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Events, Personal

Arden Rose | Second Birthday

Our daughter Arden Rose was absolutely obsessed with the moon, so choosing her 2nd birthday party theme was easy… Two the Moon! I’m excited to say it was recently featured on Kara’s Party Ideas. Previously for her first birthday, I did the bright and light floral garden party theme, which was also featured on Kara’s Party Ideas, so this year I really wanted to change things up with a moody, galactic style.

Cosmic colors and geometric elements were an easy way to create the theme. I talked Doug into making a wooden moon for the kiddos and families to pose on as a photo booth, and everyone loved it! The striped backdrop was a simple craft project that I painted in just a few minutes. I bought a drop cloth and some sample paint jars in my color scheme. Then I laid the drop cloth out in the grass, and used a roller to lightly paint the stripes. The grass made it perfectly imperfect- uneven and patchy like a cloudy sky. Next to the moon, I left some little wooden stars and moon shapes as props that said “Happy Birthday, Arden Rose!” and “I’m just here for the cake!”

Arden Rose’s dress was made my by mom, with the cutest cloud and constellation patterned fabrics ever. This year I rented kid sized tables and chairs so the littles could all sit together like little grownups. It was so cute! Each place setting had a jar of Stardust (silver glitter… sorry parents) with an agate balloon. For the adult tables’ centerpieces, we cut geometric wood shapes, painted them white, and arranged them in different patterns on each table, simulating constellations.

I don’t know about your parties, but at ours, the food station is always the center of attention. We had Two the Moon Turkey Sliders, Lunar Fruit with the Big Dipper marshmallow fruit dip, Veggie Rockets with the Little Dipper ranch dip, Moon Cheese and Crackers, Tang (which no one but the adults understood), Celestial Tea and H2O. I rented a silver sequin backdrop and table linens to enhance the design. Arden Rose’s cake table was a half moon shape (see what I did there?) with the sweetest two tiered night sky inspired cake. My mom also made the most amazing meringue cloud cookies which we served with the cake. Behind the cake I used clusters of white balloons to form clouds with a huge shiny silver metallic moon balloon as the focal point.

We had a build-your-own favor station with moon-themed goodies like Milky Ways, Meteorites (rock candy), Moon Pies, Astronaut Ice Cream, Moon Rocks (Starbursts inside of foil), Star Crunch, and Sugar Clouds (white cotton candy). We also had a play area with a giant inflatable bowling set, yard toys and quilts ready for our friends and family to make themselves at home. Seeing all of the planning and design come together is great, but spending time with friends and family is the icing on the two-the-moon-themed cake.

I’m so grateful to these vendors who helped make her party a hit!

Photography: Andy Roberts Photography

Cake: Kool Kakes by Dylan

Paper Products: Paper N’ Peonies

Rentals: Pursuing Eden & A1 Party and Tent Rentals

Styling: Me!

Personal

Neglected | Pursuing Eden Home

Tonight I’m feeling especially open about some behind the scenes struggles as a small business owner and mom. I’m hoping that I can share this to help other business owners and mamas know you’re not alone!  Two and a half years ago, when I gave birth to my daughter, Arden Rose, I kept rocking things at the store the best way that I could, but little by little the home store branch of my business became more and more neglected.  Anything store related was last on the to-do list, as mom-life and the demanding rental branch of my business took precedence.  I knew the store needed my attention and focus, but I just didn’t have any.  I couldn’t find the time or energy to really give it the love it needed.  I was tapped out, so the store suffered.  Have any of you been there?  If so, you’ve got a friend in me!  The Lord has been reminding me that I cannot be all and do all at once, and that there are seasons in life to focus on different things.  That is how He created life!  But still, the storefront has been in the season of Winter far too long. Now, it’s not been absolutely terrible, and I am sure some of you shoppers may be thinking, “what is she talking about, I’ve always liked it,” please know that means the world to me, but I am just not happy with how “off” things feel there with no focus from me.  Yes, there were spurts of creativity here and there, and yes we have wonderful, faithful shoppers, but the store has fallen short of my vision of where I want Pursuing Eden Home to be. But good news!  There IS light at the end of the tunnel, and at just the right time, God has given me His strength, renewed energy and focus to revamp the merchandise and restyle the store, and while my new designs won’t be happening overnight, I do hope many exciting changes will be in effect by Spring!  I have one thing to ask of you:  please keep coming, shopping and supporting this maxed-out mama on her journey.  You matter to me more than you know!

Here are a few sneak peeks of just a couple new finds coming your way.

xo Kristal

Events, Personal

Arden Rose | First Birthday

Christmas is so soon, and here I am sharing some summertime pictures!  But, I think you will want to see these.

Everyone talks about the immeasurable love you have for your children, but I did not understand until God sent this beautiful ray of sunshine into my life.  And to know He loves me as His child… I do not deserve it!  Thank you, Jesus for making a way.

Our sweet girl Arden Rose turned one in July, and we had such a happy party!  I’m honored to say her big day was featured on Kara’s Party Ideas‘ Blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts very recently, and I can’t wait to share it with you now.

© Jill & Kay Photography

It didn’t take long after AR was born for everyone to start asking what her first birthday party theme would be and how we would decorate!  Most importantly, Doug and I wanted the party to be a place for our family and friends to gather together, spend time with those we don’t get to see often, and especially to celebrate Arden Rose’s big day!  My parents, “DeDe and Grandpa”, enjoy cultivating their yard and flower gardens, so I decided their beautiful backyard would be the perfect place to party.  Arden Rose’s personality is dainty, soft spoken and reserved, so we thought the design should be girly and organic, with a touch of glam.  The first detail we chose was the fabric for AR’s party dress, which DeDe lovingly made by hand.  With the coral, peach, tangerine and pink color palette selected, we were ready to plan!

