right type of thing to celebrate! I’ve struggled with the fact that the second pregnancy doesn’t feel as special to me as the first one did. I’m just as happy about it, just as excited for baby number two, but if feels a little less celebrated none-the-less. It became important to me to make sure I took a little time to celebrate the news of this baby. Of course, we are saving our pennies for the second baby (we know how expensive these things are now!), so didn’t want to do anything over-the-top, but still wanted to celebrate the new addition.

I partnered with Kohl’s to help me celebrate baby number two. Kohl’s is currently striving to be top of mind for families as they celebrate the special moments in life, big or small, together. Their current goal to help be present in the everyday and the extra special moments in life made me very excited to see how they could help me celebrate my second baby. I already love Kohl’s and shop there often. The deals that they offer are hard to beat, and I can find something for the entire family in one shopping trip.

We're welcoming baby number two with a small celebration welcoming him or her to our family. // A Well Crafted Party We aren't sure if he is more excited about getting to eat the cupcake or becoming a big brother! Our family is excited to welcome baby number two to this crazy party that is our life! Our family is excited to welcome baby number two to this crazy party that is our life! I've had all the typical pregnancy cravings including peanut butter and pickles! A welcoming celebration for baby isn't complete without them!

Kohl’s helped us celebrate in a variety of different ways! I knew I’d be able to find the men in the family some clothes for the party, but what I didn’t know is that they also carried baby items, housewares AND maternity wear! The items we found at Kohl’s included:

  • Ninja Blender which is not only good for a daily smoothie packed full of nutritious items that are good for the growing baby, but will come in handy after the baby is here and I’m making his or her food. (Stay tuned for a fun non-alcoholic dessert smoothie coming to the blog this week!)
  • Food Network’s Three Tiered Party Platter…awesome for all the obvious reasons.
  • Evenflo Convertible Highchair – We gave away nearly all of our baby items from when my son was a baby. Finding an affordable high chair on Kohls.com that would grow with the baby made my day. This highchair comes apart and becomes a small chair and table that is perfect for a toddler!
  • Just Born Security Blankets – these are my favorite blankets to swaddle the little one with after delivery. I was thrilled that Kohl’s had them in the grey and yellow print.
  • Small cuddle toy with blanket
  • Maternity Dress
  • Toddler Shirt
  • Men’s Shirt

The best part is that I was able to get all of the above items with a savings of nearly 50% off if I had gotten them all at full price. It made our money go further, which is more important than ever right now!

These free printables are perfect for your own welcome baby celebration! // A Well Crafted Party

You know me… no party is complete without free printables! Click the items below to download and print off your own celebration!

Thank you to Kohl’s for sending me a gift card to explore how your products could help me celebrate a life event. I’ve been a fan of Kohl’s for some time and spent my own money as well as the gift card. All opinions are my own. Thank you to readers for supporting the companies that help support this blog. 

Cooking with Spices from RawSpiceBar and a Giveaway!

RawSpiceBar spice subscription service featured on A Well Crafted Party

I love cooking. You can take one look at my “A Well Crafted Pantry” section of this blog for proof of that. However, one thing you won’t find in many of my recipes is a variety of spices. I’m sort of simple when it comes to using spices in my cooking. I like using fresh and dried herbs in cooking, but even that I typically limit to two or three different ingredients. Because of that I’ve stayed away from cooking some of my favorite styles of foods. Part of the hesitation is not knowing if I’ll like a certain spice or spice combination. The other is whether I’m going to use it very often. Then of course, there is the cost! Buying ten different spices to create one dish is not easy to do when living on a budget. Cooking with spices always seemed intimidating and expensive.

RawSpiceBar spice subscription service featured on A Well Crafted Party

Enter my new favorite subscription service. I love subscription services. I’m a member of several for my entertainment, to my blog work to simple pleasures we want to enjoy at home such as food or beverages. I was thrilled when asked to try out a new spice-centric subscription service.

The RawSpiceBar is a subscription service perfect for people like me who want to try different spices and spice combinations, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg trying them out.

For $6/month you get a small batch of spices delivered to your door with a short story about the spices and the region that they come from along with some recipes. The past three month spice batches included:

How much fun is that? I have never cooked ANYTHING with any of these spices. It is a whole new world of cooking at my finger tips.

