Saturday Spirits: Pear & Apple Cider Sangria

Saturday Spirits: Pear & Apple Cider Sangria

Pear and Apple Cider Sangria // A Well Crafted Party

I had a really difficult time figuring out the name for this drink. It is similar to a punch, but I made it in singles. Sort of a sangria, but I don’t know many sangrias with bourbon in them. So, name it whatever you want… but, it is a tasty fall beverage!

Every year it begins to really feel like Fall to me when I get to attend the local Pear and Apple festival at the Portland Nursery. I load up on apples and pears and incorporate them in EVERYTHING until I run out. One year I bought 60 lbs of apples and pears and ended up making a ton of apple sauce, apple butter, apple pies, and many apple desserts. This year I knew that my kitchen time would be limited so I didn’t indulge quite as much as I’d have liked to… but, we did enjoy the Hard Apple Cider tasting and came home with a 20 lbs of apples and pears as well as a few delicious ciders and wines.

A few of those purchases are featured in this drink. I’m hoping that you are able to find these brands because they are fantastic, but if not then I’d suggest looking at the flavor profile and finding something similar near you. This drink is totally worth it.

Pear and Apple Cider Sangria // A Well Crafted Party

Ingredients:

(Makes 1 Beverage– Though, you can multiple by 4 easily to make a pitcher!)

  • 1 1/4 oz Bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
  • 2 oz Pear Wine (I used Bull Run Pear Wine )
  • 3 oz Hard Apple Cider ( I used Shilling Oak Aged Cider )
  • Squeeze of 1 large lemon slice
  • Sliced, ripe pears (I used Anjou pears and had about 4-5 slices per glass)
  • Glass with ice

Directions:

  1. Fill a glass with ice, putting in slices of pear along the way
  2. Fill glass with Bourbon, Pear Wine, and Hard Apple Cider
  3. Give it a stir and enjoy!

Don’t forget to eat those tasty pears once your drink is gone!

Pear and Apple Cider Sangria // A Well Crafted Party

About Shilling Oak Aged Cider: The hard cider is finished in 100% NW Oak. It has a smokey cinnamon flavor profile with clove and vanilla. It would be considered a semi-dry cider. There is a bit of the apple taste still there, but not nearly as sweet as some ciders.

About Bull Run Pear Wine: The Bull Run Pear wine is from Oregon! It is a sweet ice wine.  I’d say this is a nice sweet, smooth dessert wine without the punch of a brandy. Loved it.

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Hey Girl Party Activities: Color Me Yours

Hey Girl Party Activities: Color Me Yours

Ryan Gosling Themed Party Activity "Color Me Yours" // A Well Crafted Party

(Affiliate Links are used in this post. Purchases made from affiliate links help support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting A Well Crafted Party!)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I’m not a fan of most party games. Making everyone play something silly has never really been in my bag of tricks. I HAVE thrown parties with games before. And, this Ryan Gosling themed birthday party is no exception. (I’ll share our party game very soon!) But, I like to always have an activity or two that doesn’t revolve around a group activity or food.

Ryan Gosling Themed Party Activity "Color Me Yours" // A Well Crafted Party

Ryan Gosling Themed Party Activity "Color Me Yours" // A Well Crafted Party

One of the areas of the party was set up so that guests could easily sit and chat with a place to set their plates and drinks. I then added in an awesome coloring book, “Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling.” I cut out a few of the pages and placed them on the table to encourage guests to color them. Snacks, crayons, and fun DIY party confetti also decked out the area.

What are your favorite activities for your parties? Have you ever been at an event with a really amazing activity? Comment Below!

Hey Girl Party Activities: Hey Girl Guest Book

Hey Girl Party Activities: Hey Girl Guest Book

Ryan Gosling Themed Party Agenda // A Well Crafted Party

I’m not one to plan out every detail to a party. I prefer my parties to be fairly laid back and casual. To me the perfect party has a few activities, lots of good food and great drink, and a planned out party space that encourages mingling. However, when I am doing more structured events, events venues that I’ve reserved for a certain amount of time, or events on weeknights, I tend to plan things out just a bit more clearly. My recent Hey Girl – Ryan Gosling themed birthday party was on a weeknight at a friend’s house. I knew that having it over at a certain time would be good for everyone involved. I also wanted to draw attention to the different activities that I had planned, so I created this agenda to work partially as an extra decor item as well as pointing out the evening plan.

The first item on the evening’s agenda included leaving the guest of honor a note in her guest book! I love guest books and variations on guest books because they give the guest of honor a way to remember the people at their event.

