Jul 30, 2010

Five for Friday

TGIF! I hope everyone had productive weeks. As soon as 5:00 gets here, productivity is OVER for me. Where's my Corona? It's 5:00 somewhere right?!?! 

A small update on my 30 before 30 Bucket List ... I haven't made any major advances this week. But I did stick to my 2 workout classes per week schedule. This week I went to Monday night Group Power and Thursday night Spin. I need to stick with it and be sure to do something, however small, on days in between. My #1 excuse is how hot it is outside. But I can still wait till 8:30 or so to take Ruby out for a walk. I went to the doctor yesterday and realized I had gained 10 lbs since my visit this time last year!!!! Now its not necessarily a horrible thing because last year I wasn't all that healthy and had a lot lower appetite. Now that my healthy appetite is back I need to start watching what I put in my mouth more.

I'm finally working on my 2nd newsletter blast for PaperConcierge. If you'd like to be apart of it, email me at kburch@paperconcierge.com  I'm doing a freebie giveaway for my newsletter peeps this time! and I'll be doing a blog giveaway soon too, so stay tuned :)

Here's my 5 for Friday. I think I stole this idea from Design*Sponge. I'm linking 5 blogs that I found particularly interesting this week. enjoy!

#1 - College Prep giveaway! This company, Niko and Lala,  is news to me and I'm loving them so far. Hope I win something ... or I hope you do by entering College Prep's giveaway.

#2 - Confessions of a Paper Freak's post series You're the Boss. It's really motivational to an aspiring entrepreneur like myself.

#3 - Rock Paper Scissors fashion inspiration boards are the best. Check out this sailor inspired board called Hook Line & Sinker.

#4 - Chelsea's Wedding Watch posts from Martha Stewart Bride. I kinda feel bad for the poor girl. Will she even be able to hear her own vows with all the helicopter noise? Wait a minute, why would feel bad for a girl who is having a 3 - 5 MILLION $$$ wedding?

#5 - I hesitate in even saying this, but lets pretend for a minute. Someday in the not so near, not so far, future I will have a baby (hopefully). And I've always joked around saying that I want my baby delivered by the stork in a basket on my doorstep, bypassing all the woes of pregnancy & childbirth. So this shower idea is really cute and funny to me. Check out Tiny Print's Stork Themed Baby Shower.

Jul 27, 2010

Back to School - Children's Thank You Cards

It is never too soon to get your kids interested in handwritten notes and writing etiquette. Now is the time to teach your children to be gracious and thankful for the gifts they receive and the kind gestures shown to them.

PaperConcierge has a HUGE selection of children's stationery - perfect for thank yous, pen pal letters, letters to grandparents, showing thanks for a sleepover at a friend's house, etc... Get your kids excited about handwritten notes by picking out a pattern or theme that fits their personality.

Get those kids writing!

Shop personal stationery for boys
Shop personal stationery for girls

Jul 26, 2010

2 down 28 to go!

30 Before 30 Bucket List

#6 - Go hiking in the mountains
#20 - Have a girls weekend

What an amazing weekend, too bad it has to come to an end. I went up to the NC mountains with a group of girlfriends this weekend. The plan was limited to good food, lots of wine, cards & board games, movies and hiking. PERFECT! It has been hot as all get out lately, but felt good in the mountains. Here's a mini-recap of the weekend.

Kathy's delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu
Wine, wine spritzers, chocolate wine, champagne, mimosas, gin & tonics ... anything but beer
Brunch with Lemon Poppy Ricotta Pancakes, chicken sausage and eggs
Hiking at the Blue Ridge Parkway (while drinking wine)
Courtney's wonderful lasagna dinner
Playing a few hands of gin
Homemade ice cream and pound cake
The movie PS I love You
Breakfast of Greek omelets and cheese grits
Enjoying the fabulous views!

Jul 25, 2010

Charlotte, NC Design Guide on Design*Sponge

Design*Sponge is a really popular decor & design blog that I sometimes read. I never noticed that she has an archived section for different cities. This post is really neat if you live or are visiting Charlotte, North Carolina. I'm definitely going to hit up some of these places that I've never been!

Click HERE for the full article.

Jul 22, 2010

BackToSchool - Labels for just about anything

Hey Moms,

Thinking about Back to School time yet? No worries, PaperConcierge has a lot to offer and I'm here to help! Keep your kids' gear and books safe from the lost and found box at school. No matter the age or personality, these labels will work for labeling school books, supplies, lunch boxes, etc... I love the Espadrille Bright below for a girl going off to college! These stickers can be labelled in lots of different ways.

Boatman Geller - Football

Boatman Geller - Espadrille Bright

Boatman Geller - Sports Girl

Whitney English - Madras Patch Blue

Happy Birthday Ruby!

It's my baby girl's 4th birthday!!! Sometimes Michael and I wonder how humans can possibly be so in love with a fury animal. Sure go ahead and laugh, but it's 100% true. This is a pretty spoiled pup. She's not spoiled by tons of dog toys or expensive treats. But she is spoiled with love. And yes, we take her to Doggie Daycare sometimes :) No matter what human kids join our family in the future, Ruby will always be the first.