RawSpiceBar spice subscription service featured on A Well Crafted Party

I originally wanted to try creating my own recipe with the spices. But, since I had never worked with ANY of these spices before, I decided to try out one of the recipes that were provided.

I made the Punjabi Chicken Tikka Marsala using the Punjabi Garam Masala spice mix and the Tandoori Spices. One of the directions on the recipe was to bring the spices back to life by heating them in a dry saucepan on the stovetop. I cannot describe the amazing smells that were in my kitchen. I want to do this with ALL my spices now!

Punjabi Chicken Tikka Marsala recipe from RawSpiceBar featured on A Well Crafted Party.

Punjabi Chicken Tikka Marsala recipe from RawSpiceBar featured on A Well Crafted Party.I made this meal for myself, my husband and my toddler. All three of us ate as much as we could and there was enough for at least 4 more grown adults! I love that the recipes create enough for a crowd. Perfect for when I want to try out a fun new dish with friends.

I do have to say that the recipe card was missing a few bits of important information while cooking. But, the online recipe fixed any of my questions. So, if you read through the card and have questions, jump on the RawSpiceBar website and use the online version of the recipe instead.

Want to give it a shot? Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win one of two 3-month subscriptions to RawSpiceBar! Or, hop on over to RawSpiceBar now to sign up for just $6 a month!

Please read giveaway guidelines. Giveaway begins today, March 26 and ends 12AM PST April 6. Giveaway open to readers in US & Canada only. 

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Thank you to RawSpiceBar for providing me with a sample subscription to try the RawSpiceBar services and share with readers as well as the giveaway subscriptions. All opinions and images are my own. 

The Toast Wedding Showcase Preview and Giveaway

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.

Ticket Giveaway for Toast Wedding Showcase in Portland

Sneak peek into some of our inspiration for our space!

 

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:

  • Complimentary Appy Couple wedding website and app.
  • Entry into drawing for chance to win a free engagement photo shoot.
  • Gorgeous and festive photo booth pics courtesy of Happymatic.
  • Bridal style showcase with looks for events leading up to your big day.
  • First 125 attendees receive a gift bag full of surprises.
  • Complimentary food and drinks.

Click here to purchase your super affordable tickets to Toast Wedding Showcase today! 

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.

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Saturday Spirits: Bloody Mary Bar with Powell & Mahoney

Easy Bloody Mary Bar for the Holidays // A Well Crafted Party

Disclosure: Powell & Mahoney shared a  complimentary bottle of their Limited Bloody Mary mix for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Links may be affiliate links. Purchases made from affiliate links help support this blog. Thanks for reading! 

Anyone else have the realization that this is the last weekend before the crazy hits? Just me? Couldn’t be.

This weekend is my prep weekend to make it through the next two months. On my calendar I’ve got 3 parties, two photoshoots, 1 fun holiday blog series (with 12 free printables!), holiday visitors, holiday gifts to buy… well, you get the idea. Today is all about prepping the house, the blog, and my holiday gift/card lists. Bring on the bloody marys!

Easy Bloody Mary Bar for the Holidays // A Well Crafted Party

Make a Quick Bloody Mary Bar for Busy Holiday Prep Days

Sometimes I like to take the time to make my own bloody mary mix. I enjoy trying different spices and ingredients. However, I’m a big believer in making life as easy as possible while preserving the tastiness… so, when I find a good bloody mary mix I stock up to bring out as needed. This Siracha Bloody Mary Mix by Powell & Mahoney is exactly what I’d make for myself…. without all the work!

The holiays are surrounded by days where a quick bloody mary bar will be welcome to all involved. Having the family over for a day of cooking for Thanksgiving? Set up the bloody mary bar and a coffee bar for a fun way to start Thanksgiving. Lots of adults trying to stay awake on Christmas morning? Make the early morning wake up easier by setting out your favorite bloody mary mix, some Vodka and/or Tequila and some easy garnishes. DONE.

Easy Bloody Maria // A Well Crafted Party

Lately I’ve really been digging Bloody Marias instead of my normal bloody mary. What’s the difference? Tequila!

