Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chicky Bella Boutique Closing - Go Quick!


My favorite local baby/children's boutique is closing, or rather "re-inventing" itself. Lisa, the sweet shop owner of Chicky Bella has decided to close the shop and instead, host several trunk shows each month and also sell from her online store. Honestly, in this economic environment, Lisa should be given kudos for keeping the store open this long. So many other boutiques in the area have come and gone so quickly!

Everything in the store is 60% off! Hurry!

I always keep an eye out for good baby gifts, because someone is always getting pregnant around here! Today I picked up a couple gorgeous, soft blankets by Miss Muffet (I want to keep one for myself!) and one by Little Giraffe. I also picked up a couple adorable pearl bracelets for little girls by Saucy Designs. I grabbed a pair of adorable plaid khaki shorts for Tommy and I also got this amazing canvas for Kate's room for only $40 (retail $140)! See it here!
So, hurry over for the best selection ASAP!

Don't worry, Lisa's fabulous offerings will be available in her new location, and I also may be hosting a trunk show with her soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Inspired by TomKat Studio: Emma Kate's 1st Birthday!

Ashlee, one of my blog readers, emailed me last week asking the best way to make the sprinkles stick to cupcakes! My suggestion, frost 2 or 3 cupcakes at time, then put on the sprinkles, to keep the frosting from drying too quickly.

She ended up purchasing the cupcakes for the party, but sent me the photos from Emma Kate's 1st birthday party! She is one crafty momma! I thought I would share them with you! Aren't the invites adorable? I love the scalloped background!

CHECK OUT MORE DETAILS HERE!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Fave Cupcake Stand: Mermaid Birthday Party!

My blogging friend, Amy from Living Locurto and I {heart} faces, just posted her daughter's fabulous MERMAID party this morning! She said that I inspired her to get the cupcake stand! Yey! She featured Kate's lollipop party cupcakes on her blog when she was starting to plan her daughter's party a couple months ago! Check out all the party details HERE, as well as a free download of a mermaid coloring page!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Announcements: "We've Moved" Card Designs!


We recently sold our last home to a wonderful, fabulous family! As a little gift for them, I created a few designs for "Just Moved" cards for them to choose from!
Which one do you think they picked?

PS..We're hoping that we'll need some of these for our own family soon! :)
(Our current home is on the market!.....you probably didn't know this, but in addition to being a party-crazed crafty momma, I am a Realtor! :)

New Auction to Benefit Kate McRae - Sweet Dress

Jaime from Busy Bizzy B, offered to auction off this adorable onesie dress (size 12 months) made with Amy Butler fabrics (my fave!) to benefit little Kate McRae. If you aren't familiar with Kate's story, you can read my posts here and here. After being on vacation last week, I caught up on the lastest post on her mom's journal today. The heartbreak continues as Kate has started chemotherapy. A recent video captures a day in Kate's life now. Extremely different from what her life was just a month ago, I'm sure. Please keep this little angel in your thoughts and prayers.

To enter the auction, please visit Jaime's BLOG HERE

Visit Jaime's Etsy Shop HERE

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Home Sweet Home!


We're back! I'm exhausted, but it's great to be home! We had a great time visiting my family in New York! I can't wait to catch up on reading my fave blogs and see what I missed!

I have lots of parties & projects to share....I'm so far behind!

Coming Soon:

Little Birdie Twin Baby Shower
Jack's Pirate Birthday Party
Pretty in Pink Baby Shower Designs
Emmie's Candy Shoppe Birthday Party
Gentry's Sweet Shoppe Party
{"family" photo taken at my cousin's house in NY}

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Birthday Parties: HWTM Celebrity Seasame Street Party!


Just in case you don't follow Hostess with the Mostess (You should!), I wanted to share the amazing candy buffet that Jenn created for Nancy O'Dell's daughter's birthday party! Simply perfect and amazing! This candy buffet is great inspiration for all of the mommas out there in the process of planning lollipop parties & sweet shoppe parties! Check out the details and more photos.....HERE!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fashion: Another Hot Pink Purse!

I rarely write about fashion and accessories here on my creative blog, but when I came across this Kate Spade purse online, I had to share it with you. It might be a little "much" for most....but it would be my perfect summer purse! (if I was ready to spend that kind of money!) Do you think I have a thing for PINK? I have been using my little hot pink Coach purse a ton and I love it!

