Real Party: ‘Hey Girl’ Birthday Party

Real Party: ‘Hey Girl’ Birthday Party

Ryan Gosling Party - DIY Invitation // A Well Crafted Party

I’m really, really excited to be sharing some pictures from my most recent party today… a “Hey Girl” party for my friend Macey! A “Hey Girl” party you ask? Well, you know the Ryan Gosling meme, right? If not… you may not understand the awesomeness of this party.

Macey turned a year older this year and as she protested celebrations I asked her, “If you could have any party theme for your birthday, what would it be?” She answered, “Ryan Gosling, of course!”

Magic happened in that moment. My brain started firing on all cylinders and (thankfully) my friend Bee offered to host in her beautiful home. The rest is history… well, it is at least a week old now. If you were following along on my Instagram you might have seen a few photos from the party.

Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
"Hey Girl" Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
"Hey Girl" - Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party
"Hey Girl" - Ryan Gosling Party // A Well Crafted Party

I can’t wait to share all the fun details! A Ryan Gosling party is great for a birthday party, bachelorette party, or heck… a baby shower for a baby girl! This was probably one of my favorite parties to date and nearly everything was DIY. Check back over this week and next for the following posts:

I’ll update this page with links to posts as they go live. Printables, tutorials, and a whole lotta fun to come!

In the meantime… answer me this:

If you could have any party theme… what would it be?

Halloween Parties of the Past

Halloween Parties of the Past

Looking back at Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

My favorite time of year is quickly approaching. Besides obsessively checking Brooklyn Limestone to see what Stephanie’s Halloween theme will be this year, I’m busy planning my own annual Halloween party. I’ve even got some Halloween posts up my sleeve for BEFORE the big day this year! I might have already thrown a small Halloween get-together over Labor Day weekend just so I could have some fun goodies for you.

Before I get to the new Halloween goodness (which will begin in October) I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the past few years. I’ve thrown a Halloween party each year since 2008. It has been the highlight of my year nearly every year. (The birth of my son pushed Halloween 2011 to second place, but it sure was close since I had a cute little baby to dress up as well as a fun party!)

2008— Haunted Halloween Dinner Party

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2009— Bewitching Ball

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2010— Mad Tea Party

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2011— Costumes & Cocktails

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2012— Traditional Black & Orange

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

2013— Fairytale Dinner Party

Halloween Parties of the Past // A Well Crafted Party

This year we are going a little bit more pop-culture with our theme. I’m actually having a bit of a hard time trying to figure out all in the little details for the party. But, I’ll be sure to give some hints closer to the big day. Look forward to lots of fresh Halloween posts this upcoming October. I’ve got a Fang-tastic party with great DIY details and free printables that I can’t wait to share! And, as October approaches, I’m going to be going back through some of my old parties to share some DIY details that never made it into the posts above!

 

 

Saturday Spirits: Beergarita

Saturday Spirits: Beergarita

Disclaimer: I was sent beer to try in a few cocktails for my Saturday Spirits series. So Beertails for all! All content is my own! 

Beergarita // A Well Crafted Party

Last weekend the family and I enjoyed our last camping trip of the season. I happy to say that we tried to take as much advantage of summer as possible by going out and enjoying the great outdoors many weekends this year. Most years we just end up looking back over the Summer and going, “where did it go?!” This year we can safely look back at a bunch of memories of beach trips, camping trips, and more. I am already looking forward to NEXT year’s camping trips and have been filling my Amazon wish list with fun new camp gear I want to buy!

My friends joke that if anyone would bring the bar to a campfire it would be me… and, they aren’t wrong. Last camping trip I made a tasty little bourbon and iced tea sipper. This time around I chose to do a Beergarita!

What is a beergarita you ask? Well, it is a Margarita with BEER in it! Beer can give an extra little something to a classic margarita by adding in more flavor and by giving it some carbonation. I like to make beergaritas when I am making big batches of margaritas.

We made this Beergarita with Tecate Light. While any style of lager will work well, I liked that this is a full flavor lager that reminds me of Mexcio. Check out my favorite way to drink Tecate that I posted WAY back when the blog began.

Beergarita // A Well Crafted Party

Beergarita // A Well Crafted Party

Beergarita Recipe

Makes a pitcher of drinks… or if you are camping like us, this makes 44 oz of cocktail put into a 48oz sealable container. This works to continually mix the cocktail without needing to stir it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lager style beer – you’ll use an entire can or bottle (we used Tecate Light)
  • 8 oz Tequila
  • 8 0z  Triple Sec
  • 8 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 3 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice  (approximately 2.5 limes)
  • 3 oz Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (approximately 2 oranges)

Directions: 

  1. Combine all ingredients into a pitcher or sealable container (with a little room)
  2. Sitr mixture well to combine (or shake)
  3. Serve over ice in a glass with a salted rim and a squeeze of lime!

Other Margarita recipes you might like:

And, if you love a good margarita as much as I do then you’ll want to snag this beautiful printable from A Fabulous Fete “Know when to Give Up and Have a Margarita“—it is framed on my desk at work for nice reminder!