Easy Bloody Maria or Easy Bloody Mary

Ingredients: 

  • Glass with Ice
  • Rimming Salt (optional)
  • 1 1/4 oz Tequila (for Bloody Maria) OR 1 1/4 oz Vodka (for Bloody Mary)
  • 4 oz Bloody Mary Mix (I used Powell & Mahooney Limited Sriracha Bloody Mary Mix)
  • Garnishes of choice! I used Bacon, pickled carrots, jalapeno olives, salami, lemons & limes. Other garnishes that would be great include celery, pickles, pickled green beans… the list goes on and on.

Directions: 

  1. Rim glass with salt (optional) by rubbing a lemon around the edge and dipping into rimming salt
  2. Pour Bloody Mary Mix & Liquor of choice over ice
  3. Stir mixture
  4. Top with Garnish & Enjoy!

Easy Bloody Mary Bar for the Holidays // A Well Crafted Party

 

Okay, now I’m off to work on that to-do list!

What are your plans for this weekend before the holiday business begins?

 

 

 

Portland Center Stage presents Dreamgirls

Art by Julia McNamara

Art by Julia McNamara

Disclaimer: I was provided with complementary tickets by Portland Center Stage so that I may experience Dreamgirls before sharing my experience with you here on the blog. All opinions are my own. Keep reading for a discount so that you can see the show as well! 

Dreamgirls at Portland Center Stage in town until November 2!

A little tidbit about me that you might not of known… I’ve ALWAYS been interested in theater. I love watching the lights go down, hearing the hush of a crowd, and being delighted with the talents of people that have prepped and worked all towards that performance. There is just nothing like watching live theater. I’ve never really been someone to act in a play. I auditioned once in college… let me tell you, an Irish accent is NOT easy. Though I was never really quite right for the onstage talent, I loved participating in the creation of a show and watching how everyone worked together to change reality for the course of a show. So, when Portland Center Stage asked if I wanted to check out their production of Dreamgirls I jumped at the opportunity. I’m so glad I did!

I had never seen Dreamgirls before, either on stage or in movie form. I knew that it was a musical about a trio of women loosely based on The Supremes. But, that is about it! Now I want to see the movie and any and all productions of this show going forward. It was such a treat, and not for the reasons I originally assumed it would be! If you are in the Portland area, and like musicals, then I’d highly recommend this production! But, don’t let your location stop you from reading on… you can always watch Dreamgirls the movie!

Dreamgirls at Portland Center Stage // A Well Crafted Party

L-R: Lexi Rhoades (Lorrell Robinson), Mary Patton (Deena Jones) and Antoinette Comer (Michelle Morris) in “Dreamgirls” at Portland Center Stage. Photo by Patrick Weishampel.
“Dreamgirls” Music by Henry Krieger, Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen, Directed by Chris Coleman

It is more than just three women singing…

I expected to go into the show and be wow’d by some spectacular female voices. And, while I was wow’d by some pretty talented women (get to that later) I was unexpectedly blown away by some beautiful and FUN male-led songs! The beginning of the show the ladies didn’t quite have their voices yet. (Little did I know, because remember I had never seen this before, that was part of the plan!) I enjoyed the first number with the women being introduced to the stage. But, when Calvin Scott Roberts playing C.C. (Claridge Conrad) White and Rodney Hicks playing Curtis Taylor, Jr. began to sing Cadillac Car with David Jennings playing Jimmy (James Thunder) Early– WOW. I loved each and every song that these three men sang together. Each had great stage presence and really sold their characters all while hitting their songs out of the theater.

