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Friday, October 19, 2012

{Gender Reveal Party}

When I found out I was pregnant, I debated on whether or not I wanted to know the gender of the baby. I went back and forth about the issue with my husband for weeks,  Ultimately, we decided to find out the gender but we wanted to involve the whole family.  I am never one to pass up an opportunity for a party and finding out the gender of first baby was definitely an occasion to celebrate.  And so I started planning our Gender Reveal Party!

As guest entered our home they were asked to make a guess on whether the baby would be a boy or a girl.  If you choose boy, you got to wear a fuzzy mustache and those who choose girl wore a little bow. My husband and I both guess boy, in fact we are about 90% sure its a boy.  (Don't know why but it is just a feeling I had). I framed our invitation as well as some of our sonogram pictures.

We were doing some remodeling to our living room-so we had a very big open space without furniture! We set up some tables and invited our close friends and family over for dinner.  I purchased most of the items at a Polka dot Market-a very cool online party decor boutique! The rest of the items were made by me! 

With the help of my husband we hung some paper fans, poms and lanterns in the middle of the room.  

Here is a picture of the food set up! I made a basic backdrop using a fabric wrapped board and paper poms.  So very easy and perfect way to tie your party decor  together.  We served sliders, pasta salad and chips and dip.  All things that I was craving at the time! 

Our awesome cake purchased at Society Bakery in Dallas and an old Coke crate as the stand.

Fruit Tarts my husbands favorite! I put them in these cute cups and added some toppers from 
The Type Tree Designs on Etsy.  (Got my invites and place cards here too :) 

Lemonade and Sweet Tea to fill the mason jars with paper straws! 

After dinner we had the future grandmothers ask the parents to be some questions based on old wives  tales. These wives tales were said to "predict" what the gender would be.  It was funny to see every ones reactions to the answers! The suspense was getting to everyone so we all gathered around the table to cut the cake! Here I am with the proud papa! 

And here we are just after we cut the cake! Both in disbelief and my husband examining the cake to make sure it IS truly what it IS!   You can tell by the look on my face that I am in complete shock! One big mistake I made when ordering the cake was to order my favorite flavor-pink champagne (don't worry alcohol free).  But I didn't think that about it affecting the outcome of the cake cutting.  

So we quickly pull out the card that the Doctor had written the gender on to confirm.  

And we confirm that it is in fact.....

A GIRL!!!!!! 

My sister recorded the whole thing and I am so glad she did! It was fun getting to watch our reaction after the party! And hear the (screams) reactions from our family :) 

Here is a link to the video:

Little Miss Greyson Kate
 We are so excited to be your mommy and daddy! We can't wait to meet you in October. You are so loved already by lots of friends and family 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oh Boy! {A Little Man Themed Baby Shower}

I love baby showers! There is just something about a baby shower that is different than any other party. It's so fun to have a bunch of women gathered together oohing and aahing over tiny clothes and diapers.  It's also a great place to swap stories and get advice on raising kids from someone who has been there before.

I was honored to help host my friend Heathers baby shower.  Heather is expecting a baby boy so I knew I wanted to create a  preppy little man theme filled with bow ties, mustaches and seersucker!

We had planned on having the shower outdoors but a huge thunderstorm rolled right over us last minute so we had to quickly move everything inside.  Luckily most of our plans for outside fit perfectly on the inside.

As guest were greeted they were asked to fill out a card of advice for the new parents to be.  I came up with the cute little poem that read:

Take some time to leave a note
A word of wisdom; and a dash of hope
A silly saying or a helpful hint
Heartfelt advice and lots of encouragement
All for Mommy and Daddy-to-be
As Baby Brock joins his new family

I framed the poem and placed it next to one of the baby's sonogram pics.  Guest hung there advice cards with mini clothes pins along the vintage table.  It was fun to read what everyone wrote!

Framed poem designed by The Type Tree Design 

Ruffled Seersucker Runners by Just Kate Etc.
Vintage blue table available to rent from Just Kate Etc.  

Heather brought some favors for all her guest.  I love that she brought one of her cravings- pickle flavored popcorn! And her cute saying made this bucket even more adorable!

 Here is a pic of the food spread and the super cute double ruffle seersucker table runner! We had lots of goodies! We drank punch from mason jars and striped straws.  Can you spot my Pinterest projects on the table??

Fruit Kabobs an "upgrade" from the normal fruit tray.  And the chocolate cigars fit in just perfectly with the little man theme.  Both VERY easy to make! 

The center table was decorated with large mason jars filled with blue, yellow and white flowers.  I framed the invitation and another sonogram pic for guest to see.  The little bow tie onesie added  the perfect touch to the table! 

I had lots of little paper medallions that matched the invites.  I put some of them in the flower vases through out the house. They were also scattered on the tables.  

And finally the banner! This was supposed to hand outside above the food table but, like I mentioned before we had a last minute change of locations.  So I took some extra seersucker fabric I had and covered these foam boards.  It was a very quick and easy way to bring the theme into this room and a cute display for the banner. I use chipboard letters covered them with spray paint.  I incorporated green and yellow seersucker as well as some yellow bow ties.    

Here is a better picture of the banner before we moved inside.  I love the mix of seersucker fabrics, shinny letters and yellow bow ties! You can find this banner in my etsy shop-Just Kate Etc. 

Here is some of the other seersucker items that are available in my etsy shop.  Perfect for this a little boys baby shower, nursery or any fun and preppy party! 

Shaggy Garland is such an easy and unique way to decorate for your event! 

Thanks again to the wonderful Julie at The Type Tree Designs for all the paper products! You can find the complete invitation set including everything here and much more at her Etsy shop.  

And finally thank you Heather for being such an awesome friend through good times and bad! I am so happy for you and this chapter in your life.  And I am so honored to have been able to help host this shower for you-love you lots :) 

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Official Comeback Post

      I love it when celebrities have "comebacks".  They are everywhere and then it seems like they fall off the radar.  Well, I am by no means a celebrity and I haven't quite fallen off the radar.  But I definitely haven't kept my New Years resolution to blog more.  So this is the official Just Kate Etc. comeback post! (Insert confetti release here) :) So much has gone on in the past 5 months, so bear with me I am going to start at the beginning.

     January a fantastic month! Business was slow but steady, which I very much appreciated after the Christmas rush.  February-such a short month and way to much to do! I got to work with some fantastic brides and event planners creating one of a kind linens for their big day! March proved to be a great month as well as I continued to work on more custom orders for weddings, baby showers and even some birthday parties.  In April I hosted a baby shower with a "Little Man" theme! Creating and designing for friends is one of my favorite things to do and this shower was no exception.  May was a fun month and I had so much fun working with Jo Brock Photography and Rachel Carl & Co.  for a stylized shabby chic photo session! In June came a gender reveal party and that brings us July.  WOOHOO! What a year it has been! 

     I am taking the next 2 weeks to catch up on all things Just Kate Etc.  Blogging about some awesome events and new listings in my shop! As of now I have at least 40 new listings to post-yes I said 40!! I also have lots of new vintage finds for rent as well! 

     And finally the biggest surprise of the the year so far-I'M EXPECTING!! Yes, I have a baby on the way,  I am over joyed and thrilled at the thought of becoming a mom! And since part of my comeback will be to include adding more personal post to this blog here is a quick little something about my pregnancy so far. 

     Here I am at 5 weeks, the night I found out that I was officially pregnant! I had been at my day job and didn't get home that night until almost 11pm.  I had called my husband earlier in the afternoon and told him, I didn't feel quite right and thought I was getting the flu or something.  I continued to feel sluggish, tired and flu like the rest of the day. And then it hit me-COULD I BE PREGNANT??  A couple of hours later I called him again and said, pick up a pregnancy test, wait up for me and we will take it when I get home.  So as soon as I got home I rushed to the bathroom where he had 6 pregnancy test, 2 different kinds waiting for me.  And sure enough-it was positive! I even took the other 5 just to be sure :) Yep, they were all positive.  I was officially going to be a mom! 

     This is me at 9 weeks! Aren't these belly stickers cute!? I picked them up at Buddha Bellies on Etsy of course :) Pregnancy has treated me well, I have no major complaints. I made a few changes to my exercise routine (no plyometrics and a little less focus on my abs) and my diet ( I added more fruit and whole grains) and  I sleep A LOT!  Around this time I was craving really sour foods, lots of lemonade and anything really, really cold.   I found some great natural no calorie-no added sugar, lemonade mix that helped  me during the next few weeks.  And over crushed ice-PERFECTION! 

   Seventeen weeks and feeling great! So much more energy at this point! Although, I am still making sure to rest more and take naps when I can! No real cravings but, I am giving in to some indulgences that I had not had in a while.  Things like real ice cream-yum yum! I figured a little scoop here or there won't hurt :) After all I gave up sushi, cheese and alcohol-I have to have something! 

     And here I am today-25 weeks! Still feeling great and getting anxious! I can't believe I have to wait 15 more weeks to meet my little pumpkin! The best part is feeling the baby move (which started about 18 weeks).  My little one likes to move all the time at all hours of the day and night :) I have been craving lots of fruit and it seems that I can't even keep it in my house long enough.  Also craving lots of salads-anything light and fresh!  I have been a busy little mom already, planning the nursery, registering (ugh-this was painful) and making sure we have everything we need! 

     So I have caught you up on all the latest and greatest.  Stay close by, and watch for all the new listings in my shop Just Kate Etc and more blog post here about all the fabulous events, I have helped create! Hope you will stick around! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

{Yum-Yum} White Bean Chicken Chili

Let me start by saying-this chili would not be considered a normal meal in our house.  My husband and I aren't exactly "health freaks" but we try really hard.  But I must say WE LOVE FOOD and trying new restaurants and recipes is kind of our "thing. So when I stumbled upon this recipe it made all those early morning/late night cardio and training sessions worth it!

             - White Bean Chicken Chili -
1.5 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast cut into 1/2" cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon canola oil 
3-4 ounce cans of chopped green chilies
3-15.5 ounce cans of great white northern beans, rinsed and drained
1-14.5 ounce can of chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 and 1/2 cup of sour cream 

In a large saucepan saute the chicken, onions and garlic powder in oil for 1-2 minutes.  Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings to the crock pot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in sour cream and whipping cream and serve.  Serves 4-6.

We made the chili this weekend and entered it in a cook off competition.  All though we didn't win-ours definitely stood out! (Some were calling it the albino chili because of the light color.) And everyone must of liked it because our crock pot was empty!  This quick and easy recipe will be a hit for anyone hosting a super bowl party this weekend. Add some tortilla chips to it and you are set! 

Happy party planning!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

{Rustic Chic Christmas} Making OUR house a HOME for the Holidays!

For those of you who don't know-I have an obsession with all things rustic chic.  And for those of you who are now saying "HUH?", let me explain. Rustic chic can mean many things, but to me it is is best described as natural elements, with a little bit of worn vintage and a splash class. Still confused, stick with me (here is a hint)!

     As with every project I do there are lessons to be learned and challenges to be had, and transforming our home into my Christmas vision was no exception. Our house decor without the Christmas added in, is quite the collection of his and hers. My husband Josh, had already owned our home before we married, I moved in and lovingly :) took over all decor and renovations. (He had lived there for 4 years without me and made little improvements or upgrades).

     Since I took over, we have done several things-new carpet, new paint, some new fixtures, and even a few new pieces of furniture. But like every other young couple we have a budget so our house is not "complete" and full of projects. We have some of his modern decor mixed with my vintage pieces, not exactly the Ralph Lauren Ad I was trying to accomplish, but it is getting there. So this, (my hodge podge, mish mosh, his and her decor) presented me with my biggest challenge. I was trying to now blend in Christmas to an already somewhat un-blended pallet. But,  being that this was my first Christmas as a married woman, I was determined to really do it up BIG. I had a list of all the baking I wanted to do, gifts to get, inspiration for decor and a theme (Rustic Chic of course). This was the first time that a lot of my family was going to see our house, so the pressure was ON! 

Challenge Accepted!

     So here is how our entry way turned out. I used a red plaid table square to give our regular entry way table so color! We got a TON of Christmas cards this year (so cool, I feel so loved) and I wanted to incorporate them into our decor as well. I used twine and clothes pins, to string them along the table. And that is Josh's childhood stocking, forgot to hang mine up before I took this pic.

Our entry way! We even got new tile for Christmas (this isn't it-but it is coming soon!)

I used ball jars filled with Epsom salt (looks like faux snow) and mercury glass votive's to add a touch of candlelight!

Pinterest project! Faux snow, ornaments, pine cones and pine leaves filled in an apothecary jar

This is actually a large candle ring that I hung with twine. It was the perfect fit for my smaller mirror.
 On to our living room! I love having a house with a fireplace to decorate! I hit up my local craft store and bought a lots of red berry garland. I added some more faux snow, pine cones and ball jar votives. The stockings and tree skirt I purchased at Crate and Barrel several years ago. And our reindeer stocking holders came from Target.

More candle ring wreath! I love these vintage inspired mirror trays and my "Home for the Holidays"sign. I picked these up at LaurieAnna's Vintage Home in Canton.

Our tree! Now looking at it, I wish I would have added more too it! But I have a good start for next year :)
New Rustic tree topper from Target.

I used kraft paper to wrap all of our presents! Also added green and natural colored twine, red ribbon, tea dipped doilies and tags! You will even see some plaid fabric strips!

Some I phone photo close ups! I tied cinnamon sticks on to some of the gifts as well!
Made everything smell so wonderful!

Here is our bar area. I found this awesome reclaimed wood piece a few weeks ago and it fit our new wine fridge perfectly! But I had yet to install the shelves above to hold all our glasses and bar tools. So I found this little Christmas tree and decided to add some other goodies that I picked up at Canton! I think it turned out pretty cute!

More Christmas cards! This was the perfect place to display them!

Here is our Christmas Card from the very lovely and talented Julie at The Type Tree

     And finally our Christmas table! My pride and joy :) I was so happy at how this turned out! We hosted two family dinners this year so it was the one place everyone was going to be spending lots of time in! And we finally got to use lots of our wedding gifts! Most of the decor items were purchased at local craft stores, I already had lots of ball jars, the mercury votives and I picked up the to die for berry bucket in Canton! (PS its available to rent-yeah for you!)

We served two different types of chili (hints the table setting). I will post that recipe soon-it was SO super good! I used two table runners instead of one and put them side by side to add some color to the table without covering up all the pretty wood! (PS this was my husbands table before we married-pretty decent :)

I made these burlap place mats.  So easy and cute! Maybe I will have a DIY post or put them up for sale in the shop!

I picked up the chalkboard place cards at a new local shop Southern Simplicity

More ball jars in various sizes and some left over mercury glass votive from our wedding.

Here is a close up of the berry bucket centerpiece! Lots of red berries cinnamon sticks, pine cones and ball jars! I basically just put everything in there and played around with it until it looked like I wanted. PS-I usually don't care for fake plants etc. but I make Christmas the exception Its just too hard to find find a lot of natural florals like these when its still 70 degrees outside! But I did purchase several pine wreaths and cut them up and added them thought my decor so it's a mix of the real and fake stuff.
     And there you have it folks- A Rustic Chic Christmas! I love the way it turned out and I think that our family did too, they all seemed to be impressed with the improvements from my husbands bachelor pad days. Of course like any other type A person I am thinking about next year and planning my theme! I hope to use a lot of the same things, but here are a few things I would do differently-Lessons learned:

Lesson #1: Rome was not built in a day, and neither will my supply of Christmas Decor, unless I win the lottery. I realized this after my 3rd trip to the Christmas Store in a week, that I was about to blow my budget, just on decorations! So work with what you have and add a few pieces each year. Those that have a house full of Christmas, had been collecting items for many years! Lesson #2: Limited time means-it can't all be done! I literally had one weekend to do all things related to Christmas. Next year-START EARLIER!
Lesson #3: No one or home can be perfectly coiffed for Christmas. Your decor, home or event should reflect you, your style and where you are at in your life.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! And I wish you all a very Happy 2012!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tiffany & Co. Baby Shower

I was so excited to help in designing some of the elements of Alaina's baby shower. Why you ask? Well for starters it was a brunch shower, and who doesn't love brunch!  (Dreaming of biscuits, bacon and mimosas as I write this!)  And this very sweet mommy-to-be loves Tiffany & Co. another one of my fav's! The hostess had some awesome ideas for how she wanted to incorporate Tiffany blue, a touch of pink and of course BACON! Check out the pics below to see what we came up with. 

This was definitely the BIG project of the party and this pic doesn't do it any justice! We spent hours making different sized paper poms and adding them all over the dinning room chandelier.  We hung more paper poms, and lanterns from the ceiling and left some ribbons hanging  loosely throughout.  There was ribbon, tulle and fluffy poms everywhere!
Just Kate Etc. created this custom triple ruffle runner especially for this event check it out in our etsy shop!
Paper lanterns covered the lights on the chandelier. 

Waffle ice cream cones with fruit! Perfect update to a standard fruit tray!

A decorated chair for the new mommy to sit in while opening her gifts

No baby shower would be complete without a diaper cake the hostess did a great job making this one!

Super cute Tiffany & Co. inspired cake
By far the best baby gift I have seen in a while! Wish I could have seen the look on her hubby's face  when she showed him.  Looks like he will be prepared for anything :)

Beautiful baby bump! Congrats Alaina!