412 Days

Son,

Before I had you I wondered often why people said “13 months” or “18 months” instead of “just over a year” or “a year and a half.” Then you came along. And, each and every day something new happens. You learn something new. Or, you do something new. Or, you say something new. 
If I could say, “He is 412 days old,” and not look like a weirdo then I totally would. 
You amaze me. And, saying that you are a year old doesn’t quite express all of the amazing things you have accomplished in this year. 
Take today for instance:
This morning you cuddled with me on bed and then you said, “nana, nana.” “Nana,” is your word for banana and really, any food in general. That let me know that you were hungry. So, I put you down on the ground, handed you your bottle and said, “bring this into the living room and we will get breakfast.” You took the bottle and walked into the living room. You were so in control and you understood me!

After handing your bottle to dad you looked at me and followed me into the kitchen. When I grabbed a banana you looked at me and clapped your hands. “Nana!” you said excitedly. You are associating objects with names which makes me thrilled beyond reason. 

In the afternoon you danced in circles to the sounds of the music playing in the background. You did a few new moves that I’d never seen before. You clapped because you knew you were doing something awesome.

After you had “done your business” you walked up to me with a package of wipes that you had gotten out of your diaper bag. You handed them to me expectantly and then followed me into your room when I suggested we change your diaper. 

Sure, we had to do a time out today. You like to test me when I tell you that you can’t go into the kitchen. But, it sure is hard not to smile when I see that you know what you need to do and keep looking to see if I am watching you. The way you barely put your foot over the line that separates the kitchen from the living room makes me laugh all over on the inside (even if I say no sternly on the outside). 
And then, this evening you melted my heart when you greeted your father with a huge hug. You didn’t want to let him out of your sight. You followed him everywhere as soon as he got home. You then went outside with him and walked around the house, picking up the apples that had fallen from the trees. 
Part of me wishes you could remember today. The other part is thankful that years from now you won’t have to remember what it was like to have your mom clean your backside or how it feels for those four teeth cutting through your gums. But, today you were happy and you learned so much. Today, number 412, was a day I will never ever let myself forget. 
I love you,
Mom

Branding

Most of the 30 people who read this blog (THANK YOU!) know that I started blogging over at A Well Crafted Party. I love writing about parties and DIY events. But, after having the kiddo I really wanted to write about more. I started incorporating “Mommy Monday” into A Well Crafted Party. But, after a while I realized that I had more to say than just once a week, it wasn’t always party or mommy related, and I was losing some party fans with the change in content.

Yes, I could have just changed the nature of the blog and made it about both parties and babies. It didn’t feel right though and certainly didn’t fit with the name. So, I created this site.

I love this site. I created the banner, buttons, and all and I am thrilled with how it all turned out. Writing on this blog makes me super happy. But, I don’t want to give up my other blog. I still really enjoy everything that it is about.

After the Portland Bloggers meet-ups became a regular event and we really wanted to start growing the community I decided it was time to have a site for that as well. Thus, Portland Bloggers the website was created and I had yet another URL in my name.

I seem to be doing okay with all of these sites. They take a lot of time to keep up. I am getting into a groove with that though. Eventually it will become easier. The hard thing was deciding what blog to promote when I as out at networking events. My business cards was a mess with three different urls, Facebook pages, and then my twitter and Instagram.

So, over the weekend I worked on branding myself a little better. I finished the touches on my website and designed and printed new cards. Now when I go to networking events I can steer people to one site that explains ALL of my side projects and introduce them to my freelance services.

my new business cards

I decided to go ahead and add the Portland Bloggers site to the back of my cards since I often am attending networking events in Portland, Oregon. But, the front of the card says my name, my title, my website (www.jennibost.com) and my Twitter handle. So much cleaner!

My new site really shows how much I am interested in and all the different freelance items I offer. Speaking of… I just added business card design and web element design to my Etsy store. So, if your blog is wanting of a make over then contact me and we can get it looking fabulous!

This doesn’t change things for any of my current blog readers. You can follow along however you’ve been following. Maybe eventually I can create a combined feed on my site that allows for people who just want to read all three of my blogs (hi mom!) to do it in one place. But, I think the branding will benefit my freelance work and networking attempts.

How did you brand yourself and your blog? 

