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

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

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

Continue Reading…

Breastfeeding Series: Kira of Rain or Shine

This post is part of a series of posts from bloggers with babies who have breastfed. In honor of my journey of breastfeeding ending with my son, I asked five different bloggers to share their breastfeeding stories with us all. My hopes with this series is to share the differences in each woman’s experience. I also want to highlight the fact that not one of these mothers did the same thing in their breastfeeding journey and that all of their babies are beautiful and healthy. Moms— Do the best you can do for  you and your child. That is what counts! 

The Experience of Breastfeeding: Kira & Pearl

by Kira of Rain OR Shine
I met Kira online over a year ago when she and I were both pregnant. Her blog, Rain OR Shine, was such fun to read while pregnant with my son (she was just a month behind me in her pregnancy). It is even more fun to read now that she posts the most adorable photos of Pearl and her Portlander Problems series (SO FUNNY!) I have been lucky enough to also meet this lovely lady and her daughter in real life. (And, yes… she is really that beautiful and ridiculously sweet to boot!)

1. Why did you decide to breast feed? 

I decided to breast feed for two reasons. The main reason was because it’s an undisputed fact that breast milk is just better for your baby than formula.  She gets the antibodies from my milk that she wouldn’t get from formula to help keep her from getting sick.  It is also easier for babies to digest.  The second reason is that it’s free and babies are expensive!  You have to buy so much for those tiny little people so it’s nice to not spend all of that money on formula as well.

2. What was your biggest challenge with breast feeding?

My biggest challenge was during the first four months of Pearl’s life.  She would often eat for an entire hour and was eating every two hours during the day.  That meant I was feeding her for an hour, I had an hour break, and then it started all over again.

3. What was your greatest breast feeding moment?

I didn’t have a specific moment, but we had a week where things finally started to click. Pearl started eating more efficiently and I realized that I was really figuring out how best to help her eat when she was having reflux issues.  I noticed that we were working together and that we were finally at a point where breast feeding had become “easy.”  In my birthing class, the instructor said that would happen when Pearl was around 6 weeks.  For us it really didn’t happen until she was four months, but I was so glad we stuck it through once we got to that point!

4. Did you solely breast feed? Supplement with formula or solid food?

Pearl was exclusively breast fed until she was six months old.  At that point I started making baby food to incorporate into her diet.  She started taking a lot more bottles of pumped milk at that point because she hated the cover I used when I tried to feed her in public.  She would refuse to eat, cry, and pull on it until she exposed me to everyone nearby.  I’m a pretty modest person and I just couldn’t deal with that.  So, when I didn’t have the opportunity to feed her behind a closed door or in the car, I made sure to always have a bottle with me.  By the time she was eight months old, I was so tired of pumping so I stopped.  We used up the rest of the milk in our freezer and I started supplementing with formula on occasion.  Between that point and the time she was a year old, I think I bought three containers of formula so she was still mostly breast fed.  By the time she was a year, I switched from supplementing with formula to organic whole milk.

5. At what age did you introduce solids? Any tips you can give mommies?

I waited until six months to introduce solids.  We never had any issues.  Pearl absolutely loves food and was willing to eat just about anything.  She only refused peas, but was willing to eat them mixed with other foods.  I don’t have many tips because we didn’t really have challenges there to overcome.  I used the Baby Bullet to make her food.  Pretty much any food processor would work, but I really love all of the little food storage containers that came with it.

6. Did you have a breast feeding goal?

I wanted to breast feed until she was a year old.  I didn’t have any strict rules on what that meant, and I wouldn’t have been super disappointed if it hadn’t worked out for that long.  I am glad that it did though.

7. Have you weaned? If so, how did you go about it?

Pearl is almost 13 months and she only nurses first thing in the morning now.  She doesn’t seem to have a preference between the boob and a bottle so I recently gave up the evening feeding and just give her whole milk before bed.  I don’t think she would care if I stopped nursing tomorrow, but breast feeding first thing in the morning is just so much more convenient than making a bottle.  I pull her out of her crib and nurse her while I am in bed.  It gives me time to wake up and she often falls back to sleep when she nurses in the morning so that is pretty nice too.  I’m not sure how I am ever going to give up the morning feeding.