Jul 21, 2010

My Before 30 Bucket List

A lot of people are doing little bucket lists like this - "30 before 30" or "101 things 1001 days". I'm jumping on the wagon. And yes my 30th is coming pretty quickly too (December 2010). Yikes! I'm starting my list. I want to keep it fun and challenging yet doable. Let's see if I can come up with 30 things now ...

1. Learn to make Grandma Burch's chocolate pie.
2. Visit my sister in NYC.
3. Go to Hawaii and see my friend Heidi.
4. Revamp my iPod library.
5. Go to church once per month (minimum).
6. Go hiking in the mountains.
7. Enjoy a concert date with husband.
8. Eat out at 3 new restaurants a month (new to me).
9. Jog on the beach. (Ocean Isle or Hawaii)
10. Spend a rainy day at home watching movies all day.
11. Babysit a baby.
12. Order my wedding album.
13. Change a tire.
14. Run two 5k races.
15. Host a PaperConcierge party at my house.
16. Reconnect with old college friends.
17. Make and continue the habit of 2 fitness classes per week.
18. Give blood again.
19. Go fishing with my dad. (when we're visiting in Oct)
20. Have a girls weekend away.
21. Have a 'just because' party in the fall.
22. Stop biting my nails.
23. Visit an NC winery.
24. Watch a sunrise. (this could be in Ocean Isle or Hawaii)
25. Go on a picnic date with husband.
26. No fast food for an entire month.
27. See a drive-in movie.
28. Play tennis ... LOL, attempt to play tennis.
29. Eat vegetarian for a week. (when michael is out of town)
30. Take a Zumba class (probably with my mom).

Beeeautiful Paper

Bees are one of those universal symbols of summer. They may not be fun flying around your head, but you can definitely enjoy them looking cute on paper! Whitney English plays up the bee motif beeeautifully! Folded personalized stationery, personalized notepad with clipboard, eye catching addres labels, and party perfect invitations - all the bases covered!

Stop by my PaperConcierge store to see Whitney English's collection of bees and much more - HERE.

Jul 20, 2010

Cornhole & BBQ 2010

Last Saturday we had our annual Cornhole tournament party. I think this was the fourth year for it. About 25 friends and neighbors came out and had a great time! I'm so mad at myself, I forgot to take pictures :(  I love reading other peoples' blogs where they document their cooking, display and party decor, etc... and I had every intention of doing that, but got too distracted and forgot about taking pictures. I'll just have to try my best in words then. And the below food pics are borrowed from various online sources.

Here's the invitation I chose from Hicks Paper Goods. Available at my PC store HERE.

My menu turned out like this:

Appetizers (brought by friends)
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Mexican layer dip
- Homemade salsa
- Veggie Tray

Main and Sides
- Catered BBQ, made into mini pork sliders
- Cole slaw
- Cooking Light's Potato Salad with Grilled Squash
- Baked Beans
- Scalloped Pineapple (i have to get this recipe from my neighbor. it's awesome!)
- Tri-colored Melon Salad

- Kentucky Bourbon Pound Cake with Strawberries
- Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

For the cornhole tournament, we selected guy/girl teams by drawing from two different hats to pair them up. It was a lot of fun! Michael actually got lucky and won with his teammate. I really need to come up with a good winner's prize next year. And maybe a funny losers prize too :)

Jul 15, 2010

My DIY fabric wrapped glasses

Above Photo & Products courtesy of KL Designs

The first time I saw this idea in person I was at The Buttercup in Charlotte, NC. They were selling wine glasses wrapped and sealed with a Lilly P. fabric for $20 each! I thought that was a little steep, so I set out to make my own version. I did some googling and came across this blog The College Prep and her rendition of lilly shot glasses (click here for link to her directions). Of course if you're not in to girly patterns, you can pick out whatever fabrics and colors suit you.

I decided to try them on my own. They aren't perfect, but I still love them. I'd like to find out how KL Designs gets hers so perfect looking. Maybe she'll share her secret ... probably not.

Here's my step by step for making your own fabric wrapped glasses. Or you can follow College Preps instructions linked above.

Glasses (styles without curves are easiest). I got my glasses from Ikea.
Fabric (basic cotton works well)
Mod Podge
Fine grain sand paper
Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
Optional - Painters tape or masking tape (see step 5)

1. Measure the length and width that you want for your fabric wrap. Then cut. You might want to make one end angled in so that the ends hide underneath to top fabric in the middle.
2. Apply a thin amount of Mod Podge to the fabric using the sponge. Rinse sponge when done.
3. Put the fabric strip around the glass (it will hold with the glue). Quickly align the fabric to the placement that you like before it dries.
4. Allow to dry for at least an hour.
5. Sponge on a 2nd layer of Mod Podge over the fabric and edge of the fabric. If you have a steady hand, just be careful around the edges to keep it looking clean. You have to seal the top, bottom and middle (where fabrics meet) to make sure it will hold. You might want to consider using tape (painters or masking) to create a guide and reduce sloppiness. The tape can peel away when the project is complete to give a clean line.
6. Repeat steps 4 &5 until you have about 5 layers of glue.
7. Dip your sand paper in a small amount of water and gently sand away the graininess of the glue. This will smooth out all the rough spots.
8. Only hand wash the glasses. Never put them in the dishwasher. My dad did by accident and the fabric pulled right off from the steam.

