Showered With Love!

It’s less than 3 weeks till the little Miss arrives. I haven’t hit that ‘fukkit‘ stage just yet, but I am getting more exhausted with each passing day. Just 12 more days left of traffic to the office, 5 more shoots (I’ve squeezed in 3 more this week, oops), several more social activities, 2 bags to get packed and one nursery to finish and then it’s baby time!

She has been one spoiled little girl already and I’ve been lucky to have had not one, but three baby showers thrown for me.

I belong to an awesome group of ladies who I met through Carters school. We started a little Whatsapp group 2 years ago, and that WhatsApp group has turned into real, solid and supportive friendships. These girls remember everything from birthdays to anniversaries, are my sounding board and support system and raise me up on days when I cant do it myself.

A few weeks ago they threw me the most gorgeous baby shower breakfast with stunning decor and food and amazing gifts. It was the perfect intimate morning and I am truly grateful for the attention to detail and love that they showered on us that day.

A colleague at my office is also preggie – we are 4 days apart – and 2 weeks ago the company threw us a little surprise shower at an office function. They had arranged the most amazing cake and goodies and it was such a genuine surprise.

Then, this past Saturday, my friends and family threw me the most exceptional tropical themed bash. As you know, I am a sucker for a good attention to detail event, and this was no exception. My current obsession with all things flamingo was carried out to perfection, from incredible cupcakes and lawn decorations to food and decor. Again, this little baby was absolutely spoiled and I lugged home hundreds of amazing things. My biggest issue is going to be finding space for it all!

I am so so lucky to have the friends and family that I do – I feel completely overwhelmed and fortunate to be a part of this village.

I hope my daughter grows up to be just as good as the people I have in my life.

 

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A Farmyard Themed First Birthday Bash

We all know my day job is Digital Account Director, and my fantasy job is party planner, right? Well, it’s true. So with Carters first birthday on the horizon I decided to put my hobby to good use and plan him a little farm themed birthday bash at our house this past weekend.

I had the best and worst time making all the decor and baking everything. I say worst because it took forever, and best because, well LOOK AT IT 😉

Thanks Pinterest for the sheep and pig cupcake ideas!

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Luckily Im a massive hoarder so I used old formula tins which I wrapped and decorated, bread boards, platters and containers I had lying around. I also bought a lot of stuff from China Town – like paper lanterns, plates, napkins straws and bottles.

The harvest table

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9 months of Carter, and as my husband so delicately put it: “Glass bottles for small children, fucking smart”.

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The kiddies eating area

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They look more like ‘Angry Birds’ than chickens…but I decorated paper lanterns to make farm animals…sort of. 
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Let’s talk about the cake, shall we. I have never baked more than a vanilla sponge, but was adamant that I would make a 3 tier monstrosity that I found on Pinterest. So I did. It may have taken me close to 20 hours, but the result as SO worth it… and the cake was delicious to boot. I did have some help the day before when two friends came over to help me ice and assemble… and drink several litres of wine in the process.

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Boys will be boys. My dad and Carter having a blast on the jumping castle. 

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Little farm dudes all dressed up 

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The jumping castle we hired came with a free Granny and her assortment of small children

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I scattered hay bales around the garden, and covered them in hessian and checkered fabric. 

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A Sprout Shower

Something I have been looking forward to my entire pregnancy has been my baby shower. I really am the luckiest lass as between my mom, 3 x A type bridesmaids and a host of talented friends and family, events like this are always filled with such attention to detail! (Remember my bachelorette?) My ‘Sprout’ themed shower didn’t disappoint.

I think the pics speak for themselves.

Side note – I highly recommend getting knocked up – the pressie and spoils are outrageous!

Only my mom would painstakingly grow dozens of Sprout heads..each personalised of course!

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Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter. What more could a literature loving mom want for her kid?

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Babies and Bostons… of course

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Instead of a card, each gift had a photo of the sender as a baby. Amy had printing issues so she decided to draw hers. I never would have imagined her looking like this as a baby… Mad skill!

