I was super excited to see when reading through the reader survey responses so far that so many of you are interested in more travel posts! I absolutely love traveling (scope out #tsotravels) and have a few trips in the works this year after traveling less last year while I was pregnant. As luck would have it, I was already planning on writing today’s post, sharing my top 5 favorite vacation spots so I decided to bump it up in the schedule. Vacation destinations! Specifically, my favorite places in the U.S. to visit. But I’m not talking about the big major cities or the super hyped up places. So, no, I’m not going to talk about New York or LA or Chicago, even though I love all of those cities. Instead, we’re talking about the places that shocked me with their beauty and have prompted repeat visits and promises to go as many times as I can in my lifetime. For me, that’s what traveling is about! Discovering the hidden gems, falling in love with some far off place and not quite being able to shake it once you get back home. These places are just that for me! Click through for my favorites and chime in with yours so I can plan a trip!
Thank you so so much to everyone who has taken the reader survey so far! If you haven’t yet, would you consider taking a few minutes to do so? I’d really love to hear from you, plus you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card sooo there’s that. (Who can complain about a hundred bucks?!) I know things were a little quiet around here this week, but I have been working to get some things organized and projects lined up so I can start working toward a more normal work load. I’m still figuring out exactly what that will look like since the baby won’t be going to daycare on a full-time basis anytime soon, but I am working to sort things out. (Which is kind of where the survey comes into play. Shameless plug. Again.) In the meantime, I’ve got this weekend’s to do list on deck for you! (Don’t forget you can share your weekend adventures with me on Instagram with #theweekendtodolist.) Happy Friday, friends! xoxo
2 | Eat This
I’ve been craving pancakes lately (nothing new there), and I’m seriously considering giving this vegan pancake recipe a try! Nothing says “weekend” like pancakes, am I right? [Photo by Cookie + Kate]
4 | DIY This
On the hunt for a quick and easy DIY project idea for the weekend that is super simple but pays off with a gorgeous end product? Get your marble on with these dipped marble vases! [Photo by Sugar & Cloth]
- Congratulations to Chelsea on this awesome news!
- Happy blog anniversary to my pal Courtney!
- Why your blog is more important than ever
- Hats off to Anna on this great post
- Heads up, brides! Aisle Society launches Monday!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! Did you remember to wear green today? Baby E has the cutest little shamrock headband she is going to be wearing! If I can get her to cooperate long enough I’ll share a photo with you over on Instagram a little later! I’m actually still somewhat covered in green paint from a project I was working on yesterday (stay tuned for that) so I’m pretty sure that counts, right? In the meantime, it’s time for the 2016 reader survey! Every spring I like to poll you guys to see what you’re loving and what you could live without and I take that feedback into consideration when plotting out content for the year. This year, perhaps more than any other year before, I would really really love your participation! I am about a month or two out right now from launching all new branding plus the biggest site redesign in The Sweetest Occasion’s eight year tenure on the world wide web. With that in mind, and having taken a lot of time while I’ve been hanging out with the baby and working a little less, I’m considering making some fairly big changes to how we do things around here.
The heart of what I babble about will always be the same (entertaining, home, food, DIY, etc. etc.), but I am contemplating packaging it all up a little differently. I want to make the work I do more useful for you but also more inspiring. I want you to come here and really feel empowered to host a fun dinner party or overhaul that room in your house that has been driving you nuts. I think the journey is too short not to make the most of every day and every stage of life. In my own life I am committed to living in a way that celebrates every day and I consider it my mission to help spread a little joy in the form of a well mixed cocktail and glittery craft projects. So, I want to know what you love. What you need more of. What you’re totally over. What am I not writing about that you’d like me to write about? What posts do you skip right over? Dish it all out by taking the survey. If you complete the survey (and be sure to provide your email address) you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card to your choice of J.Crew or Anthropologie! (Or get crazy and take $50 to each – your pick!) If I could, I would give you all $100 to take the survey, because I am sincerely that interested in your thoughts. Alas, I cannot so one winner it shall be, but please know I am so grateful to you for taking the time to be here, supporting The Sweetest Occasion and generally just being awesome. I can’t wait to read all of your responses! (Take the survey right here!)
The fine print: The survey will be open through Wednesday, March 23rd at 8:00am ET. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Instagram and Snapchat later that day. In order to be eligible for the giveaway, entrants must complete the survey and be sure to include their email address for the purposes of contacting them about their prize. (Your email address will never be shared!) Any questions? More feedback to share? Email Cyd at email@example.com
With Easter early on the calendar this year, it’s officially coming up quick! Which is why, even though it’s not yet St. Patrick’s Day, we must discuss cake. There is something about Easter that I have always loved. Perhaps it’s the association with spring or that being an early April baby (April 1 to be exact), typically Easter falls somewhere around my birthday so it all just feels celebratory. Either way you slice it, I think that cake is perfectly befitting of the occasion. (Pun absolutely intended.) With that in mind, today I’ve rounded up 15 truly gorgeous Easter cakes to help inspire your confectionary aspirations! I’ve skipped the ubiquitous bunny cakes this time around in lieu of macarons, flowers and fruit, but if a bunny cake is more what you’re after, check out this one!
1. Vanilla Ombre Cake with Macarons [above]
This post was sponsored by Simply Orange. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
There are few things that say “spring” to me quite like brunch! After long months hidden inside, getting together with friends for brunch feels like such a joy. Today I am teaming up with Simply Orange as part of their nature-to-New York campaign to bring you my tips for hosting a sweet and simple farm to table inspired spring brunch! The star of the show? Mimosa popsicles made with Simply Orange® Pulp Free that are sure to wow your gal pals. That’s right. Mimosa popsicles. I’ve just gone and upped your brunch game from here on out. You’re welcome!
When styling a simple brunch like this, keep a light, neutral color palette in mind. It will make it really easy to use basic, white everyday plates and bowls while still looking really chic. A light colored tablecloth, a touch of metallic gold here and there and everything looks really elevated and elegant while honestly taking only a short while to pull together. Pro tip: Things like fruit and danishes look gorgeous plated on little white trays or set out in a cool colander or bowl. You don’t need to buy a bunch of new stuff nor do you have to spend three hours cooking before everyone shows up. A few little details can translate to a lot of wow factor!
For this brunch I really wanted to keep the focus on simple, spring dishes inspired by nature. I made little individual frittatas with farm eggs, fresh asparagus, tomatoes and radishes. You can even bake them the night before and just warm them up right before guests arrive! Fresh fruit, extra veggies as crudite and a few pastries were all that was needed to round out the menu. Too often I think we tend to overcomplicate things and that makes entertaining feel a bit daunting. I’m here to make it easier for you – keep it simple, fresh and loaded with seasonal spring flavors and you honestly really can’t go wrong!
The Mimosa Popsicles
The undisputed life of the party though has to be the mimosa popsicles. Your friends will think you’re a genius, but in reality this is as easy as can be. The day before brunch, fill a popsicle mold with Simply Orange®. (I like this mold the best!) I like that Simply Orange® Pulp Free is never frozen, never sweetened and never concentrated, making it seriously delicious for sipping or for popsicle making. Once your molds are filled, pop it into the freezer without inserting the popsicle sticks. After about 20 minutes or when the juice is starting to get a bit slushy, insert your sticks and then freeze overnight. Come time for brunch, serve each popsicle in a stemless wine glass. Pour bubbly over top and prepare to impress everyone you know!
For my New York readers, get your name in the hat to score prizes and coupons to inspire your own spring party at Gotham to Grove. For more details and to check out additional Simply inspirations and recipes, like the Simply Facebook page or visit the official website!
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]