Hey Girl Journal subs at Guest Book at Ryan Gosling themed party // A Well Crafted Party

(Affiliate Links are used in this post. Purchases made from affiliate links help support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting A Well Crafted Party!)

I found this amazing “Hey Girl” Flexi Journal by Chronicle Books   on Amazon and bought it up right away. The journal is filled with little drawn images of Ryan Gosling with quote bubbles. I encouraged guests to write messages in each of the quote bubbles so that in the future, as Macey filled out her journal, she’d be greeted with happy messages from friends!

Hey Girl Journal makes for fantastic Guest Book // A Well Crafted Party

What is your favorite thing to use as a guest book? Have you seen some creative guest books at parties in the past? Comment Below!

Saturday Spirits: Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails

Saturday Spirits: Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails

Wow! It has been a couple weeks since I’ve last shared a Saturday Spirits. I didn’t quite mean to go on a hiatus… but, it happened. Anywho, I’m bringing you one awesome cocktail today, so the wait will have been worth it. A few weeks ago I created these Lollipop Sparkling Cocktails for my “Hey Girl-Ryan Gosling Themed Birthday Party.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

First I made lollipops using Raft Botanical Cocktail and Soda Syrups for the flavoring. This was my first successful time making candy… and, boy it is fun, easy and TASTY. I discovered that patience really was the key to making candy right. Well, that and a candy thermometer.

Once your lollipops are done the hard part of this cocktail is completed. All that is left is creating a tasty rimming sugar and pouring your favorite sparkling wine! These make for a really festive cocktail. There are quite a few recipes and how to’s below. Don’t let them intimidate you. The whole process is much easier than it sounds when you look at a huge blog post.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktails // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Lollipops

To make lollipops you just need a few essential tools. I made my lollipops with molds because I wanted to have a very precise look to them. However, you could use this powdered sugar method as well! For flavoring I really wanted to avoid using artificial or concentrated flavoring. I opted to test out creating the pops out of my Raft cocktail syrups and was thrilled with the way they turned out. (Affiliate Links Below)

Tools: 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 1 3/4 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Raft Botanical Cocktail Syrup (I used Lemon Ginger for one set & Hibiscus Lavender for another)
  • Extra sugar and syrup to create rimming sugar

Directions: 

  1. Prep your candy molds by spraying with vegetable oil (non flavored!) and placing the lollipop sticks.
  2. In a saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water over medium to medium-high heat. Stir to keep it from overheating or sticking. Burnt sugar will quickly make happy candy-making time into throwing out a pan and dealing with a stench time.
  3. Heat the sugar, stirring, until the candy thermometer reads just about 305 degrees. You don’t need to keep the candy thermometer in there the entire time, but once it starts to boil a bit it is a good idea to get that in there. You don’t want it to get past the hard-candy stage. Once the thermometer reads 305 go ahead and add in the Raft syrup. Stir into the mixture and watch the thermometer closely.
  4. Once the thermometer reads between 310-320 degrees remove the mixture from the heat. using a spoon pour the mixture into the molds. Be very careful… liquid candy burns are not a pretty thing. You’ll want to do this part while the mixture is hot, I recommend buying several lollipop molds. I ended up making about 24 lollipops per batch.
  5. Once the candy has cooled the lollipops are ready to eat! We stored ours on wax paper in a sealed container for about 2 weeks and they still tasted awesome. Though, try to keep them separated as they will stick together. You can also just buy some candy wraps and wrap them up nicely!

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

How to Make Rimming Sugar

A good sparkling cocktail needs some sugar to it. The lollipop will give the cocktail sugar and flavor… but, it won’t be immediate. The rimming sugar helps drive the flavor until the lollipop can do its magic. It also looks pretty too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1- 2 teaspoons Raft Syrup
  • Lemon zest (use a microplane and it takes no time at all!)

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients well… breaking up any clumps that might have formed from the liquid
  2. Lay out flat on a plate or baking sheet until mixture has totally dried. It can then be stored in an airtight container for about a week or so.

Sparkling Lollipop Cocktail // A Well Crafted Party

Lollipop Sparkling Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Use the lemon wedge to ring around the glass and dip onto a plate with rimming sugar.
  2. Drop a lollipop into the glass
  3. Pour in the sparkling wine!
  4. If you’d like a little more kick then add in 3/4 oz of Limoncello Liqueur

Portland: St. Jude Autumn Harvest this Saturday!

Portland: St. Jude Autumn Harvest this Saturday!

