Instagram Birthday Photo Challenge

My hubby’s 30th birthday was this past week. My sister-in-law came out for the week and the hubby took a vacation. We had a blast. There was a beach visit, a tour of Portland, many picnics, and a lot of pictures taken. My sister’s boyfriend brought a really snazzy camera and took family photos for us. I can’t wait to share those photos… 
but, in the meantime, I wanted to share one of the “gifts” I did for my husband’s birthday. 
My husband LOVES instagram. 
(As a matter of fact… if you have Instagram and you like seeing pretty photos then you should follow him, @PortlandPorter. He really does have some great photos and 
he counts his followers…so, it would be a gift in itself!) 
It was such fun to play this little game throughout the day on his birthday. And, some of his other friends played as well. I didn’t get to number 30 because my phone died in the middle of the day. 
But, it was a fun time. 
Some of my favorite photos:
#8 Beer— I love that my phone is in the background. Photo by @PortlandPorter
#1-5 and #29 all in one photo! Photo by our friend in Tulsa, Oklahoma @gthorne
#6 Tall— Super creative photo by @Julie_Sachiko
#13: Japan— Photo by @YolyPants
#7 Coffee— Photo by me @jennibost
#19 Earring — Photo by @PortlandPorter 
I’m sure my instagram followers were overloaded by photos from me… but, it was a lot of fun.
I love instagram challenges. May have to come up with more. 
Maybe something baby related…sure do love looking at baby photos! 

{Guest Post} DIY Flower Decoration Ideas for a Cocktail Party

 I’m on a bit of a vacation this week…
but, I didn’t want to leave you high and dry for the week. 
When Patricia, a part-time florist for Serenata Flowers UK, asked if I would like a guest post on DIY floral ideas, I jumped at the opportunity. You know how much I love DIY Floral Decor.
Enjoy Patricia’s tips!
~*~

DIY Flower Decoration Ideas at a Cocktail Party

The one thing to remember when choosing the perfect flowers for your cocktail party decorations is that they don’t have to be costly. Creativity and imagination when creating the flower decorations are the most important factors. Think outside-the-box when coming up with ideas for decorating the cocktail party, and use items already at the party location to showcase the floral decorations. The next step to helping choose the right flowers is to decide if the cocktail party is going to be casual or formal. A great place to find a cheap florist to help select affordable, beautiful flowers for your decorations is at your local supermarket. Most larger grocery store chains have a florist department with a knowledgeable staff. If a person wants flowers shipped to them, then try a postal flower service. The flowers usually come boxed, and they can be delivered to the cocktail party destination on a specific date. An online florist usually has specific floral deals marked postal flowers on their website. These deals offer the customer affordable flower choices specifically selected for those wanting flowers for their cocktail party or special event.

Casual Cocktail Party Flower Decorations

Mason jar centerpieces are a pretty floral decoration idea for a casual cocktail party. Wild flowers, daisies and carnations are great flower choices for a casual event. Chose flowers in vibrant colors like yellow, deep purple and pink. If the cocktail party has a specific color scheme, then dye the florals to match. Another option is to ask the florist where the flowers were purchased if they offer this service, most do.

The fastest way to get several flower decorations done at one time is to line the containers being used in an assembly line fashion. Tie a pretty floral bow around the top of each mason jar. Arrange the florals into a full bouquet. Secure the bouquet at the stems with a rubber band. Place the bouquet in the first mason jar. Make several of these mason jar centerpieces to be placed throughout the areas where the cocktail party is being held. Place a solid colored runner down the main table being used for the cocktail party. Place a few of the mason jar centerpieces down the center of the runner. Another fun idea is to place a mason jar with small bouquets at each table setting, which could also be used as place setting cards. Also, place a few mason jar centerpieces in the entryway and throughout the areas of the cocktail party. When the cocktail party is over, give each guest an arrangement as a thank you for attending the event.

Formal Cocktail Party Flower Decorations

Marble vase centerpieces are an elegant floral decoration choice for a formal cocktail party. Lilies, roses and peonies are great flower choices to use for the decorations. Choose flowers in ivory or soft pastel colors to decorate a formal cocktail party. Fill a large glass vase with clear marbles and water. Arrange the flowers in the vase until a beautiful bouquet is formed. Tie an ivory or white satin ribbon around where the stems meet at top of the vase. Make elegant flower decorations in various sized vases with arrangements varying from one single flower to a full arrangement. Place full marble vase centerpieces at the center of the main tables being used for the cocktail party, fireplace mantles and entryways. Place smaller vase arrangements in front of each plate to be used as name place setting cards. If there is a staircase in the entryway where the cocktail party is being held, then attach single flowers with satin ribbon cascading down the banister.