What do you think? Do you like it? hate it?
Maybe my hubby will see this post and get me a belated birthday present.....hint! hint! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This Greek Girl is Going Home!

(photo of my YiaYia with my son ~ 2006}

On a whim, I decided it is time to go to New York to visit my family there. I was born in Orchard Park, New York and moved to Arizona when I was 11. The entire family on my dad's side (the Greek side) live in upstate New York. This includes my YiaYia (my beloved grandmother), as well as my aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, etc, etc. Good think I got married in Arizona, or else my wedding would have had 800 guests!

My family there hasn't met my daughter yet, and last time I visited with my son, he was only one year old. I can't wait for everyone to see how sweet my babies are! My YiaYia is one of the strongest women I know, and tells me the greatest stories about her life growing up, living in a small village in the "old country", sneaking out of her village to bring my grandfather food while he hid out in the mountains during war, coming over on "the ship" with three little kids and how horrible it was. Although my YiaYia and Papou's marriage was arranged (can you believe that?), my YiaYia loved her husband with all of her heart. When he had a stroke many years ago, she nursed him back to health and re-taught him everything he needed to know. My Papou passed away several years ago, and she is alone. She has family nearby, of course, but still lives in the same house that they have owned for (30?) years and takes care of herself. She won't have it any other way.

I can't wait for her to hug and hold my children so they can feel the love that she has given me all of my life.

If I have time to get a few posts together before I leave, you may hear from me this week! However, I am going to try to stay "unplugged" so I can enjoy every minute that we have there!
I'll be back soon,
Love, Kim

Kate McRae: Auction Results

Thank you so much to all of you who bid on my party package auction to benefit Kate McRae. Congratulations to Brooke Meyenberg from Jackaroo Love blog, who placed the highest bid of $200. I want to also say thank you to everyone who is supporting this family and praying for this little girl.

This is an excerpt from Kate's mom's post today, and it brought tears to my eyes reading it..

Today we realized Kate was really processing what was going on around her and to her. We stopped as I was pushing her in the hallway and she asked "Mommy, am I going to be bald?" We were waiting to have this conversation a little further down the road with the Child Life Specialists. She wasn't going to wait. So there in the middle of the hallway, I sat down and tried to explain to her why the kids were on this floor, and why most of them lost their hair. And that yes, we were pretty sure she would lose hers. She began to wimper and say "no, no, i don't want to". My heart broke knowing her anxiety, and yet also knowing the battle was over so much more than her losing her hair. We did assure her that hair grows back. She seemed a little more at ease knowing that. But some days it is so difficult to tell what her little 5 year old mind is all thinking. So pray for her anxieties. She is a thinker, and I know by her question that none of this has escaped her. Innocence stolen.

Follow Kate's progress HERE

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Invitations: Purple Birthday Party Invitations!

I just designed these new purple birthday invitations for my loyal customer, Kara in Illinois! Kara ordered her younger daughter's lollipop birthday package a couple months ago, then purchased this frame, and two more frames for gifts! She emailed me and needed invitations for her older daughter, Anna's upcoming "purple party"! She mentioned it needed to be purple, and possibly be water related because the party is being held at a waterpark! I came up with a few other ideas, including this bikini invitation!

How fun is that? :)

Kate McRae: Family Photography Session Auction from Live. Love. Photography

My friend, Tina with Live. Love. Photography has generously offered to host an auction on her blog for a family photo session. All proceeds will go directly to Kate McRae & family. Tina is a very talented photographer in the Phoenix area, and this is a great opportunity to secure your family photo session for your holiday cards!

Retail value of the photo session is $300. The minimum bid will be $100.

Auction begins Thursday, July 16th at 9:00am and ends Monday, July 20th at 9pm MST.
Please visit her blog for rules/details!

Kate McRae: Party Package Auction - Latest Bids!


THANK YOU for your support!

I was so happy to wake up to 3 new bids!

The party package is now at retail value!

$150

7/15 8:41am


Interested in bidding?

Also, please feel free to grab the button above, that my friend Andra created. Add it to your blog sidebar to show support for Kate. You can link it to:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kate McRae: Auction from Dolce Vita Mia

One of my local Twitter friends, and fellow Etsy seller, Dolce Vita Mia generously offered to auction one of her adorable onesie sets!She picked my very favorite one from her collection! It is made with Heather Bailey fabric and includes a onesie & matching hair clippie. All proceeds will go directly to the McRae family.
Perfect for baby shower gift, or for your own little one!
Thank you, Mia for your support!!
Visit the Dolce Vita Mia Etsy SHOP HERE

Kate McRae: Party Package Auction - Bid Now!