Monthly Photos: 10 Month Photos

Wow! I am BEHIND on posting my little man’s monthly photos. I somehow managed to actually keep up with taking monthly photos. Most of them were taken on my phone and are not the best quality. (Didn’t have a DSLR until recently.) But, I don’t think any of that matters in the long run. Sure, it is nice to have great photos. It is wonderful on a blog to have pretty photos. But, in the scheme of things. I’m going to love that I took these photos whether or not they were taken with a fabulous camera or my iPhone. Anywho… here are his 10 Month photos!

Had to take a break in the middle of photos this time to be silly.

Check out all the lil man’s Monthly Photos to see how much he has grown!

Nice to Meet You: Favorite Things You’ve Made

Nice To Meet You

I love the idea behind the “Nice to Meet You” linky party that Adventures in Dressmaking and several other awesome blogs are hosting. This linky party’s theme is “Favorite Things You’ve Made” and I thought it super appropriate for a DIY party blog. So, I’m listing the six favorite things I’ve made— Party Edition.

I’d love to know YOUR six favorite things that you have made. So, if you’d like to link up then head on over and link up your favorite things (you can even link up a Pinterest board!) -OR- just tell me about them in the comments section.

Favorite Things I’ve Made—Party Edition

1. Party Dress— I am not the best seamstress…. but, I have always loved the idea of designing clothes. So, one of my all time favorites is the party dress I designed, made out of material I used at one of my other parties, and then wore on my birthday and for my maternity photos. 

2. Newspaper Program—Maybe it is because it was from my wedding. Maybe it is because it was a newspaper. The program had mistakes, it wasn’t perfect. But, it was my favorite detail of our wedding (other than the groom) and I am sure glad I made it!

3. My sister’s wedding. This is a broad one here… but, I’m seriously so proud of every little detail that came to life for her wedding. I did a lot of little handmade details. Her invitations, the ribbon backdrop, the flowers… all favorites of mine!

4. The Mad Tea Party Decor— The Alice in Wonderland Halloween party was over-the-top and nothing like a traditional Halloween party. It was such a blast creating this space and it was so beautiful I didn’t want to take it down for weeks. As a matter of fact one of the party elements stayed up in our home until we moved this past month… that is a couple of years!

5. My Fancy Pants Birthday Party— I had a lot of fun creating the Fancy Pants birthday party with tongue in cheek printables, handmade hats, lots of glitter, and all homemade gourmet food. (And, while the photos are not fabulous… I’m really proud of all the DIY posts that came out of this party.)

6. The Cherry Blossoms Wedding photo shoot that I styled and helped put together. I am over the moon that it was featured on Hostess with the Mostess.

Photography done by Aubrie of Capturing Grace Photography
Now, what have you made that you are super proud of? I’d love to hear about it/see it!

Free Goodies for Facebook Fans

Hello friends! Thanks so much for keeping up with all the fun on the blog. I love adding {Real Party} posts, {DIY} tutorials, and {Free Printables} for all the lovely people who follow the blog. But, I wanted to go ahead and add some extra incentives for those fans who follow along with the A Well Crafted Party Facebook Page. (Thanks to the amazing tutorial from Her New Leaf I was able to add this fun feature without too much of a headache.

All A Well Crafted Party Facebook Fans will have the opportunity to receive special free tutorials and printables throughout the year. Currently I have a simple, but cute Halloween printable package up ready for you to download!

Canning: The Plan

Some of the goodies from last year’s canning session

I’m super excited about canning this year because we actually have a pantry to put my canned items in. Also, we have two apple trees that keep dropping apples all over… so, applesauce for all! Wooohoo!

Last year I canned for the first time since I was a little girl canning strawberry jam with my grandma. I made applesauce, pear sauce, apple butter, and apple & pear jam. This year I plan canning those yummy items and adding a few more. Here are some of the recipes I am excited to try:

Follow along with my Pinterest Canning Board
Actually, if you haven’t been to the Food in Jars site and you want to can or like canning then I’d highly recommend going. So many great articles/tips/recipes!
I’m actually working on the Dilly Beans and Garlic Dill Pickles tomorrow… so, watch out for canning posts in the near future. 
Do you can? If so, what are your favorite recipes? 

Tips on Making a "Where the Wild Things Are" Hat

Yesterday’s post over the awesome Where the Wild Things Are First Birthday thrown by Adi, from Garden of Edlen, for her son Jack left one of my favorite details out… just because I wanted to share it with you in a separate post because it was THAT cool.