Finished results a la Katie ....

Jul 14, 2010

I'm so indecisive!

When it comes to planning parties I can be so indecisive when it comes to a menu. There are far too many cool and new recipes out there that I want to try. But to narrow it down so that it doesn't look like I'm feeding an army ... it's kind of sad widdling down. In the end, the more complex I make it, I know it'll just be more stress on myself that day. I need to stick to simple to prepare, good mix of the food chain, crowd pleasers and foods that won't kill my budget.

This weekend we're having our yearly Corn hole BBQ party; this is the 4th year I believe. This is sort of Michael's yearly birthday party, along with his buddy Drue who's birthday is the same week. The main dish each year is catered BBQ. That way no one has to man a grill. And I don't have slave away. It takes a big load off my shoulders just to buy it. So here are my staples for my menu, then below that are my undecided items. I won't make all of them. Feel free to cast your vote or suggest new things :) I'm trying not to do any appetizers because our guests tend to bring them to share anyways. Less work for me!

BBQ pork sliders (I'm doing mini versions this year)
Cole slaw

Undecided on (way too many salads!):
 - potato salad - I'd like to do this healthy version. it's good; I've had it before - http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/scb-sides-00400000028195/page11.html
- corn on the cob
- baked beans
- melon fruit salad
- couscous tabbouleh with avocado - http://jkmassonrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/06/couscous-tabouleh-with-avocado.html
- homemade mac n' cheese
- Okra side dish - my friend Logan makes some good ones, like this - http://loganandmattsullivan.blogspot.com/2010/07/july-southern-living-treat.html
- pasta salad - this one looks nice.
- fiesta rice salad - gotta have something from the Mexican food group! - http://family.go.com/food/recipe-an-881517-fiesta-rice-salad-t/
- broccoli salad - http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/broccoli-salad-recipe/index.html

And after all that .... WHAT'S FOR DESSERT?!?! It has to involve chocolate and I want to use my cake stand. Those are my only requirements.

Jul 8, 2010

Red, White and Blue - Fun with Friends at the Beach!

Happy 'belated' Independence Day Y'all! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Filled with fireworks, summer BBQs and great friends. We spent our 4th with the Sullivan family in Wilmington. My friend Logan and I realized that each other blogs, so now I'm checking out her happenings, complete with pics of all her cooking adventures.

I didn't even get my camera out over the weekend, so I'm cross posting from Logan's blog Sullivan's Isle today to share all the fun we had (thanks for letting me mooch your pics, Logan). First things first ... FOOD! We fattened ourselves up on beach snacks, a great seafood dinner at Bridgetender, American flag cake, all American BBQ food (dogs, beans, slaw, potato salad, etc), Paula Dean's friend okra salad (YUM!!!), awesome blueberry muffins, a nifty spin on ham & eggs and of course Firefly and Coronas! Check here for some of Logan's recipes.

Wrightsville Beach is about 4 hours from where we live in Charlotte. It's a must when going to Wilmington. And we hit it up all 3 days since the weather was perfect!

The BBQ was followed up by cornhole, a neighborhood mini-parade (very cute!), fireworks and the most fun of all ..... Karaoke for about 4 hours!!
Fun times and good memories! Next time it's our turn to entertain them in Charlotte.

Jul 6, 2010

Embossed Graphics offering FREE return addressing

This just in ... the Embossed Graphics brand is offering PaperConcierge customers a July promotion (ends July 31st). Embossed Graphics already has great pricing, but their going a step further by offering an additional service for FREE.  When you order your notecards you'll notice that the return addressing is marked down to $0, no need for a promo code. This wonderful company has been a family business across three generations. Their mission is "The best value in personal stationery, with the fastest production, outstanding quality, and unparalleled customer satisfaction".

Find Embossed Graphics products at my PaperConcierge store here: http://kburch.paperconcierge.com/search/brand/1005///2945/Embossed_Graphics

Busy Busy Bee

Hello out there! :::: echo echo-o-oo ::::

I'm not holding up to my weekly blogging very well lately, but I have ideas churning and new inspiration to write about soon. In the meantime, I've been swamped at work. Got a promotion to Supervisor :::pats herself on the back:::  Busy assisting the hubs with a condo flip, and we're hoping to generate some interest and sell quickly. Just got back from visiting our friends at the beach and we're headed to Ohio this coming weekend to see family, celebrate the hubs birthday, and finally get to see our friends from Hawaii & meet their new baby too!

The hectic schedule will continue, but I still want to share the fun parts, so look for new blogs throughout the next few weeks :)

paper girl (haha! does anyone watch Gossip Girl around here?)