LASTEST BID AMOUNT: $200.00
Updated: 7/16 12:35am
(check comments for new bids before bidding!)

The McRae family needs your prayers, for their daughter Kate. This story really hit home for me, so I decided that I would auction a party package, with every penny of the proceeds going directly to this family. Even though they may only be asking for prayers at this point, they have a long road ahead and people around the world are supporting them. Let's do our part!


Starting today, I am auctioning a custom party package from The TomKat Studio that includes:


25 custom invitations - 5x7 flat


25 coordinating thank you cards


50 return address labels


24 cupcake toppers


24 favor tags


(retail value: approx. $150)



Minimum bid for this party package is $50. Payment to be made via Paypal within 48 hours of acceptance of bid, or package will be awarded to the next highest bidder. Highest bidder will have 6 months to redeem the party package.

TO BID, PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!

If you would prefer not to bid publicly, please email me at kim@thetomkatstudio.com and I will keep track of the bidding. Bidding opens Tuesday, July 14th at 10:15am and ends Friday, July 17th at 9pm. Time will marked automatically when the comment is posted. No comments/emails will be considered after this deadline.

If you would like to donate directly to the McRae family or host an auction of your own, please email me at kim@thetomkatstudio.com and I will make sure that they receive whatever it is you would like to give! If you would like to host an auction of your own, I will write about it here on my blog and link to your auction. Email me for details! I already have 4 people willing to auction products/services with the proceeds going to the McRae family. I will post them soon!

In the meantime, please PRAY FOR KATE! Read updates HERE.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pray for Kate: TomKat Studio Party Package Auction


You probably read my post about little Kate McRae, a local 5 year old girl recently diagnosed with brain cancer. One of my readers sent me the link to her story and it really broke my heart. During my "Birthday Week" giveaways, one of the commenters said that if she wins, she would like her prized auctioned for the benefit of Kate McRae. I've been trying to think of something I could do to help this family, and this comment sparked an idea for me.

I am putting together a post to auction off one of my complete customized party packages, and the proceeds will go directly to Kate's family in the form of gift cards. Although the family didn't request it, with the outpouring of people wanting to help, there is currently a fund being setup for their benefit.

Here's how the Auction will work....
Bidding will begin on Tuesday, July 14th 9:30am and end Friday, July 17th at 9pm.
I will be putting together a post shortly describing the party package that will be auctioned and the minimum bid required. I promise it will be filled with fabulous items!

If you have a product or service that you would be willing to auction for the benefit of Kate, please contact me!
Please spread the word about the auction! If you would like to donate a gift card or money to go towards purchasing gift cards for the family, please email me at kim@thetomkatstudio.com. My customer/friend, Andra has a direct connection to the family and will make sure it goes directly to them.

Inspired by TomKat Studio: Sarah's Sip & See Baby Shower!

Speaking of Sarah (winner of Giveaway #1!)....she emailed me a few weeks ago to tell me that I inspired some of the items she created for a "Sip & See" Baby Shower she just hosted! She was sweet to give me credit in her blog post about her party, and I really appreciate that! I see many parties around the web now that were clearly "inspired" by something on my blog, but many people don't bother to mention their source for inspiration! So, thank you Sarah!

My favorite part of the shower (beside the items inspired by TKS, of course) were these beverage jars and labels that Sarah created! Aren't they adorable?!

Wondering what a "Sip & See" party is? I was too, until a few weeks ago! My favorite hostess, Jenn from HWTM describes it here: A Sip and See is basically a casual type of baby shower that’s held AFTER baby arrives instead of before. Friends and family are invited to drop by “open house style” within a certain time frame to meet the baby (see) and enjoy light food & drinks (sip) . Check out this fabulous "Sparkling Sip & See" inspiration board that Jenn created!

View more details and photos of Sarah's Sip & See on her blog HERE!
Sarah's Sip & See Shower was also featured on Everyday Celebrating HERE!

Birthday Week GIVEAWAY Winners!

Birthday Week is officially over and I am happy to announce the winners of my three giveaways!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cupcake Monday: Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!

{image via Martha}
Happy Monday! I had a great time over the weekend, celebrating my birthday and my friend's bridal shower & bachelorette party! This week, I am finishing up orders before the kids & I head to New York to visit my family there (can't wait!)