Dreamgirls from Portland Center Stage // A Well Crafted Party

The cast of “Dreamgirls” at Portland Center Stage. Photo by Patrick Weishampel.
“Dreamgirls” Music by Henry Krieger Book and Lyrics by Tom Eyen Directed by Chris Coleman

Then you really hear the women sing…

In the beginning I wasn’t entirely impressed with the songs that the women were singing. Little did I know… that was part of the play! As the show goes on the women really start singing. While they clearly had talent in the beginning, they just hadn’t hit their groove as a group! They had me hoodwink perfectly. At the end of the first act when Nattalyee Randall playing Effie Melody White belts out “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” I had tears in my eyes. All the women brought it on stage and I wasn’t disappointed by a single performance. The most exciting performance, for me, was by Mary Patton playing Deena Jones. (I don’t want to give much of the story away just in case you, like me, had never seen anything about the show. I want you to be as surprised as I was!)  When Deena, one of the background singers of the trio is given the opportunity to step up as a lead there is a lot to discover. Patton plays demure, quiet and sweet Deena Jones so well in the beginning and hides her powerhouse of a voice during her first song as lead so well that I honestly didn’t see how this fictional group would ever be convincing as a popular musical trio. As she starts to take hold of her inner diva (just a bit) her voice suddenly takes over the entire room. It is gorgeous and powerful.

See a sneak peek of the show  below:

Dreamgirls: the trailer from Portland Center Stage on Vimeo.

More about Dreamgirls:

  • Fun facts about the PCS production learn how the production included- “49 IKEA mixing bowls, 125 costume looks, 406 pairs of fake eye lashes, 550 lighting units …
    and 1,000 condoms!?!?!”
  • Dreamgirls Review from Jane of In The Pink & Green- “I ended up being really blown away by the talented cast for this show! Seriously, every single person had such an incredible voice and I was extremely impressed by the casting!”

Get a Discount to the Show!

Portland Center Stage is offering my Portland area readers a chance to see Dreamgirls with a discount! Use the code “PDXBLOGS” to get $5 off any showing. Or, select a Tuesday show or the Halloween showing to receive your ticket for just $20! Click here to buy your ticket today!

More from Portland Center Stage:

The Typographers Dream is showing in the Ellen Bye Studio from Oct. 4 to November 16.

The Typographer’s Dream follows the story of a stenographer, a geographer and a typographer. During a career-oriented presentation, it becomes hilariously clear that their personal issues just so happen to correspond with their jobs. As with his hit play The Receptionist, playwright Bock tackles the everyday environment of the workplace from a completely unique, and very witty, perspective.  ”

Tell me, have you ever seen Dreamgirls? What did you think? Comment below.

Sock it to Me – Sock Design Contest

Sock It To Me Sock Design Contest // A Well Crafted Party

Awesome-sauce socks are Sock it to Me’s Sneaky Ninja and Jellyfish designs

My friends have shapely, awesome legs! They are the perfect models for these SWEET sock designs, don’t you think!?

Nothing against these awesome ninja socks and the fabulous jelly fish design… but, I think some of my readers can do better! I know I’ll be trying for sure… What the heck am I talking about? Well, the Sock It To Me sock design competition of course!

 The first place winner receives 15 pairs of socks, has their design put on socks AND wins $5,000 — not shabby!

Sock It to Me, a Portland-based designer of fun and fashionable socks for women, men, and kids, is inviting sock fanatics from around the world to submit a unique sock design for a chance to win $5,000, $1,000 and $500 in cash and products – and have their design manufactured in Sock It to Me’s next collection.

Yes,  you read that correctly… you could have socks made with YOUR DESIGN.

The contest runs from September 5 – 26 and is open to artists of all ages and talents. Click on over NOW to download your design form and get entered!

Don’t forget to share with friends who would also make awesome socks! Click on one of the share tools below!

What would you put on a pair of socks?

PS. I love socks. Like, a lot. I’m super excited that Fall is coming and with that is sock and BOOT weather! I’ll be sharing another post soon with free printables for those out there that share my love of socks!

Disclaimer: I was sent some complementary socks in exchange for sharing about this contest. Nothing was promised and all thoughts are my own. I will be entering the contest just like anyone else that thinks socks are awesome. I hope you do too! 

Giveaway: Sol Republic DECK Wireless Speaker

Disclaimer: I was sent the Sol Republic DECK for purpose of a review and giveaway. All opinions are my own. I’m excited to bring my readers the opportunity to win one! Thank you for reading the sponsored content that helps keep this blog running!

