Holidays in Portland: Zoo Lights + A Giveaway!

Holidays in Portland: Zoo Lights + A Giveaway!

What are your favorite holiday traditions? My little family have begun traditions over the past few years that I hope will last our lifetime and possibly end up as traditions my kids keep with their kids someday. One of my favorite holiday traditions that we try to do every year is visiting Oregon Zoo’s Zoo Lights. This year the whole family attended and I got to share my joy of holiday lights and zoo animals with two very excited little guys! Read on to see my tips for an enjoyable #ZooLightsPDX experience, cute photos of kiddos, and a chance to win a package of 4 tickets to this year’s Zoo Lights!

This post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. To learn more about my posting policies regarding sponsored posts please visit my policies page. As always, thank you for reading more about the companies that help support this blog. 

Holiday Events in PDX - Oregon Zoo's Zoo Lights at A Well Crafted Party

Holiday Events in PDX - Oregon Zoo's Zoo Lights at A Well Crafted Party

If you were following my Instastories or Snapchat last week you might have seen my very, very excited posts about Zoo Lights. I just can’t help it. I LOVE the feeling that this season brings and the twinkly lights just push it over the moon for me. Don’t even get me started on how I feel about Santa and snow this season. Heart eyes all day long.

Tips for Making the Most out of Your Zoo Lights Experience

Plan your trip— Zoo Lights this year has some pretty great hours and fun extra opportunities. Plan your trip to make the most of your budget and experience. ZooLights is open 5 PM to 8 PM on Value Nights and 5PM to 9PM all other nights. ZooLights is open 7 days a week until January 1st with the exception of December 24th and 25th. Zoo Members get discounts on food purchases, gift store purchases, the carousel, and train.

Take advantage of Zoo Value Nights: Monday through Thursday November 28th through December 15th tickets are $9.95 (adults), $7.95 (seniors), and $4.95 (youth) with $1.50 off with proof of Trimet fare.

 

Tip: Take public transportation! While we had no problems with parking on a Thursday night and found that the parking fee was reasonable… I do recommend taking public transportation. Public transportation can drop you right off at the zoo and will give you a discount for your tickets. If the parking lot is full there is a parking shuttle from the overflow parking area, but it can mean some waiting in the cold. Might as well do a park and ride and make your trip less of a hassle.

 

Holiday Events in PDX - Oregon Zoo's Zoo Lights at A Well Crafted Party

Holiday Events in PDX - Oregon Zoo's Zoo Lights at A Well Crafted Party

Dress appropriately— It is Oregon in winter. It often rains and up where the zoo is located is often cooler than other areas of Portland. Dress for cold weather. We have gone to zoo lights for nearly 5 years now and I think this was the first year that we REALLY dressed for it. We had many layers on, a blanket for the kiddo in his stroller, and outerwear that was rain resistant. Thankfully we barely got a drizzle while there, but I was glad that we were prepared.

Holiday Events in PDX - Oregon Zoo's Zoo Lights at A Well Crafted Party

 

Get tickets for the Zoo Train— Maybe it is just because I have two little boys who love trains… but, this was my favorite part of the whole trip. The trains are decorated and drive through the zoo where you get to see the lights all while in a comfortable little cart. I had been waiting for huge lines at the train, but was pleasantly surprised to find that they gave us tickets for certain times which meant that when we went to the train we had a less than 5 minute wait!

Holiday Events in PDX - Oregon Zoo's Zoo Lights at A Well Crafted Party

 

Get your family photo in the tunnel of lights! There are so many great photo opportunities at Zoo Lights, but this is my favorite. I am so glad that it is a staple in the zoo light decorations and comes back year after year.

Win 4 Tickets to Oregon Zoo’s Zoo Lights 2016

Must be 18+ years of age or older, and a US resident to enter to win. Winner will be notified via email, so please leave a valid email address within your comment on with Rafflecopter. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email to claim their prize. If they do not respond a new winner will be chosen. Upon confirmation, tickets will be placed in will call at the zoo under the winner’s name. Tickets are valid for one-time use from completion of contest through the last night of ZooLights (January 1, 2017). Visit the Zoo Website for more information about ZooLights. Value of four tickets is $59.80. No cash value. Non-transferrable.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Baby Style: JoJo Maman Bébé for Winter

Baby Style: JoJo Maman Bébé for Winter

I can’t even… isn’t he just the cutest!?! Not sure if this is just my momma sensibility coming out or if he is just the cutest little bug, but I sure love this kid. I love dressing him up in chunky sweaters more than anything because he looks like the sweetest little old man EVER. He looks especially cute in this navy, red, and white combo that are compliments of JoJo Maman Bébé’s AW16 Collection.

This post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. To learn more about my posting policies regarding sponsored posts please visit my policies page. As always, thank you for reading more about the companies that help support this blog. 