{About the Author}

Patricia Hall works part-time for Serenata Flowers UK an online florist and loves to surround herself with flowers at any given point of time. Even in her free time she loves to involve herself with everything flora and fauna. ‘To me there is nothing more beautiful and global as the language of flowers – it is the easiest to understand all around the world in the same way. That is one reason why I truly admire flowers for what they represent in some ways – unity of all mankind!’

{Full Disclosure}
Patricia contacted me about hoping to do a guest post. This is not a compensated post. I have not used Serenta Flowers before and cannot recommend them first-hand. But, posts like these do help keep A Well Crafted Party running, because I needed a vacation this week! So, thank you for reading and I hope the information inspired! 

{Creative Daily} Using iMovie

Today we went to the coast. It was a wonderful day of sand, semi-sun, and a delicious picnic. I took a lot of photos and videos on my iphone and wanted to have some creative fun with the videos that didn’t include just uploading them to Facebook for friends to see. So, I pulled out my iMovie app and got to work. The coolest feature on iMovie (for iPhone) is the “trailer” option. You get to splice great images of your videos together to make a trailer like video. My video isn’t the coolest thing out there. But, I like it and will cherish this little thing forever.

And, that my dears is how I was creative today. How about you?

{Friday Finds} Neon

I really, really try to like neon. 
I do. But, most the time it reminds me of this: 
Old photo of me sporting neon tie-dye
or this: 
Hubby sporting neon when he was younger. He had just scraped up his face pretty bad in a bike accident…boys, eh?
But, there are some people out there doing neon right. 
I applaud the following for making neon look good:
1. This neon polkadot lunch sac via A Fabulous Fete is awesome. Of course, anything A Fabulous Fete does is awesome—check out her Summer Etsy product shoot in all its bright-colored goodness.
2. These neon beer bottles turned vases are so bright and cheery. Hey, they may even glow in the dark so you can see your pretty flowers at night as well! (disclaimer: probably don’t actually glow in the dark)
3. Cupcakes and Cutlery makes neon look like SO much fun. Her “Neon & Neutral So Glad You Were Born” party is such a fabulous idea for a birthday party. 
4. The above party was also featured on Hostess with the Mostess blog….where I also found an awesome Neon & Radical 80’s themed 30th birthday bash. Celebrating a milestone birthday with a party based on the decade they were born– totally rad. Also on HWTM— “He Makes My Heart Glow: Neon Bridal Shower” which not only has a great, original theme, but also uses the neon trend with washi tape and gold fringe banners. This party is more than a little bit trendy and I love it.
5. Then, there are some of my real-life blogging buddies pulling off neon in such a stylish and fashionable way that I’ve been thinking I need some in my closet once again (might stay away from the tie-dyed variety though):
So, how about you… are you feeling neon?

I owe you

Sorry, got caught up enjoying my 6th anniversary with the hubby to post today. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow.

I love you. I just love him more. 😉

Six Years of Marriage

My husband and I met after we were set up on a blind date by mutual friends. He was three weeks from graduating college and I still had two full years to go. A year and a half later and we were engaged to be married. I had never really even thought about marriage before meeting him. After I met him I felt like my whole world flipped on its head and was finally going in the right direction. June 6, 2006 I married my best friend. To this day I am still excited to share my day with him, to listen to his day, and to dream about our future together.
My favorite memories of the past six years:
Our First Year of Marriage
1. Our wedding & honeymoon