St. Jude Autumn Harvest Event in Portland Oregon // A Well Crafted Party

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 4, is the Autumn Harvest fundraising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Some of Portland’s top chef talent will join together to give a progressive Autumnal tasting in hopes of raising funds and awareness for the hospital. The evening will feature live entertainment, flights from local mixologists, and an auction and the chance to experience St. Jude first-hand through local patients. It will also showcase Portland’s finest during a tasting led by 2014 James Beard Award recipient Naomi Pomeroy of Beast. Other featured chefs include:

  • Aaron Barnett, St. Jack
  • Jason French, Ned Ludd
  • Gregory Gourdet, Departure
  • Josh McFadden, Ava Gene’s
  • Sarah Schafer, Irving Street Kitchen

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a hospital where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel or food. They believe that all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Personally, I can’t even begin to tell you how important this is… this last year we have been dealing with possible health problems with my toddler son. Our doctors thought he had Cystic Fibrosis . We spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices and even more time on the phone trying to get in to see specialists and dealing with insurance. Now we will be paying off those bills. It has been a lot of worry and stress in our lives. We recently got the news that he does not have Cystic Fibrosis, but they aren’t sure what is causing him to get sick so often and so badly. I felt a small (minuscule) part of what many families are feeling and my heart will be forever changed because of it. Any and all support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will go far in helping families who are in a world of hurt and worry.

I’m excited to be able to share my experience with readers. Look for a blog post about it soon! But, in the meantime… check out more information about St. Judes by visiting the St. Jude website or click over to donate to this cause today.

Hey Girl Party Favors – Ryan Gosling Tea Towels

Hey Girl Party Favors – Ryan Gosling Tea Towels

DIY Ryan Gosling Tea Towels // A Well Crafted Party

When I got to thinking of the whole “Hey Girl” Meme for the Ryan Gosling themed party the ideas sort of over-took my brain. I wanted to do SO much. But, as I advise every bride/diy event planner … I started out with lots of ideas and then began to narrow them down. The favor idea was one of my FAVORITE ideas, so I spent some time figuring out the best way to go about it. I loved the idea of giving guests tea towels (who doesn’t need more of those!?) that were a simple black and white that had a “Hey Girl” message of “Hey girl, let me dry those dishes for you.”

My first attempt at making these tea towels did NOT go well. I was determined to screen press the tea towels. I borrowed my friend Suzannah’s Ryonet home screen printing press and tried following her tutorial and the Ryonet YouTube tutorial. The whole process is very, very involved. The kit included everything I needed and the instructions were great! But, I didn’t give myself near enough time or room for error. It was one of those DIY fails that just really sucks. After I dried my tears of frustration, I scrapped the screen printing idea and went with the iron on transfer method.

DIY Ryan Gosling Tea Towels // A Well Crafted Party

 

I typically don’t enjoy the way the iron on transfer looks on fabrics. There is usually a line around the image that is slightly more glossy than I want. When the paper gets too hot it can yellow. Also, I never know how long it will last. I was pretty thrilled with the way these tea towels turned out though and would recommend the iron-on transfer as an easy way to make these. Follow the instructions on the iron on transfer paper.

Tips for best results when using the iron-on transfer method:

  • Prep your fabric. Wash, dry and iron your fabric before you apply the transfer. Will the transfer take if you skip this step? Yep. But, I think it benefits the entire project to take those other steps. I feel like the transfer goes on better and that it lasts longer.
  • Transfer the RIGHT image. Most transfer papers require you to print a mirror image of your image. Transfer paper, while not super expensive, isn’t cheap either. Losing an entire sheet due to a printing mistake would be a bummer.
  • Stick to single colors. I have found that when I use multiple colors I don’t like the look as much as I do when there is only one color in the image. This is totally a preference though!
  • Don’t use an ironing board. The instructions for my package of transfer paper said not to use an ironing board. This was the first time I’ve ever done it this way and I was thrilled with the results. Instead of an ironing board you want to find a sturdy surface that is about waist-high with an ironed pillowcase placed on top. It really makes the difference to have the leverage to apply even force while ironing.

DIY Ryan Gosling Tea Towels // A Well Crafted Party

 

Want to make your own Ryan Gosling tea towels?

Download my Hey Girl Tea Towel print and get started! Image of Ryan Gosling was licensed under CC 2.0 — sourced via Raffi Asdourian . I then modified the image. Tutorial coming!

Ryan Gosling Free Printable // A Well Crafted Party

Supplies (Affiliate Links):

And, just because I thought this would also make for a cute framed print above a drying rack in the kitchen I also made an 8×10 printable. Click here to download you own free Ryan Gosling themed printable!

