An Apple Farm Picnic

Here in Upstate New York our reputation for loving a good day at the apple farm pretty much precedes us and you can definitely count me among the masses who consider an annual trek to the orchard a requirement. Today I am seriously tickled (yes, I just said tickled) to share this really lovely apple farm picnic from the crazy talented Britt at Woven & Wed with you, featuring the prettiest photos from Rachabella Photography. Seriously, does this not make you want to gather up a few friends and head to the farm for a fall picnic? Set at Aamodt’s Apple Farm, this is the kind of ode to fall that makes these ladies feel like my kindred spirits. Sincerely. Loads of plaid, whimsical touches like giant oversized balloons, and mini apple pies? Yes, yes and yes!

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

27-giant-tassel-balloon An Apple Farm Picnic featured by @cydconverse

Many thanks to Britt and Rachel for sharing! (You can follow them both and see more of their gorgeous work on Instagram here and here!) This little orchard party has me even more in love with fall than I was already, which was a whole heck of a lot.

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Photography – Rachabella Photography | Design + styling – Woven & Wed | Rentals – Collected Rentals | Venue – Aamodt’s Apple Farm
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DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland

This post was sponsored by Seattle Chocolates. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that
so generously allow The Sweetest Occasion to keep on keepin’ on!

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

In the spirit of my love for fun and easy holiday crafts, today we’re making a Halloween candy inspired chocolate truffle party garland! This started as a quick, off the cuff idea for a DIY tutorial and quickly evolved into one of my favorite Halloween party ideas of the season. Inspired by the flavors and gorgeous packaging of my favorite Seattle Chocolates truffles, this is the ultimate homage to Halloween candy, bringing together the most decadent of chocolate flavors and super cute party decor. It’s really easy to make, too! You just need a whole big stash of your favorite truffle flavors, floral wire and ribbon. (Make sure to have extra truffles handy for snacking, too!)

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

supplies

  • Assorted flavors of Seattle Chocolates truffles
  • Thin floral wire
  • Wire snips
  • Ribbon in your color preference
  • Scissors

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

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First you’ll need to determine how long you’d like your garland to be. I made several garlands at approximately 5′ in length a piece, which required about 60 chocolate truffles each. I used an assortment of chocolate truffles with fall-inspired flavors and packaging. The Pumpkin Spice? It is everything that is delicious about pumpkin. The silky smooth Milk Chocolate variety? Classic and over the top good! Of course, the Total Toffee flavor is always my favorite. I just can’t get enough of that toffee! Once you’ve selected your flavors and colors, cut several pieces of floral wire to about 3″ in length. Place two truffles end to end, overlapping the wrapper and use a piece of floral wire to hold them together securely. Twist the wire tightly and then snip the ends to trim so the wire doesn’t show.

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

Keep working along in this fashion until you achieve your desired garland length. At that point, cut two lengths of ribbon, each about 12″ each. Fold the ribbon in half and use another piece of floral wire to attach the ribbon to the end of the garland by twisting the wire around the middle of ribbon. Repeat on the other end. Then trim the ends of the ribbon neatly at an angle so everything looks nice, pretty and tidy and you’re all done! Hang your garland as a party backdrop using removable wall hooks or swag it across the room to create a focal point in your party space.

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

DIY Halloween Chocolate Truffle Party Garland by @cydconverse

Isn’t this the cutest garland ever? And I love that it doubles as a chocolate lover’s dream! Guests can grab a handful of truffles from the garland at the end of the night and take them home as a sweet treat. What’s not to love? To get started, visit Seattle Chocolates to pick out your favorite chocolate truffles, then be sure to follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for more chocolate inspired ideas. Also, be sure to stay tuned for a mini Halloween giveaway this week featuring Seattle Chocolate’s incredible Halloween inspired truffle bars!

p.s. Loving those ghost cake toppers? Check out the super simple DIY tutorial!

