Saturday, March 03, 2012

BALANCE: BUILDING COMMUNITY + PINTEREST PARTIES

Through balancing out family, work, passions//hobbies, keeping a home, personal care, and many other pursuits, I've discovered a great need for community in my life. During college, I was involved in a fantastic scholarship program that involved an amazing group of people and a strong community. Being surrounded in that for four years was invaluable and out of that, I learned so much and developed some of the deepest friendships I've ever made in my life. A week after graduation, Jon and I got married, and a few weeks later, started our careers. Everything changed (for the good!), but the sense of community I had developed in college wasn't there and I certainly missed it. It's a lot more difficult building friendships at this stage in life. It takes more time and you have to be more intentional, especially in the midst of balancing the other aspects of your life.

Before Jonathon and I got married, we both expressed a deep desire to maintain friendships and continue building community despite the whirlwind of changes that married life would bring. We started off by hosting a monthly get-together called "7-11". We invited some of our local (and not so local friends) to come for a Friday night of fellowship, games, and snacks. It has been a fantastic way of staying connected with old friends and we have grown to love our monthly tradition. 

Recently, out of a desire to build new friendships with local ladies in Atlanta, Jenny and I started what we call "Pinterest Parties". These parties occur once every other month and our heart is to create a relaxing atmosphere where ladies can do crafts together, talk about life, and make new friends. We've had two so far and they've been amazing. I'm loving getting to know new people and have an excuse to get crafty! 

At our last Pinterest Party, we did the Photo Canvas Transfer DIY from Elsie's blog. Everyone brought beautiful pictures and, since it's an overnight project, I got to see the final results on their Instagram accounts. :) After prepping our canvas project, we spend the rest of the evening telling stories, painting, and eating fruit and cookies! Here is a peek at how my project turned out:


I got the opportunity to meet some blogger friends in person at the last party! It was such a neat experience to be able to connect with ladies via blogging and then have the opportunity to spend time with them in person. I'm hoping these "Pinterest Parties" will become a special new tradition. :)

From left to right: Ciara, Jessie, Kate, Me, Jenny and Ivelisse. Beautiful ladies!

Ideas for Building Community in Your Hometown
* Have a monthly Pinterest Party. Invite new people!
* Put together a Bible study or book club. 
* Knitting//Crocheting party.
* Dinner party. Have ladies take turns hosting a dinner in their place and have everyone contribute. You could even make it themed every month!
* Game night.
* Love to watch a good show?! Make it a show night! 
* Set weekly//monthly dates with your friends for coffee, shopping, or antiquing.
* Get a group of people together to attend events like craft shows, local classes, and concerts.
* Set lunch dates with people you'd like to get to know at work. 
* Go on double-dates with couples you and your significant other connect with. 
* Host a good ol' fashion slumber party with the works: movies, nail painting, and lots of junk food!
* Road trip! One of the best ways to get to know people. :)
* Scrapbooking night. 
* Have a neighborhood pool? Invite friends for a weekly swim.

Have any tips on building community? What are some ways that you like to get your friends together or get to know new people? Please share! :)


10 comments:

  1. It's definitely tough to make the transition after college. You don't realize how great the built-in community is there, especially if you went to a Christian college. I love the Pinterest Party idea! Thanks for the reminder to reach out. :-)

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  2. Such great ideas! I am curious though, how did you meet the girls you get together with for your Pinterest parties? This is my biggest issue... Trying to actually FIND people I'd like to hang out with in my town :(
    xo dana
    thewonderforest.com

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  3. That sounds so awesome! I need to get together with my friends and have a craft night!

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  4. This is such a great post. Community is really important to my husband and myself as well. Although having just moved to a new town and not knowing anyone it has been a bit of a challenge. The best thing for us has been to get out there and volunteer. Through volunteering, we've been able to meet a few people we really click with. Hopefully we can add in some get togethers soon and broaden our horizons!

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  5. The picture turned out beautiful.

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  6. The canvas looks great. What an awesome project!
    I think a good way of socialising is getting people together to teach a skill. we have a free knitting group in my city that meets at a nice local bar that serves cocktails. You can bring a project to work on, learn to knit or just come to be social!

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  7. My question is along the same lines of Dana above. I live in a town of 4,500 people and I may be the only person who Blogs or Tweets here! How do you go about finding like minded people and reaching out??

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  8. @ Wonderforest & @Manda Jane --- My suggestion would be to look for people potentially outside of the blogging or social networking world as well.

    Getting involved in different areas of your community might be a good way to network with other ladies who have similar interests to you.

    A couple ideas:
    * Volunteering
    * Taking a local class
    * Seeking out people at your place of work.
    * Maybe making a blog post call to get other bloggers together in your area for a get-to-know-you.
    * Getting involved in a church, book study or researching local knitting, craft or other "clubs".

    Those could be some great places to being networking and getting to know some ladies that could potentially be great in a community setting. :)

    Hope that was helpful!!
    -Sav

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  9. a monthly pinterest party! this is the most brilliant.idea.ever!

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  10. Just got sent over here from Dutch. British. Love. and I'm glad I did!! This post is amazing. Just graduated college and am still living in the same city that I went to school in, but most other people seem to have left... so these are some great ideas to meet new people!! Thanks for sharing!

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