DECK Giveaway from Sol Republic // Sponsored Giveaway on A Well Crafted Party

People are all talking about heading back to school again. It is all over the blogs I read and filling my email inbox with press releases. Because I’m out of college, not a teacher, and a mom of a toddler I haven’t really been thinking about the whole back to school rush. Instead… I’m dreaming of perfect camping supply lists and scheming ideas for this upcoming holiday season. Then I realized, really… that is my back to school! This time of year out come my notebooks and pens ready to study up and plan for ALL THE PARTIES.

A new addition to my study sessions is the Sol Republic x Motorola Deck wireless speaker. I was super surprised when opening up this little, portable speaker to find that it packs a punch. It would be perfect for using at home, camping, parties… the list goes on and on. Speaking of Back-to-School… I would have been so pumped to have this little speaker in my dorm room instead of the HUGE speakers that I had to get the same kind of sound back 10 years ago.

After using this awesome device for the last two weeks I am beyond excited to be able to introduce it to you and offering you a chance at winning it! It would make for a great gift to someone heading off for college, getting married, celebrating a birthday, or having a baby (white noise machine!).

Cool facts about the Sol Republic Deck Wireless Speaker:

  • Indoor and Outdoor settings
  • Connects to your music player of choice via NFC/bluetooth or by a cord!
  • Wireless connection has up to 300 feet range (meaning you can dj from another room!)
  • Up to 5 people can “heist” the music and take turns playing DJ
  • For the control freaks out there … there is also a single player mode
  • It is also a speaker phone! Hook it up to your cell phone and have a conference call!
  • Charges like a cell phone. Super easy to use.
  • Talks to you when turning on, connecting to a device, and changing modes
  • Comes with nifty little case
  • Can be purchased through Radio Shack (check out all the cool colors)

DECK Giveaway from Sol Republic // Sponsored Giveaway on A Well Crafted Party

Sol Republic Deck Wireless Speaker Giveaway:

Okay, here is the fun part… the giveaway! I know I’ve gushed a lot about this little guy. Maybe it is because I’m OLD and remember getting my tunes from a huge cassette player that had to be plugged in. Or, maybe it really just is that cool. You’ll have to try it out yourself to find out! A big shout-out to Sol Republic for providing a Deck Wireless Speaker for one of my readers! Thank you!

 

DECK Giveaway from Sol Republic // Sponsored Giveaway on A Well Crafted Party

* This giveaway is for readers 18+ in US and Canada only. The winner must not have won a Sol Republic giveaway in the past 6 months (spread the love!). Entries will be accepted until 12:00 AM Tuesday, August 19, 2014. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, the prize will be awarded to someone else. Please read all of the rules and regulations of the giveaway. This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Twitter or Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

 

Portland Pairings – Unique Wine Tasting Class

Pairings Portland Basics Class // Reviewed on A Well Crafted Party

I’ve been to a lot of wine tastings in my day. Heck, I’ve even hosted several in my job as a trainer at an Italian restaurant. However, this was my first time ever experiencing a wine tasting quite like this… the Pairings Portland Wine Shop invited myself and my fabulous friend Bee to try out their Pairings Basics tasting class so that we could share the experience with readers. I’m so glad I got to experience it!

I’ll start by saying that there is nothing typical about the Pairings Portland Wine Shop. As soon as you walk in you get a feel for the different type of wine experience that you’ll be getting. Instead of wines categorized by variety and price point, the wines sold throughout the store are paired with moods, foods, TV shows, music, weather, and more. When signing up for the Pairings Basics class, be aware that you aren’t signing up for a typical tasting either! You’re signing up for an experience of learning a lot more about what you like about wine and why you like it. You aren’t going to sit there listening to someone talk about the things YOU should be tasting or things YOU should be smelling. Oh, and you’ll only be tasting ONE wine.

What!?

Pairings Portland Basics Class // Reviewed on A Well Crafted Party

Pairings Portland Basics Class // Reviewed on A Well Crafted Party

That is what I thought too… but, you’ll be tasting that wine over and over again and trying it with different things. Without sounding completely over-the-moon about things… this was a revelation to me! It was amazing seeing how one wine was changed between the simple change of an acid or a fat. To me, someone who throws a lot of parties that include wine and food, it made me realize how I can modify a dish that just doesn’t quite match a wine the way I want it to!