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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 a maximum of 1 – 2 images from 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

This post was sponsored by Seattle Chocolates. Read more about our editorial policies

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DIY Colorful Jack O’Lantern Treat Bags

As I’m preparing to welcome our new little one in a few weeks, I’ve asked some of my best blogging buds to
drop by here and there. Today please welcome Sara from Tell Love and Party!

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

Hey guys! Sara from Tell Love and Party here with some colorful jack o’ lantern treat bags. Who says Halloween has to only be orange and black?? Because these treat bags are a whole lot of colorful fun. They are perfect halloween party treat bags and you can change up the colors to match any color scheme, because those jack o’ lantern faces scream Halloween no matter what colors you choose. Every kid knows, me included, that one of the best parts about Halloween is the candy. So give them candy in colorful style, with these simple treat bags!

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

supplies

  • Acrylic paint
  • Cotton muslin bags
  • Card stock
  • Paint brushes

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

Cut out a piece of cardstock the size of the bag and slide inside. This will help the paint from bleeding to the other side. Start to paint your bag. You are going to want to water down the acrylic paint a lot, as it makes the paint go a lot further. Before you set aside to dry, remove the cardstock and slide in a fresh piece. If you leave it to dry without doing so, the material of the bag will dry to the cardstock.

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

Once the painted bag has dried completely you are ready to paint on the jack o’ lantern face. You can get creative with this part and change up the faces, or keep them traditional like I did. Either way they are super cute! Allow everything to dry completely, then fill ’em up with candy and get ready to wow your favorite trick or treaters!

DIY Colorful Jack O' Lantern Treat Bags by @tellloveparty for @cydconverse

For more of Sara’s fun, colorful party ideas, be sure to follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!

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[Styling + photos by Tell Love and Party for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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Caramel Apple Sangria

This post was sponsored by Ristorante Pizza by Dr. Oetker. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

One of my go-to ways to make entertaining as fuss-free as possible is to prepare in advance by mixing up a pitcher or two of cocktails. It makes offering guests a drink as they arrive an absolute cinch and frees you up from having to play bartender all evening. With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, I thought a festive, seasonal drink for the grown-ups seemed only appropriate! Along with my friends at Dr. Oetker, I’m sharing this utterly delectable caramel apple sangria, perfect for hosting a crowd or for enjoying when you get back from canvasing the neighborhood for candy with the little ones. We live in the best trick or treating neighborhood in the city, so I plan to offer a splash to friends as they drop by with their kiddos. Now that, friends, is my kind of treat!

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Looking for a quick dinner to pair with the sangria when friends show up? I’ve made no secret of the fact that Ristorante Pizza by Dr. Oetker has become a mainstay in our house. You can easily bake up a few of these gourmet frozen pizzas to share with friends as they’re coming in and out or arriving to settle in for an evening of watching classic Halloween movies. (Check out the store locator to find where Ristorante pizzas are sold near you or put in a request with the manager at your favorite grocery store!) With its thin, crispy crust and blend of cheese, basil and diced tomatoes, the Pizza Mozzarella variety has remained our go-to, but with nine flavors to choose from, there’s something to please every palate. While the kids haggle over and swap candy, the grown-ups can sip sangria and eat really delicious pizza. I won’t lie, that is my idea of a pretty perfect Halloween!

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

caramel-apple-sangria

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 liter bottle of white wine
  • 8 cups fresh apple cider
  • 1 cup unflavored or caramel vodka
  • 4-5 apples, chopped
  • 1/4 cup caramel syrup (plus more for garnishing)

Place chopped apples in the bottom of a large pitcher. Drizzle the caramel syrup over top. Add white wine, apple cider and vodka, then stir well to combine. Refrigerate at least four hours before serving or overnight. Before serving, swirl caramel syrup around the inside of a glass. Fill with chilled sangria, including apples, and sip!

