May 28, 2010

Current Obsession: Fabric patterns

An interest in paper can easily also apply to an interest in fabric. If your love for paper is in the design, colors, architecture and style ... any type of textile can fit those categories too, especially fabric.I've been searching for a new fabric to recover my outdoor throw pillows. I bought the pillows for $5 a piece a few years back at Garden Ridge. They're faded and gross, but they'll work great for inserts. I'm having major commitment issues when I'm looking at fabrics - I actually bought something today though! But the process has been very fun. If I had more free time I would love to get more into sewing. I have my craft desk all ready, so sewing project #1 will be these throw pillows (pics to come later).

Browsing through fabric stores, checking out the thousands of options - chic, bold, natural, textured, graphic, bold, stripes, floral, etc ... - It's making me want to redo my entire house! For any other fabric lovers out there, here's some eye candy that I'm finding especially appealing.

May 21, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberries in pancakes, pies, ice cream, shortcake, crepes, tarts, preserves ... strawberry wine (mmm) ... strawberry salsa, strawberry & spinach salads, strawberry daiquiris and margaritas ... strawberries dipped in chocolate (ooh la la!). Goodness gracious!

My husbands family came to visit us a few weeks ago and we took the nephews to pick fresh strawberries. They went PERFECT with the pound cake we made for PopPop's birthday, along with homemade vanilla ice cream. Is it fair to say that it made the dessert a little healthier? After all they aren't just delicious ... they're also rich in nutrients and antioxidants. OK, whatever you need to do to convince yourself you're eating healthy :)

And I can't talk about strawberries without paying homage to my childhood community and the Troy, OH Strawberry Festival. Strawberry pie eating contests, strawberry queen pageant, bed races (never figured out what that had to do with strawberries, but it was funny) and the big parade.

Here are some recipe ideas I've found online for more unique and interesting ways to use your fresh strawberries. I will definitely be testing some of these out. Leave a comment below if you have a favorite that I need to know about!

May 19, 2010

Sex & The City: They're back!!!

The Stories. The Fashion. The Adventure. I really don't know what all to say accept .... YAYYYY!!! I am so excited about the next SATC movie! And keeping in true KatieLovesPaper blog form, it's the perfect excuse to get dolled up and have a party with your favorite girlfriends. Whether you're having a night on the town or a party at home, do it the Carrie Bradshaw way. Have fun everyone and enjoy the movie when it comes out May 27th!

Left to Right:
Dogeared jewelry's Sex & The City inspired line of charm necklaces (here);
Pink Martini party invitation from Hicks Paper Goods found at PaperConcierge (here)
Wild Things party invitation from Hicks Paper Goods found at PaperConcierge (here)

May 14, 2010

Dreaming Big

Some day I REALLY want to go to the market. And I'm not talking about the farmers market (although I love that too!). I'm talking about the National Sationery Show in NYC. Since getting involved with Paper Concierge, I've really kept up with industry news and right now everyone's focus is on the NSS. If you're in the biz you're there ... buying, selling, making a name for yourself, making friends and networketing. I can only imagine the overwhelming creativity, colorfulness and pure girlyness that just sings from the walls there. I'm totally jealous and anyone that wants to have me a long in the future ... I'll work for your booth if you need some help.

Can't wait to hear more about the Whitney English's (parent company of Paper Concierge) booth too. Earlier this week Whitney shared some pics from a previous trade show booth (blog link).

May 13, 2010

Miss Manners

Crane’s Blue Book of Stationery: The styles definitive guide to social and business correspondence etiquette

My love of stationery began when I began a part-time job at a small paper boutique in Charlotte, NC. As a bride to be, I had an interest in invitations and wedding related accessories. The store owner gave me a copy of this book. It’s been an excellent reference when I’ve created invitations for myself and friends. Beautiful stationery deserves beautiful words, and those receiving your letters and invitations will understand the consideration you put into your correspondence. Email, texting, facebooking, IM’ing … it’s had a big impact on our communication. So when you’re at a loss for how to articulate your words, ask yourself “what would Crane say?” and check out this book. Or you can come ask me and I’ll be happy to look it up for you! I might have to also read the 17th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette and Eleanor Roosevelt's Book of Common Sense Etiquette.

“In the midst of this fast-paced and often impersonal world of digital technology where   messages disappear almost as soon as they are delivered, the arrival in your mailbox of a finely engraved invitation or a personal note on elegant, timeless stationery has greater impact than ever before.” – Crane’s Blue Book of Stationery

SALE at PaperConcierge! Get it while it's HOT!

Boatman Geller Box Sets are HALF PRICE!

Perfect gift idea for Graduation, Teachers, Father's Day or YOURSELF! With 10 styles to choose from, each box set includes 20 personalized flat cards & matching plain envelopes. Use the direct link - Katie's PaperConcierge - to order your personalized box sets at half the price. At checkout, use coupon code "BOXSET50" to receive your discount. Sales ends August 1st.

May 5, 2010

Introducing your new Paper Concierge - ME!