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Some people on the other hand, were a lot more easy to identify. 

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Chocolate brownie stag cupcakes… I mean, really. 

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Food, glorious food!

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Guessing baby’s name… NO-ONE got it right 🙂


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Things then went back to our place where my hubby was having a nappy braai…let’s just say it got messier than a diaper after a first solids feed. 

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A Halloween Birthday and Pop Art Makeup Tutorial

We celebrated Halloween a week late this year, to coincide with a mates birthday. As usual our hosts pulled out all the stops with decor and the guests did the same.

This year I really wanted to do something different, and decided to attempt a ‘Pop Art’ makeup look that I have seen all over Pinterest.

My first effort was an absolute fail – so I decided to ignore the rules I had read and make up my own. Read below for a mini tutorial on achieving the pop art look, or just scroll down to see some pics of the Halloween party and the brilliant food and decor!

Pop Art Makeup Tutorial

1. You will need (most of these things should be in your makeup bag already, so the cost is minimal) the following:

  • Foundation and powder (I used a white mattifying powder)
  • Mascara
  • Liquid eyeliner
  • White kohl eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow (bright colours work best)
  • Red or fuchsia lipstick

2. The application:

  • Apply foundation – thicker than normal as you want everything to be covered. Apply powder – the whiter and matter the better. The reason for this is that you want the makeup effect to be the main focus, nothing else. Remember to contour your cheeks with a darker blush – this also helps when adding the cheek bone line.
  • Add a white base to your eyelids (and if you are doing the tear drop shape then that area too). I used the white eye pencil for this as it makes the colour on top ‘pop’ that much more.
  • Grab your liquid eyeliner (I like the liquid pen as its steadier and easier to apply) and outline the outside of your face, your cheekbones, your eyebrows, a line down your nose, under your nose and everywhere one would outline a cartoon drawing. Don’t do the lips yet – save that for last. Don’t forget to enhance your collar bones and cleavage as well 🙂
  • Grab your white eye pencil and start making equal spaced dots all over your face. This is time consuming, so don’t leave it till last. (TIP – blast the eyeliner under a hairdryer for a few seconds every several dots – this really makes the white come out and also makes it last)
  • Fill in your lips with a bright red or pink and outline with the black eyeliner pen
  • Finally, using a large brush or kabuki brush, dust the white/setting powder all over your face, chest and wherever else you have applied the makeup.
  • I found that not using any face paint was the best idea – as face paint is cheap, runny and goes on terribly.
  • Lastly – to complete the look, add a wig of your choice.

Pre Wig – Post Makeup

Pre Wig
Pre Wig

The finished effect

The final effect
The final effect

More pics from the Halloween Party. I am NOT embarrassed to tell you that I won first prize for my eyeball cake pops in a pumpkin – winning, no?

Creepy Eyeball Cake Pops
Creepy Eyeball Cake Pops

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There’s no hiding the bump anymore!

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#KatesFavouriteThings – The Story of my Bachelorette

‘We started planning this a year ago’ Amy told me on the morning of my bachelorette – and I can believe it. Put three A type personalities in one room and you’re guaranteed that the result is going to be the best day and night. Ever. 

One of the things a bride looks forward to the most (apart from the obvious) is her hens party – it’s a day guaranteed with bubbly, friends, fun and spoils. My poor girls had a big challenge ahead of them though. I don’t enjoy nightclubs, I’m so tired of the Gatsby and Playboy theme and quite frankly, a plastic penis just bores me. I knew they had a challenge on their hands, but I was never worried, and it turns out rightly so – these gals know me inside out!

I was woken up to this ‘Love Actually’ moment by Barry. (Lies, I was already awake I hadn’t slept a wink!)