My mom bought me the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book for my birthday (along with another great cake decorating book & fabulous Kate Spade sunglasses!) and it is truly delicious! I was pouring over the gorgeous cupcake photos last night, trying to decide what to post today from the book! I decided on these yummy looking ice cream cone cupcakes!

My friend, Stef (who is hosting the ice cream social birthday party) asked me if I had a recipe for these, and now I do! This one is for you, Stef!

In case you missed this post, these are another example of ice cream cone cupcakes from one of my sweet customer's parties!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!


I know it's silly to wish myself a happy birthday, but why not?
My friend, Melissa is in town for her bridal shower and bachelorette party, so there will be two reasons to celebrate tonight with the girls!
{photo via chota on flickr}

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Baby Kate!

I am browsing some old photos looking for something to post for my birthday, and I just came across this adorable perfect little baby photo of my princess Kate. I can't believe how time flies! Isn't she sweet? This picture ALMOST gives me a tiny, little wee feeling about having another baby....but only for a split second. (I'm so done!)

Invitations: Double Scoop Ice Cream Party!


Okay, so my design is actually a triple scoop, but this party is going to be DOUBLE the fun for these little kiddos turning TWO! Brinkley belongs to my good friend, Taryn and Jordan is my other good friend, Stef's little guy! Their birthdays are close together, and they are neighbors so they decided to throw a joint ice cream social! Fun! Fun!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Birthday Week Final Giveaway - Custom Invitations!


I'm so excited about the number of entries I have received for my "Birthday Week" Giveaways! When I did my first (and only) giveaway a few months ago, I think I had about 12. For these giveaways, I now have well over 100! Yippee!

Thanks for entering and reading my blog!

One more giveaway from The TomKat Studio! This one is a set of 20 Custom Invitations or Announcements! Winner may select any of my 5x7 flat designs.

Contest ends Sunday, July 12th at 11:00pm. Winner will be posted, Monday, July 13th! Open to U.S. residents only. ($40 value)

Don't forget to enter GIVEAWAY #1 - Personalized Notecards

and GIVEAWAY #2 - Set of Custom Cupcake Toppers!
Good Luck!

Sweet Customers: Cupcakes & The City!

Wait until you devour these gorgeous pictures from one of my *sweetest* customers! I am loving these amazing photos from Aurelia's 1st cupcake birthday party in Chicago! Her mom, Donna found me on Etsy, and ordered a complete cupcake package to celebrate her daughter's big day! I always wanted to live in a big city, so seeing these amazing views from their balcony makes my day! Not to mention seeing my products in such a fabulous setting!
Photography: Karin O’Brien - Karen was 6 month pregnant & did a FANTASTIC job! Everyone just thought she was a friend of mine that they had never met! So super sweet!

Dress: Uniquelymonogrammed on Etsy - Alicia’s work was perfection! Beautiful linen, amazing detail & so great to work with…especially with the custom detail on the tush!
Baked Goods: Ireen Pasia-Bacino - She’s a stay at home mom & I was her very 1st client! She made the cupcake cones, the brownie pops, & her giant cupcake cake. Which were not only so so so PRETTY but tasted DIVINE!

Then of course there is YOU who was my COMPLETE inspiration in this entire endeavor. THANK GOD I found you & your amazing taste level! Seriously. I can’t wait to work with you & your lovely creations again, SOON!

And my sister, Yola, who helped me set up not only the entire party but my entire 1st year of motherhood.

Donna, It was truly a pleasure working with you on Aurelia's party! We appreciate you sharing all of your beautiful party photos! I'm sure it will this party will be an inspiration for many party girls out there!

XOXO,
Kim

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Birthday Week Giveaway #2 - TomKat Studio Cupcake Toppers!

If you read this blog, you know that I am addicted to cupcakes and one of my favorite products is cupcake toppers! To celebrate my "Birthday Week" (a "week" is so much more fun than just a "day"), I am giving away some of my favorite items from my shop!

Winner will receive a set of 12 custom cupcake toppers, with up to 3 designs/colors of their choice! Save them for your next birthday party, baby shower, bridal shower or any celebration!

Contest ends July 12th at 11:00pm. Winner will be announced Monday, July 13th! Open to U.S. residents only.