8. Any tips for mommies out there thinking about breast feeding?

It might be hard at first.  In fact, it probably will be.  You will consider giving up so many times.  But it gets so much easier.  It feels great to know that you are doing what is best for your child even if it is a little more work at the beginning.  You and your baby will figure it out together.  So I guess my tip would be to give it more time than you probably want to.  Stick it out and you will be glad that you did.

Thank you so much to Kira for sharing her breastfeeding experience and being part of the “experience of breast feeding” post series! Please leave Kira your love in the comments section! 

Linking up to these parties:
  Eco Kidsparents as teachers
YAY! This post was featured:
Organic Aspirations

Rain Check

Portland Bloggers have been getting together for fun, casual meet-ups since October 2011. It has been great fun. We’ve done crafts, brunch, cocktail parties, and listened to a guest speaker. In planning these events I’ve been able to work with some really amazing bloggers who have offered up their spaces, donated their time and efforts, and rearranged schedules to attend.

 I’ve been wanting to grow the events into six fun meet-ups throughout the year. My hopes for the events are to include guest speakers and DIY projects during at least three of the meet-ups. The other three would be opportunities for bloggers to bring their significant-others along, family members, and eventually readers. This next meet-up is a family picnic that I have been looking forward to for a LONG while. I really can’t wait to meet everyone’s lovely families!

I knew the event needed to be in June to keep up with the every two months goal. But, I wanted a picnic…. and, in Portland the weather is a bit iffy in June. So, I picked late June hoping that the weather would cooperate.

So far the forecast is anything but hopeful. Myself (and others) have put a lot of time and effort into this meet-up and today I’ve just been stressed out about the weather. I’ve also been frustrated with myself, because I know better. I know better to plan an outdoor event without a plan B. Money was certainly a factor. Trying to keep these events cost free has been a difficult, but an important goal for me.

So, I’m habitually checking the weather reports hoping a strong wind pushes the weather away. I’m also trying to think of a good plan B. I’ve spent my entire day working on this…so, my post for today will wait.

In the meantime, I’m coming to you lovely party-people to ask: What do you do in these types of situations? And, if you are in the Portland area: Do you know of a venue that would be a good/inexpensive substitute for our event?

Thanks! And, remember…plan for rain!

UPDATE: Thanks so much to everyone that helped with advice! It certainly helped… and, now we have an alternate venue that is going to work out wonderfully. 

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,
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?

Happy Birthday A Well Crafted Party

My little blog turned two on April 26, 2012. 
Happy Birthday!
In honor of the blog’s second birthday and the recent Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up
 I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY. 
We all like those… right?
The gift to be given is a gift bag package similar to what the Portland Blogger’s got at the last Portland Blogger Meet-Up.  All the bloggers in attendance received wonderful swag bags filled with goodies from Sponsors of the event. You can get one of those swag bags as well!
Flowers and Macaroons not included in giveaway
The Winner will receive a gift card from Nuvrei

 Cupcake toppers from A Well Crafted Party

Winner will receive a sampling of products from Blue Strawberry Scent

A Felt Mushroom from Meme & Saysay

Lipstick from Radiant Cosmetic
You can get up to ten entries into this giveaway!
Anyone in the US are eligible to win this giveaway due to shipping costs.
If the winner does not live in the Portland, Oregon area they will receive items in place of the Nurvrei giftcard. This giveaway is not sponsored by the above companies.
The companies gave items to the Portland Blogger’s meet-up and the extras were gathered to share with you so that you can be introduced to their great products.
Five of the additional entries can be obtained by visiting the above companies on their
Facebook pages and “Liking” them! 
Blue Strawberry Scents
Radiant Cosmetics
A Well Crafted Party
Giveaway ends on May 19!

a Rafflecopter giveaway<a href=”http://rafl.es/enable-js”>You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>.

