January 19, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
After an abnormally warm and practically balmy December, our weather here is officially frightful. On days like today, I am really grateful that I don’t have to leave the house if I don’t want to go out. Enter this sunny clementine cocktail, shared with us by Andrea Harper of Gray Harper Event Maker. It makes all the best of winter citrus, using the juice of fresh clementines, with a pinch of cayenne pepper to make you feel warm on a cold winter day. Add tequila and triple sec and it’s basically a gourmet clementine margarita. I don’t know anyone who is going to complain about that! Can’t get your hands on clementines? Make this with any fresh winter citrus you can find. Grapefruit would be particularly delicious!
Makes 1 cocktail
- Juice of 3 clementines
- 1 oz triple sec
- 1 oz tequila
- Sprig of marjoram
- Clementine wedge to garnish
- Cayenne pepper
- Sea salt
Moisten the rim of your glass with clementine juice. Combine a pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt (course ground is best) in a shallow bowl or plate. Turn the glass over onto the plate and coat the rim. Pour juice, triple sec, and tequila into a shaker. Shake well and pour over ice. Garnish with marjoram sprig.
[Cocktail recipe + styling by Gray Harper Event Maker | Photos by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures.]
January 18, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Behind the scenes I’m working on getting it together to get back in the usual flow around here. It might still take a couple of weeks to really get in the groove, but I’m excited that Alice and I will be shooting together next week for the first time in over a month so stay tuned for lots of good stuff coming up! In the meantime, I know a lot of people are off work today for the holiday so I thought we’d start the week with a little long overdue link love. And, seriously, don’t you just love this art print? It’s a free printable from my sweet friend Rachel over at The Crafted Life! I think it’s the perfect motivation for getting organized and back in gear for 2016. Get it here.
[Photo + printable by The Crafted Life.]
January 14, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
It’s hard to believe that baby E is already going on two months old! Combine bringing home a newborn with the craziness of the holiday season (she was born just two days before Thanksgiving) and much of the last several weeks is a blur to me at this point. When the baby was a couple of weeks old, Alice came by the house on a Sunday morning and took newborn photos for us. I am just in love with all of the sweet moments that she captured so I wanted to share a few today in addition to a little update on life with baby. Not surprisingly, a whole lot has changed, but we’re finding our groove, moving past the utter exhaustion phase and looking forward to watching this little lady grow day by day. We’re entirely biased, but we’re pretty sure she’s absolutely perfect.
Something I don’t talk about here in specific detail very often is the fact that I largely fly solo during the week. Bob is gone most nights during the week for work so his return to work when the baby was a little over a week old was fairly traumatizing. We got home from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving, which we celebrated at home. I was wearing maternity leggings, my mother came to us and cooked, and I spent a good chunk of the day hidden away in our bedroom pumping. (How’s that for keeping it real?) It was altogether a really wonderful day and our first weekend at home was pretty perfect. Cue the onset of postpartum hormones and by a week after delivery, I was a mess. A complete, ugly cry face, sobbing mess. Combine that with Bob going back to work and it was not pretty around here. Actually, it was bad. Bad bad. Luckily, my hormones started to balance out over the next several days and by the time she was about two and a half weeks old I was feeling much like my usual self. (But seriously. What the hell is with those postpartum hormones?! Absolute and complete torture. Not cool.)
At about three weeks old, we hit a patch of colic. You know, right as I was starting to think I was killing it in the whole newborn rearing department. In the midst of that, I had a deadline to hit that had been on the books since before the baby was born and I’m still not quite sure how we did it, but somehow between my mother, Alice and I we pulled it off. It involved a whole lot of my mom and I passing the baby back and forth, countless boxes of Christmas paraphernalia strewn all over our dining room, several French presses of coffee and a whole lot of creative cropping on Alice’s part as she was shooting. (Not to mention my stepfather helping lug boxes of props down from our attic and my best friend helping wrangle the baby so I could shop and prep. It takes a village!) It was right around then that I was definitely at my most exhausted. The little baby who easily slept 4 – 5 hours at a stretch as soon as she was born suddenly didn’t want to sleep for more than an hour or two and spent an easy 80% of the rest of the time crying. If you don’t have kids yourself, let me tell you – it is shockingly easy to find yourself bawling while simultaneously marveling over the fact that a tiny seven pound human has managed to cripple you.