Baby Style sponsored by JoJo Mama n Bébé - A Well Crafted Party

Just being honest here. He totally has Bernie Sanders hair, am I right? While he looks pretty bald he actually has a really fine layer of super blonde hair growing strong. The back is growing much faster than the top though so he may have a mullet the next time we do a baby style post.

 

Baby Style sponsored by JoJo Mama n Bébé - A Well Crafted Party

Baby Style sponsored by JoJo Mama n Bébé - A Well Crafted Party

 

 

Warm and Coordinated Winter Style for Baby

Little man is just over 1 year now. He started walking at 9 months and while still a little wobbly is really quite good at getting around. He loved walking amongst the trees as we were searching for the perfect one. He is dressed in size 2T right now, can you believe it? While he is around the 85% on his weight he is fairly average in height so we are often rolling up the sleeves and pants of his outfits nowadays. Good thing these adorable red jersey lined twill pants have a cute inner lining that show when folded! He stayed nice and cozy with his twill pants and cable knit sweater.

Baby Style sponsored by JoJo Mama n Bébé - A Well Crafted Party

Save when you buy more!

Much of JoJo Maman Bébé’s AW16 collection is available to buy using a multibuy offer. The offers can be used when purchasing a different color or size of an item of the same style.

A range of offers are available for customers including:
“Save $20 when you buy any 2” on all children’s coats
“Save $10 when you buy any 2” on selected children’s wear, footies, sleeping bags, and comforters
“Save $20 when you buy any 2” on selected maternity wear
“Save $5 when you buy 2” on selected bibs
“3 for 2” on selected tights

These offers are perfect for purchasing those handy wardrobe essentials with a wide variety of styles available in many exciting prints and colors. In addition to the cute clothing and sweet multi-buy offers I am in love with the adorable stockings and holiday gear!

 

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Ideas with Little Black Dress Wines

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Ideas with Little Black Dress Wines

Wine is such a wonderful highlight at any dinner table including the Thanksgiving dinner table.  Little Black Dress Wines  (LBD Wines) sent over a few bottles of wine for me to try so I may share my experience with you! Hopefully the below tips help you in choosing your Thanksgiving wines this year. While this post is sponsored all opinions are my own. To learn more about my posting policies regarding sponsored posts please visit my policies page. As always, thank you for reading more about the companies that help support this blog. 

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings - A Well Crafted Party

Most Important Rule for Wine Pairing

The number one first rule to think of when pairing wines is simple… pick a wine you LIKE! It doesn’t matter how many experts weight in to say that a certain bottle of wine will taste fabulous with your turkey and cranberry sauce, if you don’t like that particular style of wine it won’t taste good to you! I do like having at least two different options (ideally three) of wines that I feel will pair well with the meal so that my guests can choose a style that fits their tastes.

One of the things I like the most about the LBD wines that I tried is that they are all at an affordable price point (under $15 at my local store) and are fairly friendly to a variety of palates.

 

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings - A Well Crafted Party

 

My favorite pairings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal

The traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and greens can get pretty heavy on the palate. When I choose my Thanksgiving wines I tend to look for wines that will not be heavy on the palate, so lighter in body, but not so light that it gets lost in all the bolder flavors of the gravy and stuffing. My three favorite wines for pairing with Thanksgiving meal are a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and a Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Noir

I tend to love red wines, especially in the Fall, a Pinot Noir that is not too fruit-forward will pair nicely with both the turkey and a flavorful stuffing. It won’t overpower your mashed potatoes and will bring out some of the wonderful complex flavors of that pumpkin pie. The LBD Pinot Noir boasts “complex flavors of cherry and clove” and the finish has hints of pomegranate to it.

Chardonnay

If I decide to go with a white wine I tend to like a good Chardonnay. If you get a Chardonnay that isn’t too oaky with some good flavors of Fall fruit it will pair nicely with many of the flavors in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The LBD Chardonnay has a accents of vanilla and oak that aren’t overpowering. The LBD website describes the wine as “fruit forward with flavors of apple and pear.”

Pinot Grigio

Finally, I like some spice on my Thanksgiving table. My favorite cranberry sauce is a jalapeno cranberry salsa with a medium heat to it. Pair that spicy cranberry sauce with some wonderful dark meat Turkey and a glass of a crisp and cool Pinot Grigio. The LBD Pinot Grigio boasts “aromas of apple, melon and lemongrass before a zesty tangerine finish.” The not-too-sweet and not-too-acidic wine really went nicely with the cranberry sauce!

 

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings - A Well Crafted Party

 

Learn more about LBD Wines.

Need a cocktail recipe for this year’s Thanksgiving cocktail hour? See my Spiced Pear Cocktail that is easy to make in a batch!

 

What do you plan on serving to drink at your Thanksgiving?

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