My 'Love Actually' Wake up message
My ‘Love Actually’ Wake up message

Knowing me so well I was greeted shortly thereafter by Amy with a cappuccino and a toasted sandwich as well as a beautiful dress to wear. We chilled and I got ready and then I was whisked away to destination number 1…

An art class with a hunky male nude! (sort of) 🙂

Art Class
Art Class

I loved the class – we laughed hysterically at the 21 year old model, clad in denim shorts and cheeky grin. I also love how, at 9 am, a breakfast of champagne is perfectly acceptable.

After the art class Amy took me to destination number 2 – while the others went off on a secret adventure. Destination 2 was The Life Day Spa and we indulged in some pedis and chill time around the pool.

Pedis by the pool
Pedis by the pool

Cue destination number 3 – the ‘main event’

The Arrival at The Fourways Farmers Market
The Arrival at The Fourways Farmers Market
Pretty ladies in sundresses and hats
Pretty ladies in sundresses and hats

More bubbly in my ‘Big Jimmy’

Hello Big Jimmy!
Hello Big Jimmy!
Favourite Things
Favourite Things
Favourite Things
Favourite Things
Kate's Favourite Things
Kate’s Favourite Things
Kate's Favourite Things
Kate’s Favourite Things
Mom and me
Mom and me
Grannies and me
Grannies and me
Lovely Ladies
Lovely Ladies

The venue, food, people, pressies and effort was amazing. Pity I was too excited to eat becasue the spread was a stomach ulcers dream – pickled everything, Cherry Coke, licorice, Skittles, Cheese, sweet sweet cheeses, champagne, Marmite everything, a popcorn machine and so much more.

That night we went back to my folks for sushi, games, Bloody Mary’s, tequila and a quick change before we headed out to mystery destination

Beefcakes
Beefcakes
#4… (cue a small amount of willy and naked men – cos, you just have to!)

Beefcakes
Beefcakes
Beefcakes
Beefcakes

The perfect party planned by 3 incredible bridesmaids, my mom and a whole bunch of helping hands!! A day and night I will never forget

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids
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Could this be the happiest wedding in the world?

“If I ever got married, I would have a spit braai on the lawn.” This is what our friend Khali said to me several years ago during a lunch with friends.

You see, Khali is a wedding planner/creator/memory maker extraordinaire. Her work is well known throughout the industry and as founder of the South African School of Weddings and The Wedding Specialist, the pressure to perform when her big day came, must have been immense.

Well her time did come, and the wedding was everything and nothing we expected.

The entire event from start to finish was a surprise. Not even the bridesmaids or groomsmen knew where it was or what it would entail, and try as we did we couldn’t even get Khali to disclose on the secret location.

The guests were all instructed to arrive at her offices at 11 am. There we were greeted by traditional drummers, packets of padkos and an entire team of SA School of Wedding staff on standby. A while later all the guests boarded traditional taxis, complete with tin can runners, and set off to our mystery destination. We heard rumblings of ‘Soweto’ and ‘Rooftop’ but not even Khalis assistant would let any clue slip.

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I’m sure the line of 20 minibus taxis filled with formally dressed wedding guests must have been a helluva sight!

We eventually arrived at the destination. A school field in the middle of Westcliff. Interesting, I thought. And interesting it was. The field had been transformed into a colorful wonderland, complete with white marquee, a reception area overlooking the city of Jozi, a coffee bar, gelato bar, sweetie bar, cocktail bar and the world largest cheesecake. The use of every single color was so refreshing as was the chic french style music and the multiple surprises throughout the day (picture ‘waiters breaking out into operatic song and a cake the size of a small car).

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This may have just been the happiest wedding I have ever seen. If the start of their life together was this bright, I can only imagine what’s to come.

And in case you’re wondering – they served lamb on the spit. On the lawn. But in true Khali 6 star style.

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DIY for Party Planners

Ive had the honour (see what I did there?) of being a bridesmaid for several of my lovely friends – and one of the best things about that is knowing that with each bash comes new opportunities to make fun DIY items for the celebration.

I’ve put together large affairs and very intimate ones, and waned to share a few fun DIY craft tips, for anyone looking to throw a bit of a celebration for a bride to be. (Or any celebration really)

(Tip: If you aren’t Photoshop adept, find a designer fined like I did with my colleague Kim, big help!)