Portland Bloggers Button

Okay, I know I promised a West Elm inspired party inspration board post today… 
but, I got side-tracked with the planning and executing of a real party. 
I promise to get you lots of great photos and some DIY posts from it to make up for it. 
But, until then I’ll slap my wrist and say, “Bad Blogger,” every now and again.  
Working Logo for the Portland Bloggers Meet-Ups
I’m currently working on getting together a blog space for the Portland Bloggers so that you don’t have to see all the updates on here. But, running three blogs at the moment isn’t in the cards for me. Until then, I hope you don’t mind seeing some of the updates every now and again. Hopefully they can inspire you to do the same in your home town or come join us if you live in the Portland area!
I’ve been playing around with getting a Portland Bloggers logo working so that we can have something at the event. I’m not 100% on it yet, but it is coming along and it’ll work in a pinch. 
Kinda cute, right?
 I’ll let all the Portland Bloggers know soon when and where these will be available for their blogs or for posts about the events. 
Oh, and the picture of the portland skyline is edited from my husband’s photo.
 Follow him on instagram @portlandporter !

Streamlining My Social Networking

I’m just getting hip to the world of social networking and professional blogging.
Sure, I’ve had my party-related blog for over two years and a Facebook account for around seven years. But, I just recently started doing the whole Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Facebook Page stuff. Anyone else get tired just reading the list?
How I feel when I think about all this social networking stuff!
I currently have 4 e-mail addresses that I check regularly, 3 twitter accounts, 1 Facebook account with 2 pages, and of course two blogs. I don’t know what I’d do without my iPhone checking all of those accounts with just a click of an app or two!  
My Social Networking Folder on my iPhone

So, today I started my way to streamlining things. Here is what I did:
  1. Ditched my blogger profile and connected my blogs to my Google+ profile. I’m still not digging Google+, but I do like that someone can click on my name and find out ways to contact me, see a quick bio, and even get to see things I’ve put out for the public to see. 
  2. Ditched my twitter accounts for my separate blogs. I thought I would want to keep my name private and just for my friends to look at…. I’ve decided that Twitter is a public enough venue that I’m going to just use it that way. I’ll keep my personal Facebook for friends only and twitter open to people I find interesting and who are interested in what I do.
  3. Moved most of my important e-mail work to two essential e-mail addresses. Things basically get filtered into these two accounts so that I don’t need to worry about checking all of my accounts and keeping 4 different sets of contacts!
  4. I am now utilizing many of the iPhone’s great apps and capabilities to stream-line my social-networking. My favorite apps for streamlining my social networking scene are: 
  5. Instagram— I take a lot of photos and by a click of a switch I can send my photos to both my Twitter and Facebook feeds OR select which feeds I’d like them to go to.
    Buffer App— I read blogs throughout the day and often want to share with my followers by putting links on my Facebook or Twitter feeds. But, honestly… if I shared them as I read them then everyone would be drowning in posts from me for an hour everyday and see nothing from me the rest of the day. Buffer lets me dump all my links and tweets into one spot and it will post at selected times throughout the day. 

    My Wunderkit App with my many different “Workspaces” listed and my daily TO DO checklist on the left hand corner. Wunderkit is part organizing app and part social networking app! 