Don't forget to enter Giveaway #1 for a set of 10 personalized notecards - RIGHT HERE!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Life Isn't Always A Party.....

One of my wonderful blog followers, Air sent me an email today. Here it is:

Hi there Kim.........I was reading this sweet little girls story today and realized that she is in your part of the country. I wondered if you could read it over and be kind enough to maybe post something on your blog. I would like to do something for the family but have not decided what yet. So if you have any ideas please let me know. As a parent I am counting my blessings today that my children are all healthy and able to do normal everyday things. Seeing this sweet little Kate suffer and her parents as well just broke my heart. I cried through reading the journal. How could you not? Thanks for your time. Aaron

I clicked through to read about this sweet little girl, Kate (cute & blonde just like my own Kate) right here in Phoenix and how her family recently found out (June 29th) that she has a major brain tumor. I immediately got the chills and tears sprung to my eyes, as I read her story. To read her mom's posts, makes my heart ache. After reading every post on the site, I realized that this story is really close to home. The McRae family is a part of the Cornerstone Christian Church in Chandler, AZ (where we live). I haven't been to this church yet, but we have friends who are members and last night I signed up to participate in their Holiday Boutique.

What can we do to help? As far as I can tell, they aren't asking for donations (except to donate to the CaringBridge website to help other families in need), just lots and lots of prayers. So if you have any ideas about what else this beautiful family needs, or what we could do for them, please share your ideas!

At the very least, please take a moment and appreciate your happy, healthy children and give them every ounce of love that they so deserve. This is taken from one of Kate's mom's posts, and really puts things in perspective:

Do you know those days where your kids are endlessly calling "mommy"? I have had many of those in the past. My kids are 6 (she will be 7 in 2 weeks), 5 and 4. There were many times I would say "okay no one can call me mommy for 10 minutes, I just need quiet!". How many times did I complain about how it seemed like they were always pooping and I was always wiping. How I loved those days where I could lazily stay in my pjs and not wear any makeup. One word can change all of that. Cancer. Now I beg for my daughter to say mommy, just once, just for something for me to hang onto. I don't care if she screams it, slurs it, anything, just say mommy.

I cannot imagine what this family is going through. Please visit Kate's site HERE & keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

If you have time to leave some words of encouragement, here is Kate's Mom, Holly's email: hollymcrae@gmail.com

Love,
Kim

{photos by Promise Tangeman}

Birthday Week Giveaway #1 - TomKat Studio Notecards!


Hello party girls!

I'm celebrating my birthday with you this week! My birthday is Saturday, 7/11 and I'm looking forward to a girl's night out for a bachelorette party! To thank you for reading my blog, I am going to be posting a few giveaways for TomKat Studio products!
First up...a set of 10 personalized handmade notecards, featuring a variety of my favorite Amy Butler papers! Great for yourself or to give as a gift!

Please COMMENT to enter!
COMMENT AGAIN if you POST this giveaway on your own blog, please provide link!
COMMENT AGAIN if you TWEET about this giveaway!

Winners will be posted on Monday, 7/13! Good luck!
Open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be selected using random.org.

TomKat Studio Frames: Worth The Wait...Hopefully!

I've been bad. Really bad. I had several custom orders for frames from April, that I finally just completed. Luckily, my customers were patient. I think they will be happy with the results!

During the process of making these frames (quite a few steps), I tell myself I'm not going to make them anymore. Too much work. But then, when I see the end result...I just can't help but want to make more! I've had many more requests for custom frames, but with my lack of time and demand for party products, I have been turning down the orders! So, I've been thinking about offering a DIY kit for these, including: instructions, frame, hardware, crytals and a choice of paper & flower combinations. What do you think?

So, on to the new ones! This one was created for Kara's mother-in-law (for Mother's Day), and it's my favorite of the bunch! I used a navy/olive/cream Amy Butler paper, topped with a white flower & Swarovski crystals.
Kara also purchased a frame for her mom, for Mother's Day and requested neutral or burgandy. I found this simple patterned paper and topped with a rich burgandy flower & crystals!
Mandy found me on Etsy, and after we chatted about some of her wedding items, she decided she couldn't live without a frame! She requested something blue/brown, and after giving her a few options, she chose this blue/brown (almost olive) Amy Butler paper. I topped with a white flower and some bling (of course!)


It was such a relief to get these completed and shipped off!

I also made two small custom frames, for my local customer, Heather.

I'll share those soon after I take some pictures!