Make your own photo booth by pasting wallpaper or wrapping paper on a large flat wall. The one I used below was for a 1950’s inspired party hence the red polka dots. I borrowed the frame from an art gallery and bought props from China Town (budget!). I also supplied a chalk board and chalk for people to write their own messaging.(Board and props not pictured in the image).

DIY Backdrop
DIY Backdrop

For the same party we labelled the various cheeses with wedding themed names (Bridesmaids Brie, Garter Gouda… you get the picture). I also labelled all the wine glasses with fun sayings from the ’50s and the definition. This also helped with people knowing which glass belonged to them. 22 bottles of wine later however, no-one really cared.

Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Handmade Wine Labels
Handmade Wine Labels

If you are hosting a smaller gathering, instead of using name tags for the table use a photo of the (insert guest of honour) and all her guests, then prop these on the table using a frame or crocodile clips. What I did with these was add a section on the photo and asked each guest to write a message. The bride-to-be got to take these home as a momento from the night.

Personalised Place Cards
Personalised Place Cards

A fun idea if you are hosting a baby shower is to ask all the guests to bring a baby photo of themselves. The mom-to-be then needs to guess who is who. This can also be used for birthdays or bridal showers. If using it for a birthday – ask the guests to bring a photo of themselves at the age they have known the birthday girl for. She then needs to guess who is in the pic. Failure to do so results in a tequila fine (Really, my favourite party trick!)

Who's the baby?
Who’s the baby?

 

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A 1950’s affair!

Last weekend we hosted a rather unusual bachelorette for my bestie Amy. This was no ordinary bachelorette in that the amount of time it took for us to come up with an idea that wasn’t kitsch, cliched or (god forbid) club orientated was extraordinary. Amy has unique taste, and a style surpassed by none, so trust me, had we draped her in phallic objects and stuck a set of Playboy bunny ears on her head, we would have been fired form bridesmaids duty, and possibly never spoken to again. Thankfully I had a lightbulb moment (yes, it happens) and decided that a 1950s ‘un-perfect housewife’ theme would be fairly fitting for the bride-to-be. Thanks to Google, some talented designer friends, talented seamstress friends, talented ideas friends (you get the picture) a very patient boyfriend, some equally handy fellow bridesmaids and my skills with a tube of Pritt and some scissors, the day (and night) turned out to be a roaring success. Even Amy says so.Just ask her.

For the evening part of the event we all hopped into a taxi and went to a beautiful champagne bar and restaurant called ‘Amis’ (completely planned, of course!) With 19502 movies playing on the wall, gorgeous decor and a retro theme, it was just perfect. We ate too much, drank delicious bubbly and ended the day off on a perfect note.

Bring on the wedding!

Here are a few pics from the event, and some ideas if you’re ever planning a good old fashioned do.

Homemade party favours with a personalised poem made by Amys sister

I Googled ’50s images and strung them on ribbon with clothes pegs. Very effective!

Not everyone loved the photobooth props!

Again, I printed 50’s signs and glued them to skewer sticks, which I then placed all over the venue.

Red and white striped lollipops and 50’s slang wine glass tags. Amy got ‘Circled’ which back in the day meant ‘Getting Hitched’.

Thanks to some ingenious blogs I found these cool photo booth templates which I printed and cut out

Amy doing a ‘down down’ the old fashioned way

I found this amazing old school wedding photo which I used as cheese labels. My best was ‘Something old something new something borrowed something blue‘ Get it?

Completely co-incidental that Amy’s dress (made by our very talented friend Ilona) matched the photo booth backdrop. FYI I bought a huge roll of wrapping paper and simply stuck it to the wall to make the backdrop.

Aren’t these signs the cutest?

The Bridesmaids

All the guests signed a pottery bowl which we will glaze for Amy

My parents garden provided the perfect setting for a day of 1950s good ol’ fashioned fun!

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