You guys know by now that stationery and basically anything made from or printed on paper is a huge passion of mine. In keeping with tradition, this year I’ve rounded up a whole bunch of my favorite Mother’s Day cards, perfect for your spouse, your sister, your best friend or your own mom. Mother’s Day is only a few weeks away so be sure to pop over to Babble where I’m sharing my picks for the 25 best Mother’s Day cards!
View all image sources and get pricing and where to shop info at Babble!
It was just about a year ago that I was contemplating long hair and whether I wanted to cut my hair, which I had worn in a bob for years, or let it grow. Turns out, it’s a year later and my hair is far and away the longest it has been since I lopped off 10″ back in 2007. I love how I look with a bob and it’s undeniably easier to take care of at that length, but after years of limited styling options I am loving having longer locks again. My go-to style is usually to just let it air dry with a bit of product in it to keep the frizz at bay. But I am also loving beachy waves and one day soon it’s probably going to even be long enough to rock a killer side braid.
Lately I’ve been eyeing and bookmarking a zillion hair tutorials that I am just loving and can’t wait to try. For spring my favorite looks are loose, a little messy and usually swept up in some fashion. So with warm weather days ahead, here are 10 pretty hairstyles that are perfect for spring!
I’m excited to share this cocktail recipe with you today because it’s one of my absolute favorites! While simple, it’s classic, crisp and refreshing. Oh, and utterly delicious. Before we dive into the recipe, first a little background, because I quite enjoy cocktails and conversation with friends. The summer of my senior year of college, I remember coming home from my grueling internship and meeting my dad out on the back deck. He was sipping on a ice cold vodka and tonic with the perfect wedge of lime and offered me one before dinner. I swear I had never drank anything as good and after that vodka and tonic became this girl’s signature drink.
Here and there I would dabble in gin and tonics as well (because gin and vodka are rather like cousins), but honestly I was never a huge fan of gin. That is until the first time someone offered me a Hendricks and tonic. It was a total game changer. And therein lies the moral of the story – if you think you don’t like gin, I encourage you to give a high quality gin a try. So many people I know think they don’t like gin, but then they taste Hendricks and well, it’s all over.
- 1 oz of St Germain
- 1-1/2 oz of gin
- 3 – 4 oz of Tonic water
- Fresh lime
Fill a glass with ice. I’m not going to lie, I usually drink my cocktails out of mason jars because I’m classy like that. (Ok, really, I drink out of mason jar about 90% of the time, even if it’s just iced water. I’m officially that girl.) Add the gin and St Germain. Add more or less gin or St Germain to suit your personal taste. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the glass. Top with tonic water. Stir with a long spoon. Garnish with another wedge of lime.
What I love about this drink is the surprisingly delightful addition of the St Germain, which is an elderflower liqueur. I just very recently got turned onto it by my girl Erika and I’ve loved trying it out in different cocktails since then. Here the pairing of the St Germain and Hendricks with a good quality tonic water is second to none. And don’t skip the lime! The lime makes it bright and happy. Your tongue will thank you.
[Styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion. | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]
I know it has been a while since I’ve featured a real wedding and, honestly, that has actually been pretty intentional. See, this year I sort of re-committed to myself that I would only post what I was passionate about, things that I love and can’t stop thinking about. And frankly, there are so many amazing wedding blogs that feature stunning real weddings and do it so well that often I feel I’m better of leaving that arena to those ladies because they rock it and rock it so good. (So instead I talk to you about parties and DIY projects and wax poetic about shoes, because I like to think I’m good at that.) But today I’m making an exception. (And I know I’ll make more in the future, too!) And I’m making that exception because I am so enamored with Sarah and Ben’s wedding and the stunning images from Summer Street Photography that captured the day.
Sarah and Ben celebrated their marriage with the most intimate of affairs. Just 21 guests converged at The Inn at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate with grounds so gorgeous you’d think you’d been whisked away to Europe somewhere. The ceremony started with the sound of the wind gently moving hand bells that guests held and the evening boasted a beautiful sunset and heartfelt toasts. Not to mention, a delicious foodie-approved dinner catered by Fireside Catering. And this, friends, is why I love this wedding. Because it’s so simple and so beautiful that it really does take your breath away. Or, at least, it takes away mine.
Photography: Summer Street Photography | Venue: The Inn at Castle Hill | Catering: Fireside Catering
[Photos by Summer Street Photography.]
For some reason I’ve been so intimidated by the thought of playing with clay. But I kept seeing all the awesome things Chelsea was making with clay (like this project and this one, too) and decided it was time to give it a whirl! And guess what? It’s just as easy as she has always promised and now I’m probably a clay crafting addict. So let’s kick things off with this big clay bead necklace, shall we?
When you first unwrap the clay it’s going to be very firm and not especially malleable. If you warm it up in your hands and knead it for a few moments, it will become more pliable. Then simply separate a chunk and roll it between your hands to form a ball. I made five beads with a larger bead for the middle of the necklace and smaller beads for the sides. Then using an awl, a skewer (or the end of your paint brush like I did), push a hole through the center of each bead, making sure the hole will be large enough to accomodate your cording later. They make special jewelry-making tools for this part, but I opted to just use what I had on hand.
Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instruction for the particular brand of clay you’re working with and then bake your beads. For my clay I baked it at 230 degrees for about 45 minutes. Once baked, let them cool completely before getting your paint on!
Using your paint brush, give each bead a bright coat of paint. I used the Martha Stewart Crafts line of craft paints, which are some of my favorite, because they work on just about any surface. I went with the gloss finish, but they also have cool metallic, pearl and even glitter finishes that would be fun to try, too! I use foam paint brushes for a lot of projects, but here I wouldn’t suggest them because in playing around I found that it left a more gloopy finish on the beads.
You’ll probably need a second coat for at least touch up on the beads. I started by painting each one and then slid it onto a toothpick so I could rotate it between my fingers to get an even coat. Once you’re finished painting, let the beads dry for a good long while before moving on. I’d suggest at least a couple hours, but overnight would be even better if you have the patience to wait that long.
Next up, assemble your jewelry components and get ready to start stringing! I chose an aqua colored leather cording and silver tone hardware, but most craft stores have a ton of options so you can mix it up however you like to suit your style.
Starting with the middle bead and working outward on either end, string your beads onto an extra long length of leather cording. Then once the beads are in place, determine how long you’d like the necklace to be. I did this by holding it up in front of the mirror and then trimming the ends to make it the length I thought looked best.
At this point, plug in your hot glue gun and get it heated up. Take one end of your leather cord and loop it through your necklace closure. Apply a small bead of glue, fold the leather back on itself and apply pressure to secure the bond. Repeat on the opposite end with the closure ring. Be careful not to burn yourself!
After that you’re all done! It’s time to don your necklace and take her for a night out on the town. Or let her tag along on errands or to a busy day at the office. I love how crazy simple and inexpensive this project was, letting you rock a cool statement piece for only a few bucks. And that’s that! Beware, I have a feeling there are a lot more clay projects in our future. Happy necklace making!
[Design + styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion. | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]
The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo