Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday Parties: Marshmallow Lollipops!

I was inspired by this photo from Bakerella to make these yummy looking lollipops! However, I never looked at the actual recipe, and come to find out hers are actually little cakes! Yum!

Anyway, mine (shown above) were just pink strawberry marshmallows dipped halfway into melted chocolate, covered in sprinkles and topped with an M&M! They were super cute, and super yummy! The kids loved them, of course!

Speaking of Bakerella, I just popped over to get the links, and I was greeted by all of these amazing cupcake pops! This girl's got pops for every occasion! Check out her SITE for gorgeous photos and recipes! I'm going to have to try to make the REAL ones soon! Yum!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Birthday Parties: Kate's Yummy Lollipop Party!

My little cupcake turned two last week, and her lollipop birthday party was this past weekend! I had so much fun designing her invitations and decor! Everything turned out really "sweet"! I think everyone had a great time! Shown above: Yummy Lollipop invitations, more info from my previous post HERE! I also designed cupcake toppers (3 versions: "kate's sweet shop", "k", and "kate"), and favor tags ("thank you for being sweet") tied to the mini swirl lollipops!

Shown above: Cupcake stand (more on this later!), marshmallow pops inspired by Bakerella, pink snowballs turned lollipops, rainbow jello form stuck with a lolli stick, and I also did fruit on lollipop sticks!

Above: Kate's Sweet Shop Door Sign, Cotton Candy Buckets (walmart Easter section $1!), and bright necklaces (walmart)! Homemade giant lollipops made of paper plates, paper, wood dowels, cellophane & ribbon!

Above: My little princess all dressed up in her TUTU from Etsy and custom lollipop rhinestone TANK TOP from Pouty Pants, courtesy of my fab sister-in-law, Nicollette! Orange & pink tissue paper pom-poms by Martha Stewart!
Party guests having fun! Love this picture of my best friend's daughter with googly eyes for the marshmallow lollipop! Kate got some fabulous gifts including the memo board made by my crafty friend, Thuy! For a craft, the kids decorated foam circles, made into lollipops!
Having your own Lollipop Party?! You can now find invitations, favor tags, cupcake toppers & more in my ETSY SHOP!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday Parties: Lollipop Party Sneak Peek!

Kate's lollipop birthday party was yesterday and we all had a great time! Here is a little peek of what's to come from lollipop land!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Project Nursery: The Modern Baby Co. Giveaway!

Pop on over to Project Nursery and enter win a FABULOUS baby blanket from The Modern Baby Co.! Contest ends April 3rd, so head on over and enter! Keep it for yourself, or it would make a fab gift for a baby shower!
Isn't that photo AMAZING? The perfect pink wall color, the modern chair, the white curtain with pompoms? Oh, I forgot to mention, the beautiful, sweet sleeping baby?! Fabulous marketing guys!
{photo courtesy of The Modern Baby Co.}

Happy Birthday My Sweet Angel...

What a difference a year makes! This is a collection of my favorite photos taken over the past year of my daughter, Kate. Mommies: I highly recommend you look back at all of your photos very often and remember every moment. They sure fly by....

Happy Birthday, My Love. Looking forward to your "Lolli-Bop" birthday party. I love you.

{white bow pigtails photo courtesy of O Grace}

{jean jacket photos courtesy of Vicki Lynn Photography}

{all other photos courtesy of Mommy}

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blog Love from Doodlebuds!

Blogging is an interesting thing. You "meet" people that have the same interests and experiences as you. It's amazing for me to find so many people (all women in my case) out there who are obsessed with things that I am obsessed with. You can really get to know someone through their blog. Some blogs make you drool, some make you laugh and some make you cry. I love them all.

In my short time blogging, I have had several people reach out to me and offer advice about opening an Etsy shop, offer to review products, and make suggestions to help me succeed, and even ask me to contribute to their blog! Someone actually admitted today that they are now an official stalker of mine! (isn't that sweet?!) It's like a community out there in the blogosphere, and I sure like being a member!

Many of the blogs I follow, I have found by reading comments of other blogs that I read. If I read a comment I like, I'll click through and check out that person's blog. Sometimes I find winners, sometimes not so much. And even sometimes, I make a new friend! :)

My new blogging friend, Heather from Doodlebuds wrote THIS POST about me and my shop the other day. I'm even sure how we first connected? Probably from a comment elsewhere, like on one of my faves, Decor8. So after a few comments back and forth, Heather emailed me to congratulate me on the opening of my Etsy shop and my first sale. She emailed me a list of other websites/blogs to check out that she thought would be of interest. to me. She also mentioned that she is a creative director for a book publishing company. (and she's reading MY blog?!) She has designed tons of gift and children's books. You know those "little black" and "little pink" gift books up by the checkout at Barnes & Noble....those are part of her portfolio!
Thank you, Heather! And thank you blogosphere, I really do love being a part of you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Easter: Decorating Our House

I love Easter. I love light, spring colors. But for some reason, my Easter decorations are sparse. Now with the little ones getting excited for every holiday, it's time to start growing my collection of Easter decorating items. For now, here's what we have!

I bought this Ikea white, branch "thing"? a few months ago, thinking it would work as a great jewelry holder. It didn't fit on my shelf, so it's been hanging around my garage for awhile. I tried to take it back the other day, but it's been too long. As I walked away from the feisty check-out girl, an idea popped in my head! Find pretty eggs to hang from it with ribbon. So guess what? That's just what I did! $12 later, I have a new egg "sculpture". I love it and so do the kids!

Who says Easter can't be glamorous? I found this yellow feather boa wreath topped with sparkly eggs at HomeGoods (my fave place) for $12. I bought it a couple months ago and was so happy to finally hang it up! Looks fab, huh?

Miss Bunny came into our home last year when I realized I had NOTHING for to decorate with for Easter! Isn't she sweet?

And with that, that's it. Maybe I should make a "Happy Easter" banner like the birthday ones in my shop, or maybe I should try out Sarah's Peeps wreath with the kids! The saying goes, "all you need is love" and that's true, but I really feel like, "all I need is time"!

What Easter decorations do you have that make your house all springy and pretty??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oh My Cupcake!

Today, I found a little perfect piece of heaven. This is the most beautiful cupcake that I have ever seen in person. It actually sparkles! My fam & I visited a local spot that we had never been to before, Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert, AZ. The restaurant was actually featured on The Food Network. (more on that later). This friend told me to go, and that this other friend of ours goes once a week. The other friend's tip was to eat at the restaurant but to visit the coffee shop (actually called "The Coffee Shop") next door for dessert. Never one to pass up dessert, I headed over. I almost fell over in awe of the perfection of these little cakes. It worked out great because I needed dessert, but also needed to shoot some photos of my new products for my party collections. This little beauty did double duty. I love you, little pink sparkly piece of happiness.

PS. I am making a commitment, right here, right now that I will learn how to frost cupcakes like this. I've got the tools, just need the skills. I think my mommy can help me figure it out. Mom - think you could figure this out by Saturday for the party?! ;)
Like the custom cupcake topper? Find them HERE!
{photo by me, kim stoegbauer}

Monday, March 23, 2009

Project Nursery: Lollipop Party Board!

Good Morning! I thought you deserved a sweet treat today!

Check out the latest blog post on Project Nursery! Since the girls at PN coined me their Ultra-Crafty Party Planner Extraordinare (thank you very much :), I decided it would be appropriate for me to start creating Party Inspiration Boards as part of my blog contributions! Naturally, since I've been hunting the web for all things lollipop related for Kate's upcoming party, I collected some fun ideas.

(including where to find everything...including lollipop invitations in my Etsy shop!)
PS. Thank you to PN for officially announcing The TomKat Studio shop!

Project Nursery: Real Room - Retro Chic

It's been awhile since I've written anything about one of my other passions....DECORATING!
Check out this fabulous little girl's room on Project Nursery last week! I love the brown wall with the flowers and butterflies...I wish I could be so bold! Check out more photos and the story HERE!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The TomKat Studio Giveaway WINNER!

Congratulations Laura! You are the winner of the first ever TomKat Studio Giveaway! You have won a set of 15 custom invitations/announcements, along with an optional "mini-shoot" with Live. Love. Photography!

Here is Laura's comment:
Hello Kim, I am so excited about your blog! What a fantastic idea. I would be very greatful to win your invitations. My daughter Avery is going to be baptized in May and I would love to send out your invitations to our closest family and friends. thanks for the opportunity and good luck w/ your site.

Laura and I went to high school together and recently connected on Facebook!

It may seem that I chose number "7" since it's my LUCKY number, but I promise...I used the popular website, random.org to select the winning number!

Stay tuned for a TomKat Studio Frame Giveaway!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Invitations: Sweet Cupcake Party Collection

My very first Etsy order is complete and ready to ship! I had a great time creating this party collection for Miss Lily's 1st birthday party! It took awhile to get everything designed, since it was my first order for a complete party package, but now everything is ready for the next order!
This collection included invitations, thank you cards, a custom "Happy Birthday Lily" hanging banner strung with pink grosgrain ribbon, 5 chandelier circle signs, and a custom door sign! I threw in the little punched square cupcakes, and she can use them for cupcake flags or favor tags!