What do you think about the Beergarita?

A DIY’d Fall Wedding

A DIY’d Fall Wedding

I am so honored to share my “wedding” on A Well Crafted Party! I have wedding in quotes because the long and short of it is–we were already married! My husband Kevin and I (who I refer to most often on my blog as Ktams) were married right out of college (we are Illini–I-L-L!) as we both agreed it made the most sense to start out in the real world as a team, and the easiest way to do this was to tie the knot! We were technically married in June of 2010, but at that point we had no money to have the wedding we imagined. So once the official stuff was out of the way, we began planning. Just over a year from the date we planned to throw a big party to celebrate our marriage with friends and families. We felt this was a great excuse for our friends to come back together and for family to share in the fun (as when we were married originally we only allowed our parents to be present–that’s right–no siblings, grandparents, or anyone else! We just felt like it was a slippery slope!). Looking back now, I realize how many diy wedding ideas I used to make the day a success–and I am excited to share!

The Setting

We picked a venue that would be a one stop shop–it was our one of our favorite spots–a Spanish tapas restaurant located near downtown Naperville, IL. Meson Sabika was a rehabbed old mansion on an expansive piece of land. We held the entire event out in their bricked patio, and left the doors open to get more drinks at the bar.

DIY Wedding Ideas: Flowers

For our wedding, flowers were not a make or break discussion. I knew I wanted accents of orange and a predominantly mixed bouquet. I had also given leftover fabric I had from table cloths to the florist to wrap the bouquet. I felt like this held everything together nicely and it keep the flowers in perfect order for the whole event! The only thing I would do differently with my flowers is I would not use any pokey items–cannot tell you how many times I forgot not to smell my flowers and poked myself. Since we were throwing more of a party than a traditional wedding, I opted to get my closest girlfriends wrist corsages instead of nosegays–I had hoped this made them feel special and stand out, but it wasn’t like they had to tote obnoxious nosegays around all afternoon. My favorite items in the bouquet ended up being the big white roses and the hypericum berries–they all held up nicely throughout the day and they dried nicely.

DIY Wedding Ideas: Centerpieces

We had our celebration well before the leaves had changed that year–I remember how warm the summer was and the second week of September just wasn’t soon enough to enjoy some natural color. Instead, I did my best to create some color! My favorite DIY of the wedding was making large pinwheel centerpieces, and it saved us a ton of money because we didn’t have to purchase fresh cut flowers! I purchased patterned scrapbook sheets, stamped them, and followed a tutorial similar to this one to make both table marker pinwheels and smaller, more graphic pinwheels, which I used as seat finders for guests. I had some extras at the end of the craft so I added them to the pitchers to encourage people to add theirs to the centerpiece for the event. To this day I’m surprised at how well the smaller pinwheels held up–I still have a few of them in my potted plants at home.

To keep everything grounded in the vase (which I purchased at IKEA and gifted to friends and family afterward), I added river stones. I knew the pitchers were going to sit on white tablecloths so my mom and I came up with the idea of using leaf-shaped placemats to easily add a burst of color. We sewed on more of the same material we were using for the cake and gift tables to cover the placemats and pull everything together (it was opaque so it added nice texture and some neat stitching for the most part).

Another DIY I was really happy with the result of was a cake stand tutorial I found from none other than Jenni–before I even knew her or A Well Crafted Party! Creepy right? I found the tut on Pinterest for the stands she did for her sister’s wedding. My mom and I put a twist on it to make more of a rustic fall look. We used hot glue, which was actually easy to remove later so that we could use the items again and again.

 DIY Wedding Ideas: Little Touches

I have to throw a lot of credit to my mom for the little touches our celebration had. She collected a lot of rich looking silk flowers and purchased custom bows to tie everything together. She also gathered colorful mums to plant in the pots I had purchased (also from IKEA). As a gift to us, my mom had some very fun custom glassware made for us to use on the big day. They are my favorite keepsakes to date. It’s great to have someone you can trust to go to work and get some great fillers in to personalize the event.

Additionally, I DIY’d our invites. Just to start, we saved money by putting out invites only–no save-the-dates–and I did my best to find the best quality and pricing for both the envelopes and cardstock. We also did all RSVPing online, so we saved additional money in printing and postage by creating a free blogger site and a google number for those who were technology challenged. I will forewarn that envelopes can change your shipping costs DRASTICALLY. I highly suggest taking your sample envelopes to the post office and have them measured and weighed with your cardstock before you go buying/printing in bulk. We ended up over-ordering on accident (remember to count couples not attendees!), and I made use of the excess invites by cutting them up and turning them into ornaments (check out this tutorial for the base of my idea). I purchased glass balls from a craft store, charms from Etsy, and curled the strips of paper around a small pencil, then placed them in the ball.

DIY-Invite-Design-Wedding-A-Well-Crafted-Party

What I Learned From My DIY Wedding

I think the biggest thing I learned in planning my own wedding was to let it go–no I will not break into a verse of Frozen, but I will say that you need to learn to let many of the little things go by the wayside or you’ll spend your whole day not enjoying the party! Was I upset that certain things didn’t come together how I’d hoped? Yes–but by the time I was putting my dress on for the day, I had decided that people were not there for the decor or even the (AMAZING) food! They were were to celebrate with Kevin and me. This is what refocused my energy to enjoy the day and make it a memorable affair.