Right before we left, we got to see little Jack open his gift from us and from Jason and Suzannah from Adventures in Dressmaking. Suzannah had made little Jack a hat like Max’s from the story “Where the Wild Things Are.” It was so adorable I asked for a few tips for all my readers out there still trying to figure out Halloween costumes this year.

Continue Reading…

Birthdays, Friends, My Loves, and Worn Out Toddlers

Earlier this month I was a guest at a beautiful first birthday party put on by the fabulous Adi from Garden of Edlen. The party pics are up at my other blog…but, I had a lot of other photos from the event that I wanted to share. There are a couple that are a tad blurry…sorry!

Myself, Adi (Garden of Edlen) and Suzannah (Adventures in Dressmaking)

I’ve had the extreme fortune this past year of getting to know these two lovely ladies through the Portland Bloggers meet-ups. We’ve really had a lot of fun working on the Portland Bloggers group… but, memories like these are my favorite. We’ve become a part of each others lives outside of blogging, yet we get to keep up with each others day to day activities through blogging. It is like the perfect mix of social networking in the real world and the virtual world. Getting a little sappy over here.

This is pretty much my view all of the time. My kiddo walking with his dad right behind him making sure he doesn’t fall too hard. I’m pretty smitten with the two of them.

And, this is what Jack and X looked like near the end of Jack’s first birthday party. They were totally worn out by all the fun. Go check out the lovely party images of Jack’s Wild Rumpus and get some ideas for an awesome “Where the Wild Things Are” party!

{Real Party} Where the Wild Things Are First Birthday

You know, it is pretty awesome to have super talented and amazing friends. I love throwing a party any day of the week. But, sometimes it is just fun to go to a party and be surprised by all the lovely little details. Adi, from Garden of Edlen (a fellow Portland blogger), threw a top-notch, awesome birthday party for her son Jack’s first birthday. Adi went with a Do-It-Yourself approach to creating a party based on the book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. Check out the awesome DIY details so you can create your very own “Where the Wild Things Are” First Birthday Party.

Continue Reading…

{Help} Toddler Sleep Issues

My kid is 13 months old. He has slept 8 hours in a row exactly 3 times in his entire life. Right now he sleeps about 2 to 2 1/2 hours at a time before he wakes up screaming. Like, end of the world, actual tears type screaming. 

X around 2 weeks old— So cute when sleeping…. right!?
The lack of sleep makes me and my {wonderful, gets up every time with me and takes the brunt of the work} husband more than a little worn out throughout the day. And, after a year of it, we are just useless most days. This isn’t good for us. It isn’t good for our responsibilities. It isn’t good for our friendships. But, most of all… it isn’t good for our child or our relationship. {No worries… we are doing okay, but it sure does take extra work with no sleep.}
Anyways… advice for a sleepless mom? I’ve read the books. I’ve read the blogs. I’ve done everything under the sun that I can think of to help him in this matter. 
Doc says it might be the extreme growth spurts he has had throughout his life. He is pretty tall for his age. He also seems to be in a constant state of teething. He has 8 teeth and has 6 currently working their way out at the moment.
He wakes up HUNGRY all the time. He’ll drink 6 oz of milk and go straight back to sleep in most cases. We’ve tried water and he’ll drink it, but won’t sleep. 
He screams himself to sleep (not more than 5 minutes) nearly every nap and every bedtime. We have a routine that we keep to in most cases. We’ve tried rocking him to sleep and he just hits and wiggles. We’ve tried waiting until he just collapses due to sheer exhaustion and he wakes up crankier than ever a few hours later. 
Is he just fighting sleep? Is he just hungry due to growth spurts? Is he teething? Is it the crib—should I take him out of the bars? Am I doing something wrong? Do these questions ever end? 
Maybe a trick your baby loves will be just the thing for my kid. Or, is your baby one of those babies that didn’t sleep for the longest time—even when everyone said it would be at 3, 5, 6, 9 months? Please, let me know that I am not alone. Or tell me what worked for you. 
Thanks! 