Our Second Year of Marriage
1. Our move to Oregon— we hopped into our Uhaul and hit the road. 
It was a long, hard trip. But, such a good decision for us both.
2. My hubby (after two months without a job) got a job at a bookstore where we met some of our greatest friends. 
Our Third Year of Marriage
1.Visited the Oregon coast for the first time. It was my very first trip to see the Pacific Ocean!
2. My family came to visit Oregon for the first time. I was able to show them all around town. 
3. We threw our very first Halloween party (A Haunted Halloween Dinner Party) and it became a yearly tradition for us to host the Halloween party.
Our Fourth Year of Marriage
1.Went camping with friends at Crater Lake. 
Seriously… Oregon is the most beautiful state I’ve ever seen.
2. Traveled to Colorado to see my brother get married. 
3. My husband found a job that he really loves and is fantastic at.
4. I started my blog, A Well Crafted Party.
Our Fifth Year of Marriage
1. Got to see my lil’ sister get married.  
2. Really got started with A Well Crafted Party having parties featured all over the internet.
3. Hubby and I found out we were pregnant!!
4. We bought our first car together.
5. Went on an anniversary weekend touring Portland as if we were tourists.
Our Sixth Year of Marriage
1. We became a family of three.
2. I was able to introduce my son to his paternal great-grandparents. This was very important to me because I grew up with them and wanted so very much for them to meet my children. This was a first time flying on a plane with a little one as well.
3. The wonderful long visit of my in-laws over the holidays. X was lucky to get to spend his first Christmas with family and I was fortunate to have the extra help over that stressful time.
5. The Portland Blogger Meet-Ups began and I was fortunate enough to get to work with wonderful bloggers and make some great new friends.
6. My son… this year so far has been filled with so much love and learning for both me, my husband, and our son. It has seriously been the best thing to happen in my life so far and everything else pales in comparison.
Today is my sixth anniversary with my husband. 
 
To my love,
Thank you for supporting me and for challenging me.
Thank you for laughing with me and continually making me laugh.
Thank you for giving me our son. 
Thank you for being a wonderful friend, husband, and father. 

I love you always,
Jenni
Thanks to all my readers for letting me share so much of my life with you. 
What has been your favorite memory of your marriage (or relationship) so far?

{Recipe} German Pancakes & Whiskey and Apple Syrup

Breakfast is probably my favorite meal to make.
The above breakfast was probably the most amazing (and easy) breakfast I’ve ever made.
I used a German Pancake recipe via Smitten Kitchen. I changed it just a tad by using my 12-inch cast iron skillet for the pan rather than two 9-inch cake pans. I’d suggest doing this because it was awesome. The cast iron skillet gives a slightly crispy edge to the crust of the pancake. So, so good.
But, the secret is in the sauce. Or, in this case…the syrup.
My husband claimed this syrup as the best syrup he has had in his entire life.
There was plate licking involved.

{Real Party} My Wedding

I could have sworn that I had posted my wedding on here before…but, searching through my posts I couldn’t find anything about it. My hubby and I are coming up on our six-year anniversary. 
That of course has got me thinking about our big day. 
I loved our wedding. We worked really hard on making it special (and affordable). We tried to pay for most of the event ourselves, but we were very thankful to have help from friends and family. It was an ideal start for a young couple and it has only got better each and every day that we’ve been married. 
 We put our wedding together before the invention of Pinterest and the many wedding blogs out there. Part of me looks forward to one of our bigger anniversary dates so I can throw a huge anniversary party utilizing all of those new tools. 
Here are some of my favorite details of the wedding:
I married the man of my dreams and my best friend. I’m pretty much the luckiest chic on the planet.

The men looking snazzy in their tuxes

My mom handmade all of the dresses for the wedding party

My aunt made my wedding bouquet and added in a handkerchief and cameo from my great-grandmother

We scraped together enough money to pay for a wonderful Jazz band—I wish that I could pay them three times what we did. They were absolutely amazing.

My family made tasty desserts for our dessert and coffee reception

My little sister was my maid of honor—Isn’t she lovely?

Our wedding party was slightly LARGE—It was nice being surrounded by friends and family

The Mother-of-the-Bride and the Mother-of-the-Groom accidentally got the same dresses… but, they looked gorgeous!

My lovely flower girls walking down the aisle
Tomorrow I’ll have a post about the DIY elements of the wedding. Thanks for letting me share!

Bloggers for Birth Kits

This past week I had the pleasure of getting together with Megan, The Boho Mama, and friends to help put together birth kits to be sent to women of Papua New Guinea via Bloggers for Birth Kits.
Putting together the Birth Kits

Delicious snacks for all the ladies working on the kits

Adorable drink station set up by Megan… seriously most adorable cups and saucers, ever!
Each kit comes with 3X3 plastic square, gauze squares, string, razor blade, 1/8 bar of soap, and plastic gloves
Reading the stories about the conditions of other people in the world when giving birth is extremely eye opening and humbling. It is easy here in America to complain about the conditions we give birth in. We fight about what is better for ourselves and our babies— 
home birth? birthing center? hospital? midwife? OBGYN? 
I feel fortunate to have those choices,
 even if I might have complained about one thing or another along the way.  
I am thankful to the people out there that help to remind me of just how fortunate I am and give me opportunities like this one to help others out there who have not been as fortunate as me. 
More information for Blogging for Birth Kits and ways to help donate to this great cause can be found over at The Mommyhood Memos. So far 4861 birth kits have been donated!
The Mommyhood Memos Bloggers for Birth Kits