To welcome everyone to the party, we set up a display of AR’s month-by-month photos and a time capsule box for guests to write notes, advice or scripture for her to open when she turns 16.  We used a market cart and other props to create the feel of a fresh flower market.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Curved under a grove of trees, we set out mismatched chairs and barnwood benches around a long row of tables with organic loose weave cotton and gold sequin runners which showcased amazing fresh florals.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Since July in Texas is hot and humid, we opted for a morning brunch party and served scones, donuts, fresh fruit, quiche and gluten free muffins made by my sweet friend, Kimberly.  Organic milk and orange juice were offered in the cutest little milk bottles, displayed in a vintage baby bathtub.  I hand-lettered in gold all of the eats and treats signs.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

 

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

The sweets buffet, cake stands and gold sequin backdrop showcased AR’s smash cake, which was also made with love by her DeDe.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Arden Rose is blessed with the best Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and friends, who all came to celebrate with us.   I made a backdrop of flowers for AR to open gifts in front of and I think this was my favorite spot at the whole party!  Seeing her precious face light up with each present brought so much joy to us and to our guests.  Arden Rose is one loved little girl.  Her favorite gifts were her books, vintage piano from her great-grandmother “Temah”, and her dolls, especially Polly, handmade by DeDe in a matching party dress.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

 

© Jill & Kay Photography

 

© Jill & Kay Photography

 

© Jill & Kay Photography

 

© Jill & Kay Photography

 

© Jill & Kay Photography

To thank all of the littles for coming, we made coloring books full of AR’s favorite things, and DeDe made felt crayon caddies, staying in the party’s color palette.  Playtime in the yard consisted of bubbles, foam noodle games and other toddler toys, and it was a big hit too, with quilts ready in the shade for cooling off when needed.

© Jill & Kay Photography

 

© Jill & Kay Photography

We decided to hire professional photographers to capture the memories for us, and I am so glad we did! I am very thankful we can look back on these photos in years to come and remember all the wonderful details: smiles shared, hugs given, prayers lifted up, and memories made.

Back to December (but still hot down here in Texas at the moment!); I wish your family a very merry Christmas, and pray for Jesus’ unconditional love to be made real in a special way in your life during this season.

Photography:  Jill and Kay Photography

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Florals:  La Bella Blooms

Stylist: Me

 

 

 

Personal

Welcome!

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Today is a very special day!  I am excited to share the newest part of my adventure with you.  Most importantly, I am dedicating this journey to my Savior.  I pray that I can serve others and share His love in every interaction and relationship I have.  Jesus is showing me so much of who He desires me to be as His child, and I am still learning and growing as I follow Him in this adventure.

Eight years ago, my husband of one year, Doug, and I moved out of our little apartment and bought our first home.  It was bad y’all… as in our dear, sweet realtor couldn’t hold back the heebie jeebies as she showed us the property.  I could describe just how bad it was, but then you would all know for sure we were absolutely crazy for buying it and even crazier for moving right on in.  If I had only considered starting a blog then of our adventures on that remodel journey… well, I feel sure that we would have been the perfect reality tv show.  It would have been called How To Live With Lawn Chairs As Your Only Furniture For Two Years.  But as months… ok years went on, we made it our home and I truly found so much joy in planning and designing every square inch.  Even the underside of every shelf in every closet had a fresh coat of paint, we widened some doorways and walled in others, installed new lighting, replaced hardwood flooring twice (thank you leaking water heater), tore out old cabinets,  salvaged other old cabinets, dug ditches and landscaped, and of course about a thousand other things.  Much of this was with the wonderful help of our families’ contributions of expertise, sweat and sacrifice.  We didn’t even have a TV… just seasons of The Office on DVD (hello, I could not have made it through without Jim and Pam by my side) which played on a laptop, balanced on a plastic table, with a bed sheet push-pinned to cover the window.  Welcome to our Friday date nights.  Anyways, when the projects were (mostly) done, enough to lay out some rugs and bring in the real furniture, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep!  I was finally able to unpack and design with what I had been collecting for over two years!  With no HGTV, Pinterest or Instagram, designing looked a lot less “organized and inspiring” and a lot more like “here are all the clippings I snuck out of the waiting room magazines and ok yes I did just take a picture of your bathroom for inspiration”.  My Idea Notebook was overflowing with tattered fabric swatches and wrinkled sketches.  My Sherwin Williams color swatch book traveled with me everywhere in my purse… pretty sure they finally gave up on me ever returning it.

About the time the house came together, Pursuing Eden started growing, and I’m talking about an all-in, have no life kind of busy, where people think you are either amazingly driven or dysfunctionally consumed.  By the way, both were at times true.  God has been teaching me a lot about balance.  Within five years, we were growing at Canton First Monday, renting to hundreds of clients a year, buying an actual storefront, designing and decorating interiors, and gaining some fantastic employees.  Then in 2014, God gave us our biggest blessing yet, our daughter, Arden Rose.

Through all of this, I have realized it’s time to branch out as a stylist to better serve you.  In many ways, I’m doing the same things I’ve already been doing through Pursuing Eden, but now it is clearer and more defined.

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I will specifically focus on styling events, photoshoots and interiors.  Now, clients have more choices and options, and I am able to travel.  Not sure exactly what a stylist is?  Click on the website tabs to learn more!  Did you know?  A stylist is not an event planner or coordinator, but a stylist is a designer who works with props and decor to create a cohesive, unique space.

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Happy you’re here!

KC

 

Photography:  Brandi Smyth

Venue:  White Sparrow Barn

Florals: Mandy Cathey

Styling: Me