The holidays came and went and with them, our little girl had the great fortune of being loved on by any number of family and friends. Bob got to take a bit of extra time off, mommy got a bit more sleep, my sister finally got to meet her niece and all of a sudden at around six weeks old, our little nugget started sleeping through the night almost every night. Simultaneously, she has basically written off napping during the day (making any kind of work feel nearly impossible), but knowing I can go to sleep at night and pretty predictably count on at least 5 – 6 hours before I’m back up again frankly feels like I’ve hit Powerball. Enter in the fact that we’ve also hit the stage where she’s starting to smile and every so often is even giggling and cooing, and well, I can confidently say I now understand why people don’t swear off kids after the first one. (I wondered far more than once while sleep deprived and sobbing how anyone could go for round two. Is that awful or what?)
And here we are! Working to get back in the groove over here, figuring things out day by day. I have a lot of other details I’m happy to share if you happen to be interested! I was thinking about rounding up my must-have newborn essentials if it would be helpful and also sharing some of the best gifts we received. (You know, things that our seasoned parent friends knew we’d need that I didn’t think to get.) I’m also happy to share her birth story and a very long winded explanation about why I’m not breastfeeding (although we did try), depending on what floats your boat. You have all been the best as we’ve embarked on this journey and I want to continue sharing it with you in whatever capacity you’d like to hear about our adventures! In the meantime, thanks for all of your love and support as we’ve welcomed our little love nugget into the world. I am eternally grateful for your friendship and can’t thank you enough for all of the advice and well wishes over the past several months. You guys rock. xoxo
[Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]
January 13, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
It turns out you guys are apparently crazy for a good iPhone wallpaper! On a whim this past May I shared 12 awesome iPhone wallpaper designs for summer and you loved them so much that I followed it up with my picks for the prettiest iPhone wallpapers for fall, which you loved equally as well. So today, you guessed it, I’m bringing you a round-up of 12 iPhone wallpapers perfect for winter! Some are motivational (perfect for the start of the year) while others are just plain ol’ pretty, which is basically what I go for when it comes to everything and anything all year long regardless of season. To download, click the links below to be taken to the original download source!
[Row 1: Life is Lovely | Pink abstract flowers | Ombré snow | Row 2: She Believed She Could | Blue abstract | 2016 | Row 3: Shine Bright | Black abstract flowers | Bonjour | Row 4: Eat Well | Lips | Let’s Do Something Wonderful.]
January 12, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
At long last, nearly three months later, I wanted to take a moment today to share my baby shower! In my line of work, I’ve seen dozens of beautiful baby showers. With that in mind, we wanted to do something really special, but at the same time I wanted to keep things simple. We opted to have the shower at a local winery where they have the most adorable little barn perfect for parties. Because the festivities were taking place in October, we were all about playing off the season, keeping everything warm and cozy. We had friends travel from all over the eastern seaboard and even the midwest to celebrate this little lady of ours and it ended up being an incredible day with more than 50 people packed into one cute little barn! (All the more reason to keep things pretty but also simple.) My girl Alice was sweet enough to capture photos of the occasion so I have all the details to share with you!
To get the show started, the rose gold foil invitations from Minted were the perfect mix of girly and rustic to kick off the celebration. They were paired with kraft paper envelopes to keep them from feeling too formal and it was so fun for me to have friends text as they received them. (People go crazy for pretty stationery!)
The ladies in my life (my mom and some of my best friends, cousins and aunts) baked up a spread of desserts like none I’ve ever seen. Seriously. We’re talking cakes, pies, cookies and cupcakes galore! My sister flew home from Florida and the morning of the shower the two of us hung out in the barn cutting flowers and tucking them into mason jars. (You know I love some easy DIY flower arrangements!)
We skipped shower games of all varieties but made sure to serve up some our favorite wines from the winery in the sweetest custom stemless wine glasses that everyone got to take home after the shower. Just because mommy couldn’t drink didn’t mean I didn’t want all of my best ladies to kick back and relax with a glass. The gold foil palm leaf cocktail napkins and the balloons were some of my favorite little details!
Inspired by this tutorial from my friend Carrie of Dream Green DIY, we set out paints and markers and invited guests to paint baby blocks with sweet little messages for the baby. The blocks are now stacked up on a shelf in the baby’s nursery, which I’ll be sharing with you soon! (But in the meantime, you can see a sneak peek!)
Vendors + Sources –
Photography by Alice G. Patterson | Venue: The Cape Winery | Invitations c/o Minted | Balloons, paper straws, cocktail napkins + party decor c/o Revel & Co | Custom wine glasses + metallic gold candle holders c/o Kate Aspen | Cups + plates c/o Cheeky |
[Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]