May 21, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
Did you hear? Memorial Day weekend is just a few days away! Let’s get this party started, shall we? Today we’re talking Jello shots! Specifically these strawberry daiquiri Jello shots, because, well, they’re kind of awesome. Is anyone else noticing that Jello shots are kind of all the rage at the moment? I’m not even going to front and try to pass these off as some kind of original idea. I am, however, going to admit that amongst our group of friends in our neighborhood we’ve been loving some variation of these ever since the weather turned warm. So naturally, I’m sharing them with you, too. Cool? Cool.
Now, you’ve heard me preach time and time again that when mixing cocktails, buy the best quality spirits you can afford. Guess what? Today I’m getting all hypocritical on you, waving the white flag and begging you not to waste anything too high end on these Jello shots. Now I wouldn’t go totally bottom of the barrel instant-hangover-from-one-shot kind of cheap. But pick an affordable middle of the road option. When you’re trashing your booze up with things like strawberry Jello and whipped cream out of a can (which we’re totally going to do), something cheaper is absolutely ok.
- 24 – 30 whole, fresh strawberries
- (1) packet of strawberry Jello
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup silver rum
- Whipped cream for topping
Begin by giving all of your berries a good rinsing and allow them to dry most of the way. Then it’s time to get slicing! Lop off the tops and bottoms of the strawberries, so they can stand up without toppling over. Be sure not to cut too much off the bottom because you need to keep the berry “sealed” so it can hold the liquid Jello later.
Next up, use a small melon baller or a little measuring spoon (which is what I used and it worked great) to scoop out the center of each berry. Again, try to take care not to go too deep so the strawberry stays intact, forming a little bowl to hold the Jello. Also, if this sounds hard, it’s really not. Cross my heart, and all that jazz.
Over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add Jello mix and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat, add your rum and stir until well combined. Now fill up each of your berries with the liquid and chill at least three hours or overnight. I like to place the berries in a muffin tin for this part to keep them upright. If you have some berries that leak, no worries! Mix up another packet of Jello in a few hours and top them off and allow them set again. The initial Jello will act as a seal and then you’ll be able to get them filled up with boozy Jello goodness!
The final step? Bust out a can of whipped cream and get to topping each one with a big ‘ol dollop! Yes, if you’re curious, you could absolutely top these with sprinkles or any other kind of festive nonsense that strikes your fancy. Oh, and also? These are really super delicious and kind of make the crowd go wild. So make them already, would ya?
p.s. I know posting has been slightly more sporadic lately, but I’ve been working behind the scenes on a few new things to get unstuck. Namely, I want to take more time to develop recipes, projects and cocktail posts like this one to share with you. To that end I’m spending a lot of time trying to develop new content and taking my photography to the next level. So thanks for bearing with me! xoxo
[Recipe + photography by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
May 20, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
Is anyone else kind of scratching their head wondering how Memorial Day weekend snuck up on us so fast? Wasn’t it just New Year’s Eve?! I think we all say it every year, but I swear every year goes by faster and faster. That’s no matter to me though, because I love Memorial Day. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year, when finally summer unofficially makes it’s entrance and from there it’s all BBQs and ice cream cones through Labor Day. I love it! With that in mind, today over at Momtastic I’m sharing 20 red, white and blue DIY Memorial Day party ideas sure to help you celebrate in style. Pop on over for all the inspiration!
[Links + credits can be found at Momtastic.]
May 20, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
Coming to us today all the way from Valencia, Spain, we’ve got Little Red Riding Hood in the house! Or, more specifically, Claudia of My Little Bloom’s adorable daughter Cristy and her 5th birthday party all decked out in Little Red Riding Hood inspiration. Featuring pretty red capes for all of the little girls and wolf masks for all of the little gents, Claudia planned an amazing backyard picnic with loads of sweet treats and all the special little details like red and white balloons and striped paper straws. This is hands down one of the cutest kids birthday party ideas I’ve seen in a long time. (It’s those capes. They kill me!) Many thanks to Claudia for sharing!
Photography: Moi Marie | Event design + styling: My Little Bloom | Party supplies: My Little Bloom | Invitations + cupcake toppers: UO* Estudio Creativo | Baked goods: American Cupcakes Valencia | Little Red Riding Hood doll: Las Minimis
May 16, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
Uuugh. Can we start today by talking about Grey’s Anatomy? Has anyone else been watching since the beginning, a whopping 10 years ago? I’m not going to spoil anything but last night’s season finale crushed me. And also made me feel really old. I can’t believe I’ve watched every single episode over the last decade! Also I was a junior in college when the show started. Enough said. But I digress. Let’s talk about cocktails, ok? Because this week heated right up and the humidity machine went into overdrive and when it’s 90 and the air is thick, it’s light and crisp summery cocktails that I love best. So to kick off your weekend, I’m sharing three of my favorite summer cocktails. Oh and a bit of Friday Link Love! xoxo
[Citrus sangria | Honey plum smash | St. Germain gin and tonic.]
May 14, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
I am so excited to be sharing photos of my recent Montana glamping adventure with you today! (Actually, I’m going to be sharing even more photos tomorrow because there are just so many that I can’t even help myself.) A couple of weeks ago I was among a group of super lucky ladies who got to fly out to The Resort at Paws Up with Skinny Cow to experience the ultimate glamping excursion. We flew into Missoula at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and by the time our chauffeur rolled into the gates of Paws Up an hour later, I was sure I’d landed in heaven. They aren’t kidding about Big Sky Country. The skies are endless, the views vast and the beauty infinite.
This was the first photo I snapped once we were at the ranch. From that point forward, my camera didn’t stop clicking for the next three days. Erika and I road around the ranch, jaws dropped and eyes full, exploring every nook and cranny that we could. We went horseback riding. We hung out around big campfires. We were wined and dined in five star style. We were treated to amazing massages and an endless supply of crazy delicious Skinny Cow ice cream, candy and treats. (The snickerdoodle ice cream sandwiches are my favorite!) And at the end of every day we fell asleep in giant beds covered in massive down comforters that made sleeping pretty gosh darn easy. I have so much more to share with you from Montana and all the ways Skinny Cow and the amazing folks at Paws Up went above and beyond to make this trip one I’ll long remember. But for today, I kind of want to let the photos do the talking.
I think it’s safe to say that I both found and left a little piece of my heart in Montana. The primary reason I’m so passionate about traveling is because it inspires me on every level. Getting to see and explore new places, meeting new people and learning about new cultures never ceases to be a deeply spiritual and ultimately invigorating experience for me. Do you even realize how vast and amazing this country is? It constantly blows me away and Montana is seriously the kind of place that could downright bring you to tears, it’s that beautiful.
While I was there I also shot this video to share with you in my attempt to bottle up some of that beauty and bring it home to you! A word of note, I actually shot this video (edited with Cameo) and all of the photos in this post (edited with VSCO Cam) on my iPhone. I’ve been playing around with both apps lately and am excited to see what I can create to share with you in the future. But I digress. If Montana is on your bucket list, make sure you find yourself there one day. (Or better yet, let Skinny Cow take you!) I promise you, you’ll fall in love and never want to leave.
Pssst! Don’t forget that you can enter to win your own amazingly luxe glamping experience for you and two of your best friends at the very same ranch we visited! Pop over to Skinny Cow for the details and get yourself entered to win. We’re talking gorgeous accommodations, spa treatments, horseback riding, and so much more, all with Skinny Cow’s thoughtful attention to detail designed to give you the experience of a lifetime.
This post was sponsored by Skinny Cow via Glam Media. Read more about our editorial policies.
[Photos + video by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]