What do you think? Any other ideas of what I could include in my "party collections" I'm working on?!


Invitations: Kate's Lollipop Invitations!

A few months ago, I picked up a circle cutter made by my idol, Martha Stewart. I figured I would find some fun uses for it, and I found a great one! I made Kate's lollipop birthday invitations with it! It's a really cool tool, that allows you to cut circles in many sizes, up to 5.5 inches. Each invite I made required 3 circles in different sizes. It takes a bit of strength if you are cutting cardstock, and I have to admit that my arms were actually sore the next day! Who gets sore from crafting?! Apparently me.

Let me know if you decide to make these! I'd be happy to give some advice! If you don't have the energy to make them? I can make them for you.....when my arms recover. :)

*****UPDATE 8/22/09*****

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I've been tagged Fabulous!

Thanks so much to my new blogging friend, Tiz at Bel Regali for naming my blog as 1 of her 5 favorite fabulous blogs! Tiz owns a favor company with lots of great party and wedding favors! You can check out her shop HERE. She just started her blog! Now the deal is, I have to list 5 things I think are FABULOUS and bestow the honor to 5 of my favorite fabulous blogs, so here goes!


1. Blogging - I'm just a wee bit obsessed with reading blogs, and writing them now too. This is all fairly new to me (a couple months), but I am amazed by the ideas, inspiration and people I have come across.

2. Etsy - A place to find fabulous gifts and products - all handmade (ok, I just opened my little shop there so I'm a little biased). It's just a great concept and if it was publicly traded, I'd have my hubby buy stock it in.

3. Paper Crafts - enough said. Read my blog.

4. Nice People - some people are just plain nice. I like them.

5. My life - I am lucky to have a wonderful hubby, two healthy happy children, great friends, and the ability to pursue whatever dream I feel like following at any given moment.


1. Project Nursery - The first fabulous blog that I followed, and now I'm a contributor!

2. Decor8 - My daily dose of decorating, Etsy finds, and creative inspiration from Holly Becker, aka "my hero".

3. Sarah's FAB Day - The name says it all. Sarah writes about decorating, fashion, and all things fabulous!

4. Doodlebuds - A new creative blogging friend, Heather who serves up great posts on day-to-day life infuzed with creativity.

5. Party Perfect - Just discovered this gem yesterday!

Okay, time to pass on the torch ladies!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The TomKat Studio on the NEWS!

Hello there! I have some really exciting news for The TomKat Studio! I was contacted a couple days ago by New York Times Best Selling author and television/radio personality, Robyn Spizman. She found my "Vivian" frame on Etsy, and asked if she can feature it this Saturday, March 21st on NBC News in Atlanta! She is known as the "Gift Guru" and has authored tons of books on gift giving, women in business, working from home, and more. See her list of books HERE. She has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CNN, The Discovery Channel, and weekly on NBC on her segment, Been There Bought That.

I was jumping up and down after she called! (Literally doing leaps through the air, as I tend to do when really excited!)

Luckily, my brother lives in Atlanta and is going to DVR it for me! Hopefully he can send it to me so I can see it and post it. It will be listed on the channel's website at http://www.11alive.com/!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Easter: Kids Easter Egg Hunt!

Looking for something fun to do with the kids? Host a casual Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch! Two years ago, I hosted one at my house (10 days after giving birth!), but it was easy because everyone helped! I never mind opening my house for a party, especially when it's a potluck!

Keep it simple! Have your guests each bring a dish for brunch. My girlfriends got baking and made fabulous quiche, cinnamon rolls, fruit platters, muffins....yummy.

I picked up baskets for all of the kids, and then everyone brought a bag of candy & plastic eggs. A few of us went outside and hid all the eggs before the kids were set free to hunt! They loved it!

The weather is so nice (at least here in Phoenix) for Easter, so the kids can just run around and play outside after the egg hunt. You could put out a few blankets, bubbles, games & toys to keep them busy!

Sounds fun...I think I'll do it again this year!.....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Invitations: My Very First Etsy Sale!

Yippee! Thank you to Brooke in Minnesota, who contacted me via Etsy to create her daughter's 1st birthday invitations and party decor! She loved the "Girly Girl" invitation below (ironically my sample uses the name Lilly, and her daughter's name is Lily!), but was also thinking about doing a cupcake theme after reading my post about Kate's 1st Birthday. I created a new cupcake design for her and she decided go with it! (above)

Once we had the invitation design decided, I offered to make other items for the party including thank you cards, a hanging banner, hanging circle signs & a door sign! Lucky me, Brooke is ordering everything! I'm working on the party decorations now, so I'll post those once they are done!