Well Crafted Fans: Party Backdrop and Mojito

I was so excited to receive a couple of photos from people who read “A Well Crafted Party” and used some of the inspiration they found here in their real life.
Heidi, from Illuminating Events, contacted me ages ago about the card backdrop I created for my Mad Tea Party a few years ago. I e-mailed her a few tips on how to create one of her own. She ended up creating a wonderful backdrop for her party and sent me some of the lovely photos.

9 Month Photos

Every month I take photos of my lil guy to document his growth.
I cannot believe he is nine months old. 
Here are his photos from this month’s session. 

This one was taken after he got changed into his pjs for the evening and dad was playing him some songs
Check out all the lil man’s Monthly Photos to see how much he has grown!

June Portland Bloggers’ Meet-Up

I’ve been a busy, busy bee lately getting things together for the next Portland Bloggers’ Meet-up!

The June meet-up is going to be a nice, casual family picnic for all the area bloggers and their families. I’m super excited about seeing all of the families together and meeting some bloggers in real life. I’m now dreaming up ideas for my family’s picnic food and yummy treats.
I also finished the second edition of the Portland Bloggers’ Newsletter… 
if you are a Portland Blogger then e-mail me and I’ll send you a copy!
Like the Picnic Invite? Create your own with Eat Drink Chic’s free printable invite & The pretty velvet flower and leaves are from puglypixel.com
I think that if these keep going well then I am going to need to throw a “Meet Your Favorite Bloggers” style meet-up so that area readers can actually say “HI!” to bloggers in real life. 
What do you think about that idea? Is it something you’d attend or take part of?

Cocktail Recipe: Honeydew Melon Mojito

I’m over at A Fabulous Fete guest posting a tasty version of a mojito— The Honeydew Melon Mojito!
If you make it I’d love to hear about it!

{Friday Finds} Printable Goodness, New websites, and Inspiration

Printable Wine Tags from How About Orange
I haven’t done a {Friday Finds} in a while and I have a whole list of great party finds that I just have to share, if only to make more room in my queue of “items to share.”
Check out these awesome finds and, if there are any you love,
 please share your comments with the great bloggers who have posted these awesome finds.
  • I’m not a huge fan of germs or doing a lot of dishes, which means I am a huge fan of wine glass tags. These free printable wine glass tags from How About Orange even have the added bonus of a cool wood grain and directions to make the tags reusable.
  • Party paper goods can end up eating a huge portion of the budget, but they can add so much pizazz to any event. Wedding Chicks have an amazing array of free printable party goodies that can really set your event (wedding, birthday, shower) apart for a fraction of the price that you would spend in the store. I really want an excuse to use the Man Men Inspired Save the Date cards that read “Madly in Love.”
  • Hey, and while I am talking about printables…. Chickabug has just come up with a fantastic idea of customizable water bottle labels with your choice of colors, fonts, and patterns. Thank goodness that not all parties have to be themed in order to find good printables out there. The labels are super affordable and can be customized for nearly any event.
  • Nicole, of Tradewind Tiaras, has created a party website to post all her amazing real party photos and tutorials, Tikkido.com. Oh, and she is also starting an online magazine with Frog Prince Paperie called Festivities. Busy and super talented lady! Good luck and Congrats Nicole!
  • I’ve tried making coffee filter flowers about a thousand times and haven’t really liked them…. but, this video tutorial (and amazing dye job) from Two Shades of Pink makes me want to try again.
  • The Busy Budgeting Mama is now selling customized look books to help you plan your next party. I was super excited to see my cake stand tutorial linked in the look book she posted as an example!
  • And, to leave you with a little inspiration… Summer is right around the corner and for me that means it is time for Picnics! Lauren, from The Little Things We Do, recently posted some real party inspiration for a picnic in the woods. Beautiful photos from Coeur de La Photography and event styling by Lauren!
The Little Things We Do‘s Magical Picnic in the Woods Photo by Coeur de La Photography
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
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