Love the idea but just don’t wanna make your own tea towels? These sketched tea towels by Dear Colleen are AMAZING and would make for a fantastic gift! They’d be a better quality and have THREE images of Ryan Gosling… so, there is that too!

(PS. I will give screen printing a shot again sometime soon.)

(PPS. Ryan, if you’re reading this… first, EEEEE! Second, we share because we love your work and enjoy the meme. Will take down with a note from you! )

 

DIY Blog Tour

DIY Blog Tour

DIY BLog Tour - Favorite DIY Bloggers // A Well Crafted Party

Last week I was asked to be a part of the DIY Blog Tour! Here’s how it works:

Debi from Adorned From Above was nominated by Kim from Curtain Queen Creates. Then, she featured 3 bloggers, one of which was Jessica from Plucky’s Second Thought who in turn featured ME! (Thanks lady!) I shared my House Guest printables as one of my favorite DIY projects to date.

Now it’s my turn to answer the same four questions and feature 3 bloggers, giving a 2-3 sentence bio on each of them, a link to their blogs and their favorite DIY project.

I was supposed to get this up Monday… but, one or two million things kept getting in my way! Hopefully the bloggers I feature will be able to get a DIY blog tour up and running by next Monday so the tour can keep on going. I’m having fun going through the blogs that have been featured and connecting with awesome projects.

Part of this tour is answering four questions about me.

About DIY Blogger Jenni Bost of A Well Crafted Party

Hello, I’m Jenni…

  1. What are you working on? 
    • Boy, this is a loaded question. If you could see my house right now you’d actually see several (SEVERAL) piles of different projects covering nearly every inch. Part of it is stuff I still need to organize and put up from recent projects including my recent Ryan Gosling themed birthday party and the Portland Bloggers’ Back to Blogging School event. I also have Halloween projects laying about along with a Christmas project I started last week. My computer desktop is even worse off! I’m busy creating some holiday printable sets for you and I couldn’t be happier with how they are turning out! So, mainly I’ll be working on crafting fun parties and getting the posts live.
  2. Why do you write/create what you do?
    • I have a strong NEED to create. It has always been in me and I’ve always had a zillion projects going on at one time. Being able to share the projects is such a joy. My blog serves for many purposes… but, one big purpose is to record all the creations and the other is to share them. I’m glad that I have this space and an audience that enjoys the creations!
  3. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
    • Sometimes I am not sure if it does. I often create something and find out that someone else has already shared something similar. (Take this amazing frozen wine cocktail for example.) I think I also offer a sense of humor to some of my projects and parties. I enjoy getting a giggle while creating. I enjoy even more when I hear someone else enjoy the humor!
  4. How does your writing/creative process work?
    • My creative process only really works (and works well) on a deadline. I can spend weeks working on something and then suddenly be inspired and motivated when I only days to go.

Get to know these awesome bloggers…

Featured DIY Blog Burlap & Babies // A Well Crafted Party

Meet Amanda from BurlapAndBabies.Com

Favorite DIY Post: DIY Gender Reveal Party

About: I’m Amanda and you can find me at my own personal creative outlet, Burlap and Babies! I am a wife of four years to my handy husband, Justin, momma to two furry children, Charlie and Molly, and soon to be mom to a little girl due at the end of November. DIY-ing, organizing, and party planning are my passions while making our house into a home.

Meet DIY Blogger Christine Trevino // A Well Crafted Party

 Meet Christine of ChristineTrevino.com

Favorite DIY Post: Thankful Jar Tutorial & Printables

About: Blogging has been a journey of discovery, unlocking new passions and recovering ones that I’ve forgotten along the way.  Sometimes I talk about my family or my faith.  Sometimes I share stories, or projects, or recipes.  This is my outlet.  My therapy.  My space to be me . . . however I need to be me on any given day.

Meet DIY Blogger Lindsey from MacSuzie // A Well Crafted Party

Meet Lindsey from MacSuzie.com

Favorite DIY Post: DIY Reusable Cup Sleeve

About: At MacSuzie.com, you will find a little bit of everything: cooking/baking, crafts, beauty, home stuff, things for all seasons, family, travel, and a little of the wisdom I pick up along the way. I’d call my style comfortable and homey, with a lot of color. I’m especially inspired by my mom and grandma, and our family’s traditions. I also love things from days gone by (a Buzzfeed quiz aptly placed me in the 50’s), although I’m not exclusively a vintage girl. I love to re-purpose, giving old things a fresh look with a dash of “MacGyver” and a sprinkle of “Suzie Homemaker” thrown in for good measure.

 


What is YOUR favorite DIY blog or project? Comment with a link below!

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!