The description of this class says, “you’ll discover the magic of wine and food pairing.” I think the class totally delivers on that description.

More about the Pairings Basic Class:

  • Cost: $25/person
  • Size of class: MAX 18 people
  • You’ll try a wine to see if you like/dislike it
  • You’ll then try the wine with 7 different elements, marking the changes that it made in the wine
  • In the end, you’ll leave with a knowledge of how food and wine interact with your taste buds.

Wanna see Bee’s review of the class? Check out her thoughts on the Pairings Basic class at The Spicy Bee!

 

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary class in exchange for my honest opinion of the experience. All thoughts are my own. I am a big believer in trying out and supporting local businesses as I am able and I think will interest my readers.

Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob with Amaize Corn

Disclaimer: I was offered compensation for my work on this post about Amaize Sweet Corn. The below idea for how to cook and eat Amaize is my own. All opinions are my own. Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting, and interacting with sponsored posts on my page. This helps support this blog and keeps original content coming your way!


Fire Roasted Corn from A Well Crafted Party

Little known fact about me… I went to high school in the middle of a corn field. My senior shirt had a caricature of my entire class (all 40 or so of us) in the middle of corn with the caption “Children of the Corn!” Besides being a little bit creepy… it was great growing up with farms all around us! I was raised on tasty corn on the cob, creamed corn, sweet corn, pop corn and the likes. While I don’t eat as much corn as I used to, I do like to dress up salads, garnish tacos, or just eat a perfectly cooked corn-on-the-cob in the hot summer months.

When I received a box of Amaize, a sweet corn, right before heading out camping I knew that I wanted to try roasting it over a fire. Pretty much everything tastes better over a fire while camping. But, I gotta say, cooking over a fire isn’t always the easiest! The heat is constantly changing, you have to make sure your food doesn’t catch on fire, and you have to sometimes deal with smoke. These corn on the cobs were SO worth it though!

How to Make Fire Roasted Corn

Ingredients:

  • Corn with husks (I used the Amaize Sweet Corn)
  • Contained fire with grill grates positioned above it. (Tip: Make sure the fire is burning completely and fairly consistently. I usually wait until some of my wood looks more like charcoal before throwing down some food on the grill.)
  • Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Cutting Board
  • Butter & Seasonings of Choice (I used salt, pepper, and an italian seasoning blend)

Fire Roasted Corn a How To from A Well Crafted Party

amaize-fire-roasted-corn-cutcorn

Fire Roasted Corn from A Well Crafted Party

Directions:

  1. After your fire is burning fairly consistently (not huge flames!) put down the corn husk and all on a grill grate above the flames. That is right… you don’t need to peel back the husks, don’t need to de-silk the corn, and you don’t need to wrap it in anything. Bonus, if you accidentally drop an ear in the dust it won’t matter because it is protected by a husk! Don’t worry if your husks are getting a little singed. Your corn will still be great unless the husks begin to come off completely.
  2. Roast for approximately 1 hour— rotating your corn every 10 to 15 minutes. This is absolutely not precise! Fire burns at different temps depending on a lot of different factors. Test the corn by squeezing with your tongs or sticking a fork in them. If it feels like there is some give or juice comes out then it is a safe bet that they are done. When I feel like the corn is done I typically pull one out and cut it up to test. If it isn’t quite done then you can always wrap the corn in foil and cook it a little longer.
  3. Using tongs, put a corn on the cob on your cutting board. Slice off the back end of your corn.
  4. Then, holding the corn husk firmly at the top of the corn, squeeze the corn out of the husk. (Saw this little corn trick via Instructables using microwaved corn. It totally works on roasted corn as well! Changed my life.)
  5. Doctor your corn with butter and seasonings… enjoy!

Fire Roasted Corn from A Well Crafted Party

 

More About Amaize Sweet Corn:

  • Amaize Sweet Corn was created using traditional, natural breeding methods through hybridization meaning this corn is never genetically modified. (Non-GMO)
  • The corn is sweet and crunchy… it didn’t get gross and mushy after cooking!
  • The corn had a 22 year development period. Seriously, so cool to think about how many different variations and flavors were created to get to this sweet and crunchy corn.
  • Amaize is available from June to September and is currently being sold for a limited time exclusively in Portland at New Seasons Market.
  • Follow along on their Facebook page to learn more!