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Generally speaking, as a good rule of thumb, you don’t need to get carried away with a fancy wine when making sangria. A semi-sweet riesling or a crisp pinot grigio is perfect here paired with the apple cider. Add the sweetness of the caramel and this tastes every bit as delicious as a classic Halloween caramel apple only sipped out of a glass. At the same time, it’s still tart enough to be surprisingly more sophisticated than you’d guess. Um, not that you need to be feeling all sophisticated on my account, trust me.

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

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Caramel Apple Sangria from @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Now through Halloween, Ristorante invites you to embrace these moments of delicious downtime with the Love Yourself Amore sweepstakes. There are 28 gift cards up for grabs for a “me time” service of your choosing. We’re talking house cleaning, gardening, massage therapy and more! (Oh how I’d love someone to show up and clean my house!) Click here to enter and to learn more!

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

Caramel Apple Sangria by @cydconverse

I seriously hope you give this one a try! It’s really really good, which is what has made it a favorite of mine for a couple of years now since I first started making it for friends. It’s as if you melted down Halloween and poured it into a glass. What could be better than that? Nothing, my friends. That’s what. Need more delicious in your life? Give Dr. Oetker a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker USA LLC. I received compensation for this post, but all opinions are my own. Read more about our editorial policies.

10 comments

An Easy At-Home DIY Manicure

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

Recently I have gotten a lot of questions both here on the blog and over on Instagram inquiring about my nails so today I thought I would fill you in on my super easy DIY manicure secret! As a bit of background, you should know a couple of things. One. I am a train wreck when it comes to painting my own nails. (A very, serious train wreck.) Two. I am so rough on my hands that paying for manicures is a total waste, because they never last more than a couple days. Enter my secret weapon! Namely, these seriously incredible Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. Before we go any further, allow me to assure you that the folks at Sally Hansen have precisely zero idea that I exist and this is in no way a sponsored or endorsed post. I genuinely love and use these bad boys all the time and thought some of you might benefit from trying them out. Want to see how easy they are to use? Let’s get started!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

To get the best results with the nail polish strips, you’ll want to start with clean polish-free nails. The package includes a little emory board for filing and buffing your nails, as well as a small wooden stick for pushing back your cuticles. I do all of this pretty quickly! It definitely does not need to be a super professional job, which works for me because I wouldn’t be able to do it all pro-like anyway. (A combination of lack of skill and lack of will, admittedly.) Other than the contents of the box, you’ll only need nail polish remover and cotton pads or cotton balls so you can quickly wipe down your nails to remove any dust after you file and buff.

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

Next up, find the polish strip that best fits each of your nails. They provide multiple different sizes with plenty of extras so you should easily be able to find a match regardless of the size and width of your nails. From there, work one nail at a time, removing the the protective clear plastic from either side of the polish strip. Position the nail strip along the base of your nail and then gently tap it into place. At that point, I slowly but firmly stretch the sides of the polish strip to get a perfect fit, using the edge of my thumbnail to press it into place so it looks really perfect.

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

The final step is getting the perfect fit along the length of the nail! Gently pull the polish strip taught (it has a surprising amount of stretch) and fold it over the edge of the nail, using the emory board to gently buff off the excess. And that’s it! It’s really that simple. No heat or special tools required and the nail strips run right around $8.50 a pack or a couple of dollars more for the French tip versions. Sally Hansen says they will last up to 10 days, which I think is definitely possible if you’re a little easier on your hands than I am. For me they easily last 5 – 7 days though which is super impressive! To remove them, I like to use a polish remover with acetone, soak a cotton ball and hold it on the nail for 15 – 20 seconds before wiping away the polish strip.

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

Want to see more posts where you can check out the nail polish strips in action? You’ll find me wearing them here, here, here, here and here. (Among many, many others.) I tend to prefer the simpler designs and colors, but they come in loads of patterns and color options so you can get as funky and colorful as you’d like with your manicure. I liked this black lace one for shooting Halloween posts, for instance. (They kind of match these DIY black lace candle holders!) If you give them a try, let me know! I’d love to know if they help solve anyone else’s nail woes, too.

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

12 comments