It makes me so happy to being doing all of these fun creative projects! Have a party coming up? You know who to call (or email) when you need party paper products! I can design something perfect for your event! And I'll be doing it with a smile! :)

Thanks again, Brooke!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Birthday Parties: Kate's Tutu for her Lollipop Party!

Okay, maybe I should have waited to share until AFTER her party, but I am just so excited that I couldn't wait! I found this tutu on Etsy (by frillerup), and my fab SIL, Nicollette just bought it for Kate to wear for her party! Nic has boys, so she loves to spoil my little princess with the best girly girl stuff! I can't wait to see the custom rhinestone lollipop tank top that's on the way! Thanks Nic!

Last year, Nic bought Kate one of those amazing Kaiya Eve petticoat skirts in a gorgeous turquoise color, along with a custom cupcake tank top from Sassy Pants! The tank top actually says "kate" right in the cupcake! How cute is that? Check out her cupcake party HERE!

Did I mention the tutu that Nic bought Kate BEFORE she was even born? Check this adorable one out....
Need a tutu or petticoat for your little girl's birthday party? Check out ETSY! They have a great selection and some with great prices!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The TomKat Studio - Invitation GIVEAWAY!

One thing I've learned from the blogging world is that everyone LOVES giveaways!
Since the Etsy shop is officially open, I figured what better than to put something in the hands of a lucky reader of my blog!

The winner can choose any 5x7 invitation/announcement design from the Etsy shop, or I can work on something custom for you! The prize will include 15 full color invitations on matte, bright white cardstock along with white envelopes. Perfect for an upcoming birthday, baby announcement or baby shower!

A fun bonus on this giveaway...Tina from Love. Live. Photography has offered to include a "mini-shoot" for the invitation/announcement photo or if the invitation you choose doesn't include a photo, just use the shoot for fun! This only applies if you live in the Phoenix area, of course!
View Tina's work HERE!

To enter, please comment below on what you would use your invitations/announcements for if you won! Only ONE entry per person, please!

Winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, March 21st!

Keep visiting....I'll be doing a Signature Square Frame giveaway soon!

The TomKat Studio is OPEN at Etsy!

I really wanted to get more frames made and invitation designs done before I officially announced the shop on Etsy.com! However, what better time than now!?
You'll just have to keep visiting for new and fabulous products from The TomKat Studio!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Etsy, it is an online "store" of all things handmade! Individual sellers post a "shop" within Etsy of the items they make. If you have any interest in crafty things, you'll love this place! It's addicting and amazing!
Find great gifts, paper products, apparel items and more.
I have no idea what will come from my little shop, but I love creating things and if someone likes something enough to buy it, that's all the motivation I need to keep creating!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Birthday Party: Camping Theme (Part 2)

So after my post yesterday on the camping party, my FAB friend, Sarah from Sarah's FAB Day, send me a link to a FAB camping themed invitation she saw on a blog she follows. Check this out! Amazing "map" envelopes....perfect!

Inside, the invitee finds a camp t-shirt to wear to the party, along with the invite, list of items to bring & a little compass!

Read more and find the sources HERE!

Does it get any better than this? What a creative momma!

{photos from pittsysplace.blogspot.com}

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Birthday Party: The Great Outdoors - Camping

We attended a really fun birthday party today for our little friend, Bella! Bella's creative momma, Vicki planned a great camping themed party to celebrate Bella's 4th birthday! With fantastic March weather in Phoenix, the Great Outdoors theme was perfect!

The kids started with a craft, painting little bird houses. They were so cute! See Tommy & Kate's above! You can find birdhouses or other paintable wood objects at Michaels or any local craft store.
A huge tent was set up in the backyard, and all of the kids were gathered in the tent while Dad went around and created a scavenger hunt! Meanwhile in the tent, Mom gave out glow bracelets and wooden sticks, and sang songs with the kids. The kids were instructed to find certain objects (snakes, frogs, horses) and were let loose to hunt!

After pizza, the kids were given cupcakes to decorate as ladybugs, as well as cups filled with "mud" pudding to add ingredients to (like gummy worms, graham crackers)! This was a hit! One of the little boys even dumped the entire bowl of oreo bits into his cup! (see below) Too cute!

It's a great idea to have lots planned activities to keep the kids busy and having fun! For party favors, gifts were wrapped in a bandana and tied to a wooden dowel! Adorable!
Great work, Miss Vicki!

I searched online for some cute camping invitations, but didn't find too many cute ones! Maybe I should design one! Here is one cute one I found:
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Any other ideas for a Camping or Great Outdoors themed party? Comment here!