Announcing Katie's Paper Concierge store -

Dear friends & family,

Those of you who are familiar with my obsession for trendy stationery and personalized gifts will understand how perfect a fit this is for me. I’m so excited to announce that I am venturing into a selling opportunity with a great company called Paper Concierge! Paper Concierge is an online store featuring top of line products in stationery, invitations and fantastic gifts. Our collection of talented designers and products are sure to impress and inspire as you plan for parties and gift giving – don’t forget a treat for yourself! Best of all, you can use my Personal Shopper feature and I will do all the work for you in picking out stylish items for you.

I would like to invite each of you to receive my monthly e-newsletter where I will feature my top picks, new products and special sales & giveaways. You may also follow me on which will have more up-to-date business info as well as party ideas, home projects, crafts and recipes I’m trying out.

Thanks for your support and friendship,
Katie Baker Burch

May 4, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch

Left to right: my mother-in-law "Skeeter", my mom Lori, one of my 2 sisters-in-law Wendy, and me

Mother's Day is this coming weekend and it sounds like my wonderful mother-in-law will be in town, along with Michael's dad, sister and nephews.  We rarely get overnight weekend company since our families live further away, so of course this gets my hostess wheels turning with all sorts of ideas. If there's one thing The Burch Family loves ... it's good food! So we'll be planning for a nice Sunday brunch for Mother's Day! And, weather permitting, it's a great opportunity to dine al fresco on the mac daddy of decks that my husband and father-in-law built last year :)

I'll have to take into consideration any special breakfast requests, but right now I'm thing about - Stuffed French Toast, Scrambled Eggs (a must have for kids!), Bacon and Hash brown Potatoes. The feature dish definitely being the Stuffed French Toast (pictured below) that I found on Pioneer Woman's blog. If that doesn't make your mouth water, then you're nuts!

Mother's Day happens to be at the peak of spring flower season. So take advantage of the colorful blooms in your garden and set a beautiful table to complete your brunch. Get creative with containers. Try mason jars or old soup cans wrapped with colorful scrapbook or wrapping paper. Or continue the theme into your gift with potted flowers that can be transferred to her garden. Found in blog Snippets of Wonderful, try Erica's easy DIY Tin Can Vase project (pictured below).

And I have to show off the amazing deck since I mentioned it before. Isn't it pretty? I hope the weather is nice for our Sunday brunch! I'll have to follow up with pics and results of the stuffed french toast later :)

What's for dinner?

Most nights, I come home from work and my dear husband asks "What's for dinner?"  Ugh ... don't you hate that question?!? I do. I've struggled to find items that are all of the following - healthy, not too expensive, both of like it, easy to prepare, and not a million weird ingredients.  I've scoured recipe websites in the past, searching for creative ideas to make meals from the things that I already have in my kitchen. Recently, I came across a site called SuperCook. And let me tell you, this website is revolutionizing my dinner planning! It's quite amazing. Here's how it works: Open your fridge and pantry, type the ingredients you have into the site's search bar and let SuperCook do it's thing.  The site will query the web and spit out the ones that match your kitchen ingredients.  You have to try it and tell me what you think!
Take a SuperCook tour here

May 3, 2010

Let's Fiesta!

My favorite snack is great chips & salsa. My favorite beer is Corona with a refreshing lime wedge. And my husband says that I must have been Mexican in a past life! It’s my favorite cuisine! So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I’m featuring my top fiesta party ideas.

Michael and I in Riviera Maya, Mexico last year

FOOD “Salsa has now passed ketchup as America’s favorite condiment. Isn’t that amazing? You know its bad when even our vegetables are starting to lose their jobs to Mexico.” – Jay Leno, on the Tonight Show

By far, one of the most unique Mexican restaurants I’ve been to is Mercaditos (link here) in NYC. My sister worked here part-time and took us there for dinner & brunch. You can see their different menus (link here). I want to try to recreate many of these at home.

If you find yourself low on time and need a tasty treat to serve for guests, why not try my ’10 minute salsa solution’. You really don’t even need a recipe. Just mix the ingredients to your liking.

10 Minute Salsa Solution

Ingredients: 1 can black beans, frozen corn (thawed in microwave), grape tomatoes halved, chopped red onion, diced jalapenos, fresh cilantro, and lime juice. The flavor really comes together with the lime juice. I used 3 limes!

DRINK – 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila …. Let’s not go to the floor!

Skinny Girl Margaritas by Bethenny Frankel (link here)

        2 oz of clear premium Tequila (count 1, 2 while you pour, no need for measuring)

        Tiny splash of Orange Liquor

        Juice of 4 fresh lime wedges

       Combine all ingredients over a glass of ice and garnish with a lime wedge

Fiesta Inspirations  - Top: gorgeous inspiration board by My Island Wedding blog; Sombrero Invitation by Hicks Paper Goods found at Paper Concierge; Crate and Barrel's Raya Pitcher.

Mother's Day

I know its a little late to be ordering online gifts, but I still wanted to post some gift ideas that can be used for moms (or any fabulous women in your life) throughout the year. I'll be posting a perfect Mother's Day brunch menu in the next few days as well.

All items can be found at PaperConcierge.

Whitney English personalized clipboards (below)       Three Designing Women custom stamps (below)

Lilly Pulitzer personalized stationery (below left)  Embossed graphics classic note cards(below right)    

Whitney English personalized candle (below left)      Lilly Pulitzer enclosure cards (below right)