PS. Please be careful of fires this time of year and pay attention to your local burning laws!

What do you like cooking over a camp fire?

Ikea Portland Has a Registry!!!

Disclaimer: This post, while something I am completely and genuinely excited about, came through to me as an opportunity for a affiliate program. The link below is an affiliate link—a small portion of the purchases made from registries created with the below link will help support this blog. Creating a registry is no cost to you! So, you can register away and still  help me support fresh content on this blog. Thank you for your support!


Ikea Portland has a registry! // More info on A Well Crafted Party

I’m a huge fan of Ikea. Nearly my entire house is decorated with Ikea products from their Lack side tables all the way to the frames on my wall. I’m a bit addicted. I can’t tell you how awesome it would have been to be able to register at Ikea for my wedding or for the birth of my son, but I’ll try…

IKEA PORTLAND NOW HAS A REGISTRY OPTION!!!!

See!? I’m excited.

Okay, but seriously, how cool would it be to register for the home goods that you know your friends and family can afford, that you’ll like, and already work with your existing home goods?

Ikea Registry for Jenni Bost

Ikea Portland Registry Facts:

  1. This registry option is currently only available in the Ikea in Portland.
  2. Managing your registry is EASY. They’ve made it as convenient as possible to manage the registry so everything can be done in store, through the app or on a computer. Items can be added to the registry in the following ways by scanning the barcode in the store, by typing in the article number using the app or by browsing the entire IKEA catalog in the registry app and/ or on a desktop. (If you’d like to use the affiliate link and support my blog while getting your registry on then please sign up and register on your desktop/laptop computer.)
  3. You can set up the registry for any upcoming event… not just weddings or baby showers! (How awesome would it have been to register for Ikea furniture for your graduation!? Perfect for college dorms!)
  4. Creating a profile is as easy as hooking up your Facebook account OR just entering in your email address and name. I love the Facebook option because it is so much easier for me than remembering a new password… though, I understand why some people prefer to not have Facebook hooked up to everything.
  5. One of the most unique and popular features is the ‘chip-in’ feature. This is beneficial to all sides! Guests can chip in together to split the cost of larger items and couples don’t have to feel limited in terms of which items they can place on their registry.You can even add an entire kitchen to your list! As people chip in the couple is notified and updated so that you can see the progress as it reaches a full purchase.
  6. Once the gifts are purchased the registrant issues a voucher via the registry app. You can pick up your items in the store and check out right away simply by showing their phone. You have full flexibility at that point to change any item for anything else before you redeem your gifts. This is also unique because if for some reason you change your mind about a product you are free to change their minds when they go to pick up your gifts. 
  7. Guests can search for a registry by going to portland.gift-registry.us and search by name, email address, or registry number.

The photos above are Ikea items that are now sitting on my registry!

Click on over and start your registry today! I’d love to know if you’ve set one up and what you’re excited about!

Curvy Girl Style: Work Attire Sun Safe Fashion Pt. 2

7 Days of Sun Safe Style with Summer Skin // A Well Crafted Party

 

Right after my skin cancer diagnosis I had the opportunity to meet the owner and creator of the sun safe fashion line SummerSkinSummer Kramer (yep, that is her name!) is seriously such an inspirational powerhouse of a woman that has really made a beautiful brand of clothing that can also help protect you. I was fortunate enough to be able to sample one of her creations— the Endless Summer Scarf. The Endless Summer Scarf is just too much fun because it can be worn so many different ways. I got the scarf the week before my surgery and had fun creating 7 Different Days of SummerSkin Style for my Instagram feed. Over the next couple of Curvy Girl Style posts I’ll be sharing some of my favorite outfits from that week! Check out all the styles I did by looking up#mysummerskin on Instagram!