    Wunderkit— This is part social networking tool and part mega to-do list app. It allows me to make different “workspaces” and keep my to do lists for each one separate. But, by adding in their due dates I can see what things I have to do today all in one list. It has really helped keep things more in order than several different hand written todo lists in several different places. The social networking part of this app is my favorite part. I am able to add other members to different workspaces. So, for instance, my Household Workspace has myself and my husband listed. When I add tasks to the todo list he can choose to claim certain tasks or I can assign tasks if needed. The other day he made my morning by “claiming” the clean kitchen task off of my todo list! Eventually I think this will be a great tool for different projects that I am collaborating with others on, like the Portland Blogger Meet-Ups! 
What have you done to simplify your social networking, or do you just abstain from it all? Also, do you have a Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, or Facebook Page!?
If you do and you want a loyal follower just leave the stats in the comment section and I’ll find you. I’m always looking for new and interesting people to connect with!
Or find me at:
Twitter @jennibost
Instagram @plainojeni
Oh, and if you are a Portland Blogger and want to receive the Portland Blogger Meet-Up Newsletter please e-mail me!

Okay, you know I’ve been talking about the Portland Blogger’s Meet-Ups A LOT if you follow me on twitter or read my blogs. I just discovered a beautiful site for the Pacific Northwest Blogger Meet-Ups and the next meet-up is in Portland! 
Tickets for the event ($25 each) are on sale now and I hope you’ll join me in attending!
The Paper Mama Blogger Meet Up

PNW Blogger Meet-Up

Okay, you know I’ve been talking about the Portland Blogger’s Meet-Ups A LOT if you follow me on twitter or read my blogs. I just discovered a beautiful site for the Pacific Northwest Blogger Meet-Ups and the next meet-up is in Portland! 
Tickets for the event ($25 each) are on sale now and I hope you’ll join me in attending!
The Paper Mama Blogger Meet Up

Inspiration for Spring Cocktail Party

I’ve mentioned the Portland Blogger Meet-ups before, but as I am one of the many people that help plan them I can’t help to talk about them more and more as the time gets near. The next Portland Blogger Meet-Up is scheduled for April, 14 which means I need to get in gear! 
Ladies from the last Portland Blogger’s Meet-Up
Usually we have a brunch where the bloggers get together and talk about blogging, network with people, and craft together. This next meet-up we thought we’d switch it up a bit and have a cocktail mixer where significant others and/or close friends would joins us at the meet-up. I’m getting excited about meeting the people I read about all the time and letting my husband know that there are other poor men that have to sit by their lady as we types the evening away. 
Sam, from Sam Rosen blog, and I got together this past week to discuss decor, activities, and more. I’m now more excited than ever for this event. It is sure to be the best one yet! I don’t want to give away all the fun surprises… (there are many!) but, I do want to wet your whistle a little bit for the event. Check out the Pinterest board to see what direction we are going for the party.
Inspiration for a Spring Cocktail Party
And, of course, we are still looking for sponsors for the event. If you are a Portland-area business owner who would like to participate by providing products or services to the event please e-mail me for the sponsorship package information.
If you are a blogger who is interested in coming and you live in the greater Portland metro area (or really, anywhere in Oregon close enough for you to drive into Portland) then please e-mail me for the meet-up location! We want you to join us. If you can’t make it to this event, but would like to be included in future mailings e-mail me to add yourself to the master Portland Blogger list.

Sponsor Spotlight

I’d like to take a moment to draw your attention to the little buttons on the right side of the page under the heading “Sponsors.” As sponsors start getting added to the blog I want to spend a little time each month to highlight the awesome people who sponsor the blog in one way or another.

 March Sponsors of Leave the Laundry for Later 
Kira, from Rain or Shine, was awesome enough to host a blogger button swap.
A little about Kira’s blog:
1. She features awesome baby style posts of her daughter’s fun wardrobe selections.
2. She has one of the funniest series I’ve seen on a blog yet… Portlander Problems.
3. She features great DIY projects including 
 (anyone else think that is the BEST name for an Oregon blog….
and don’t get me started on how cute her header and button are!)


My other blog, A Well Crafted Party, is a place where I put all my party related posts. 
I’m a bit party obsessed…
Check out A Well Crafted Party for inspiration for your next party or to check out my pricing information for personalized designed party products for your next event!
Gotta Get Paid
Awesome Portland Events
Googleicious Ads
Super Sponsors
Check This Awesomeness Out
Past Posts
Follow Along

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