Me, Me, Me

***If the title didn’t give it away… this post is all about ME. It is ego-centric and reflective. If you don’t want to read the word “I” a bajillion times then I’m glad you stopped by, but stop reading now. 
I’ll be back soon with something less me-centric. ***
I’ve been super reflective lately because of a few huge things that have/are happening to me right now:
  • I’m very soon to be turning 29 years old. I’ve been looking forward to this birthday most of my life (12/12/12) and have always had certain expectations for where I would be and who I would be at my 29th birthday. 
  • I quit my service industry job of 6 years to pursue writing, look for full-time career-style employment, and/or stay at home with my son. 
  • I moved into a house rather than an apartment for the first time in our marriage.
  • We started weaning and I have my own body to myself for the first time in nearly 2 years. Don’t get me wrong… loved sharing it with my little guy for his enrichment and development. But, I’m happy to have it back. 

 These changes have cause me to really examine my life and what I’ve been doing for the past 29 years.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with me.
 I feel like I’ve become the type of person I want to be and I want to teach my kid(s) to be. I try my hardest to be confident, kind, non-judgmental, giving, and thankful. I’m certainly not perfect. But, I don’t expect myself to be perfect (anymore, that is a whole other story though) and I don’t want my kid(s) to expect perfection out of themselves or out of me. 

But, as for where I am at in my life. 
I expected more from myself. 
I’ve allowed the lack of funds or fear of failure to dictate my achievements for too long. I’ve worked for free to “build my portfolio” or “because I’m not a real pro” for too long. I’ve downplayed my worth for too long. 

And, I’m learning to be okay with that. 
It has all been a part of building the WHO I am part of me. 
But, now it is time for me. 


This is going to be MY year. 
(I plan on being as supportive as ever to my husband and son…
 but, other than that there is going to be a lot of putting ME first this year)

My goals this year: 
  • Finish my novel. I have been working on a novel for three + years now. And, in my freelance gig I had to write a novel in a month. So, now I know I can do it. I am going to focus on my novel and get it done. I’ll be looking for (free/cheap) editors friends who like to read. :)
  • Develop my E-course/E-book idea and have it running before the end of 2013. I’m super excited about developing and collaborating with a few friends on this project. 
  • Spend time putting my physical well-being a priority. I will be posting on this later in much more detail. Overall I am pretty healthy, but I have had some significant pain over the past four years that are semi-directly related to my weight. It is time to make this a priority, but I want it to enrich my life rather than take away some of the joy. Finding the balance and implementing a routine will be a huge goal for this year. 
  • Party like its 12/12/12. Silly goal, I know. But, when ever since I turned 12 and my grandmother made a HUGE deal out of the the fact that I turned 12 on 12/12 I have looked forward to my 29th birthday. And, I throw parties. Financially throwing a party right now is irresponsible and not at all possible for us. But, my hopes are that I can score enough freelance gigs to make a small celebration happen. 
Are you where you want to be in your life? 
What are your goals for YOU? 

Real Parties: Elegant Disney Princess Party

When I saw the following photos that a friend of mine from the high school days posted of her daughter’s birthday party my jaw literally hung open. Lora Scantling is a talented photographer, wonderful mother, and all around awesome person… and man, can she throw a party! We featured her daughter’s Mad Tea Party a while back. Her little girls will have many fond birthday memories for sure. With no further ado… enjoy this submission from Scantling Photography (Yukon, Oklahoma)!

Look for great DIY elements, beautiful photo based invitations, and creative uses of the fairytale stories!

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

News, Update, Etc.

When life gives you cake… eat it. Photo by Motormouth Studio

Wow… when I said I was taking a break I thought I would be out a week or two. I’m still looking for more steady/income-bringing style work. In the meantime I’ve dipped deeply into the freelance gigs and am constantly writing… just not here.

 I’m so thankful for getting paid to write though and am hoping that with time I can come back to this lovely site more regularly. It is one of my first loves, after all.

 UPDATE

 — I’ve moved! I am now closer to the heart of the city and I love the new place. But, that means most of my life is in boxes at the moment and the internet is still waiting to be connected. Blah.
— My kiddo turned 1! Unreal that a year has gone by already. Macey from Motormouth Studio took some shots of the first birthday party and I will share them as soon as I can.
— I’ve been working on weddings… some fun DIYS, photos, etc. sure to come your way.

NEWS


The Portland Bloggers group is growing! I’m super excited about where the Portland Bloggers Meet-Ups have gone over the past year. I’m even more excited about where they are going. Our next meet-up is this SUNDAY! If you are a Portland area blogger and haven’t gotten on the Master Blogger list and aren’t following the PDXBloggers.com site then you are missing out!
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