What have you DIY’d for your big day that you’re really proud of? If you had the choice, would you DIY all over again?

 

*****

All professional images from this post and our celebration are by Daniel Kelleghan Photography.

A big thank you to Bee for sharing her beautiful wedding photos and Happy Anniversary! Please take a moment to hop on over to check out her awesome-sauce blog! She writes some pretty amazing recipes. Being someone who has actually tasted her cooking and have made her recipes I can give them my seal of approval!

Sock it to Me – Sock Design Contest

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! 

Saturday Spirits: Frozen Wine Cocktail

Saturday Spirits: Frozen Wine Cocktail

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Update: So, this is a really simple cocktail that I was super excited to make… a few days after making this and posting it I was going through my Pinterest boards and realized I pinned a cocktail recipe nearly exactly like this… I must have thought I dreamed it up after pinning late at night!  When something is two ingredients it isn’t quite a recipe, but I don’t like the idea of taking someone else’s idea without credit. So, while I’m keeping my list of ingredients I used and ideas for other frozen wine cocktails, I’ve removed my “directions” and instead you’ll find a link to the blog that I must have originally gotten the idea from. You’ll want to check out their blog anyways… it is awesome!

My camera broke this week as I was in the middle of a Halloween photo shoot. I’m sorta crushed. My camera is my friend! Thankfully, I have this lovely cocktail to get me through the pain.

These photos don’t really do this little cocktail justice at all. I’ll have to fix that… It won’t be hard, this simple cocktail will now be a staple in my home. It takes only two ingredients! So, grab yourself a bottle of wine and a bag of frozen fruit and get to work!

Two Ingredient Frozen Wine Cocktail

Ingredients:
– 6 oz wine (I used Sokol Pinot Gris)
– approximately 2 cups frozen fruit (I used strawberries for the pictured cocktail- I also tried a version with peaches. Peaches in the drink were the best, but both were great!)

Directions:
Check out the post by Dessert for Two “Peach Wine Slushies

That’s it!

Some combinations I’d suggest:
-Pinot Gris and Frozen Peaches
-Moscato and Frozen blueberries with a little lemonade
-Lambrusco with frozen mixed berries
-Sweet Riesling with frozen strawberries

What combination would you make?

Rock for a Reason: Outdoor Rock Concert to Benefit 4-Year old with cancer – 9/10/2014

Rock for a Reason: Outdoor Rock Concert to Benefit 4-Year old with cancer – 9/10/2014

Rock for a Reason // A Well Crafted Party

National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and today’s blog is in hopes of helping shed a little more light on the desperate need for more funding and research on pediatric cancer. Cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children and adolescents in America. Growing up my best friends family dealt with the impact of pediatric cancer on their world when her sister was diagnosed. A local girl and her family are experiencing the hardships that pediatric cancer brings with it and the community of Milwaukie, Oregon are banding together to help! 

Portland-Area Businesses Coming Together for a Cause

The local Milwaukie community is pulling together to host an outdoor family friendly benefit, silent auction and rock concert for a local girl living with a very rare brain tumor. Leah Merklin, a 4-year old girl has one of the rarest forms of pediatric brain cancer, primarily affecting young children, the brain tumor called DIPG is both inoperable and incurable.

On Wednesday, September 10th, local Milwaukie business owners, Portland DJ Ron Rouse, Chris Carpenter & The Collective, a local band, and Good Roots Community Church are joining arms to host an outdoor community fundraiser for Leah.

Banding together, local vendors are stepping up to offer locally sourced, delicious food at the event: Pronto Pizzeria & Kitchen will be selling grilled pizzas and farmer’s market fresh salads. Schoolyard Farms, a local nonprofit educational farm, will be offering build you own kid salads. Pepper & Salt will be selling butternut squash infused mac + cheese and lettuce turkey wraps. Painted Lady Coffee House will be selling hot coffee, Italian sodas, and homemade delicacies and Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery will be whipping up batches of their custom made ice cream.

Wine:30 Bar and Duffy’s Irish Pub are setting up a beer and wine garden – 100% of the proceeds from all Pabst and Breakside Brewing purchases will go directly to the Merklin Family.

There will be stenciled face art by Sweet Cheeks Airbrushing; handmade necklaces and headbands offering proceeds back to the Merklin family; and a bouncy house, henna tattoos and a stilt walker for the kids!

Ron Rouse, who works for Portland Fire & Rescue and is also a popular local DJ named DJ Rontourage, will be donating his time at the event. Local band Chris Carpenter & The Collective will be playing live music from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Event goers will be invited to pick out a favorite song from the band’s play list and the band will play songs for donation.

Finally, there will be a silent auction featuring locally procured items, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the family.

Connect

Connect with the Rock for a Reason Facebook event or connect with the Support for Leah Rose Merklin and Family Facebook Page!