 

Sun Protetive Work Attire with SummerSkin // A Well Crafted Party

Last week I shared an easy, casual outfit perfect for a day by the river or out at the Farmer’s market. Today I’m sharing my favorite work outfit from the week. After reading about and seeing the image of a truck driver’s face and the way the sun damaged the side of the face with the most exposure I became much more aware of how much I drive how much sun my face and arm is getting while driving. I often don’t plan on being outside for long when I run out the door for a long day of work, so I don’t really think to put on a hat or extra sun protection. The Endless Summer Scarf has been a great accessory for me during my drives. So much so that I tend to just leave it folded up in my car when I am not incorporating it into an outfit. It covers the side of my face that the sun hits along with my shoulder. Then, when I’m done driving, I just pull it down to make a cute accessory to my work attire.

Sun Protetive Work Attire with SummerSkin // A Well Crafted Party

Sun Protetive Work Attire with SummerSkin // A Well Crafted Party

 

Outfit details: Shoes // Christian Sirano for Payless (This pump is actually on clearance RIGHT NOW– not an affiliate, just thought you might wanna know!),  Skirt // Black Pencil Skirt via Target a few years ago, Tank // Target a few years ago, Necklace // Lucky Brand last Fall, Scarf // Endless Summer Scarf 

Do you protect your skin while driving? If so, how? Comment below!

DIY Friend Gift Perfect for Coffee & Tea Lovers from Fancy That Shop

DIY Friend Gift for Coffee or Tea Lovers featured on A Well Crafted Party

The Portland Bloggers group recently had the opportunity to visit local party and craft shop Fancy That for a fun crafting event. Lisa, owner of Fancy That, prepped a great customizable craft that each of the bloggers in attendance were able to make for the coffee or tea lover in their lives. Many people talked about giving to friends or teachers. I personally wanted to keep mine for myself! :) This is a really easy and fun DIY friend gift idea that you can completely customize for the gift recipient.

This isn’t your typical tutorial. It is completely adjustable to your style and materials. Nearly all of the materials can be found at the Fancy That shop who has both an online and brick-and-mortar store.

BEFORE Friend Gift DIY featured on A Well Crafted Party

The picture above shows what each attendee to the craft event received at their table. The tables were also covered with party circles, double sided tape, washi tape, bakers twine, and hole punches. Nearly all items below can be purchased through the Fancy That shop!

Supplies:

  • 1 drink carrier
  • wooden spoons
  • Tea packets or instant coffee packages
  • Sugar or other sweetener packages
  • cellophane baggies for decorating and/or packaging
  • White cups with lids & sleeves

Optional items used for decorating and customizing your gift:

  • Custom printed party circles (can be anything really!)
  • Washi Tape
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Scissors
  • Bakers Twine
  • Markers/pens
  • Hole punch
  • Stapler

Friend Gift DIY for a Coffee or Tea Lover featured on A Well Crafted Party Friend Gift DIY for a Coffee or Tea Lover featured on A Well Crafted Party Friend Gift DIY for a Coffee or Tea Lover featured on A Well Crafted Party

 

Directions for your DIY Coffee (or Tea) Lover Friend Gift

Decorate your supplies as you like, put everything in the drink carrier, and deliver to your friend!

I hate to be so simple on a tutorial’s directions… but, this craft was THAT EASY. You can decorate as little or as much as you want. Placing custom tags or printables on items or just labeling with your pen. You can even just put everything in the drink carrier with some napkins and a sweet note and call it good. But, here are some ideas for further inspiration:

  1. Use washi tape and wrap around the box, spoon handles, or cups to give your gift a fun, decorative touch.
  2. Fill one of the cellophane bags with tea packages, fold the bag to resemble a tea bag, affix a string of bakers twine with a staple, affix a small heart or tag at the other end of the string with a staple– you then have a giant tea bag as a container for your tea packages!
  3. Use bakers twine and washi tape to crate a cute little bunting for the container!

PS National Friendship Day is August 3rd!

PPS Love this idea, but aren’t really into crafting? Fancy that is selling an adorable Tea for Two drink carrier with fixins on the website!

** I attended a free craft event put on by Fancy That for Portland Bloggers. Portland Bloggers is a product of my company Jenni Bost Creative Services LLC. This event was a break out event with no promise of posting or review. I just enjoyed my time and thought the craft would fit nicely on my blog. I also believe in supporting local businesses when possible. I hope you enjoyed the craft as much as I did!**

 

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