Favorites: Party Cocktails

10 Favorite Cocktail Recipes When asked about my favorite ways to entertain, I’ll usually end up mentioning cocktails. Specifically, I love offering guests a fabulous cocktail or two, but standing over the bar serving up drinks all night is not my thing. Nor is spending money to always have a fully stocked bar. The solution? I like to choose one cocktail that I will be serving that evening and buy ingredients in abundance. I mix up big pitchers or decanters in advance, chill them for a couple of hours before everyone arrives and then display them self-serve style with all the appropriate garnishes and accoutrements. You know, like paper straws and festive swizzle sticks.

With warm weather allegedly on the horizon (although I’m not yet a believer here in my neck of the woods), I thought I’d share 10 cocktail recipes that would be perfect for spring parties, showers or even weddings. Click through for my favorite picks for party cocktails!

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Brayden’s Elephant 1st Birthday Party

I am definitely in the birthday spirit this week so I’m pretty jazzed to bring you Brayden’s first birthday party today! It’s red, white and all decked out in elephants, stars and stripes. In other words, it’s awesome. Sent over by Kelli Wholey of Lumina (whose daughters second birthday party was featured here last year), this party is one she helped plan and design for her nephew’s first birthday. I love all the little details. Like the striped paper straws (of course) and the treat bags all decked out in striped baker’s twine. But more than anything, I’m a sucker for a cute kid with cake all over his face. It can’t be helped.

Circus Birthday Party Invitations

Circus Birthday Cupcakes Striped Straws

Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party Circus Birthday Party

Circus Birthday Party

Vendors -
Event design + styling: Kelli Wholey of Lumina | Photography: Lumina | Cake: Creative Cakes by Debby

[Photos by Lumina.]

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Color Palette: Mint + Lavender

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend and a beautiful Easter if you celebrate. I’m easing into the week myself this morning. See, today is my 30th birthday! So I am celebrating with cake and lavender lemonade. Or, at least I am in the form of this pretty mint and lavender color palette. I love these colors together. Even though it’s snowing like crazy today, they just feel like spring. To really celebrate, I’m looking forward to lunch  with my mom today and tomorrow my better half will be home for the first time in over a month. So it’s going to be a week-long birthday celebration as far as I’m concerned. Here’s wishing you all a beautiful week, too!

Mint + Lavender | The Sweetest Occasion

[Photos, from top: Sunday Suppers | Sweetapolita | Studio Blush.]

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Aries Bridal Fashion for Flutter Magazine

I am so excited this morning to share an exclusive sneak peek from Flutter Magazine! My lovely friend Kelly Oshiro of Santa Barbara Chic was asked to create a style series with bridal fashions inspired by the signs of the zodiac. Today I’ve got a glimpse at the Aries bridal look, which is pretty fitting considering that with a birthday on Monday I’m an Aries girl myself! And this gorgeous Ivy & Aster dress? I kid you not when I say I’ve been outright obsessed with it for so long now. It’s perfect!

Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion

Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion

Inspired by famous Aries Reese Witherspoon’s own wedding style, Kelly choose an ethereal blush pink dress, long flowing tresses and a natural makeup look that is just brilliantly beautiful. Shot on location at Sunstone Villa with amazing images from Michael + Anna Costa, everything about this shoot is just so lovely.

Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion

Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion

Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion

Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion  Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion

Beautiful Aries Inspired Bridal Fashion

See more of Kelly’s beautiful styling for brides of all astrological signs at  Santa Barbara ChicSnippet & Ink and Grey Likes Weddings and be sure to visit Flutter Magazine for all twelve looks and more wedding inspiration than you can handle. (Seriously, the pretty is endless.)

Vendors -
Styling + flowers: Kelly Oshiro | Photography: Michael + Anna Costa | Location: Sunstone Villa | Hair + makeup: Chateau Belle | Dress: Duchess by Ivy & Aster  | Jewelry: 33 Jewels | Bridal Salon: Lovely Bride, LA

[Photos by Michael + Anna Costa.]

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The Sweetest Home: A Huge Giveaway with Keep!

This post was sponsored by Keep, my favorite new site for all things shopping and inspiration. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so generously help keep The Sweetest Occasion rockin’!

A couple of weeks ago I hinted about an upcoming giveaway that was going to be pretty gosh darn awesome. Well, today is the day to spill the beans! As you know by now, I’m working with Keep to bring you all of my inspiration, ideas and tips as I design and decorate our new apartment. (Like the boys’ shared room or my crush on bar carts or my vision for the living room.) Well guess what? Keep is also going to help one reader get to sprucing up their own home by gifting them a $250 Visa gift card! So that gorgeous lamp you’ve been eyeing, the new bedding you’re dying to buy for your bedroom, or that bar cart you can’t help but drool over? They could totally be hanging out in your house, all thanks to Keep!

Win $250 Visa Gift Card from The Sweetest Occasion + Keep.com!

 

In addition to one grand prize winner going on their own little shopping spree, one lucky second place winner is also going to win their pick from my favorite home accessories to add a little pop of style to their pad! Two winners. Two awesome prizes. And you could be one of those winners! You know you want to add something a little sweet to your home this spring so read below for all the details on how to enter!

To Enter:

  • Pop over to Keep and sign up for an account, if you aren’t already a member
  • Create a collection called ‘The Sweetest Home’ and start filling it up with the things you’d love to have in your own home!
  • Over the next few weeks click around, fall in love with Keep and add a minimum of 20 items to your collection
  • Leave a comment here with a link to your collection and letting me know you’ve entered!
  • Bonus points: Follow Keep and The Sweetest Occasion on Facebook and leave a second comment here letting me know you did!

The Details:

  • The contest is open to all readers (Please allow for adequate shipping time if you are international!)
  • Entry is open now through Wednesday, May 8 at 11:59pm EST
  • One grand prize winner will win a $250 Visa gift card to use to spruce up their home!
  • One second prize winner will get to choose one item from my collection The Sweetest Home: Favorite Finds Under $100
  • Neither The Sweetest Occasion nor Keep is responsible for any duties associated with the winnings for international readers

1: Coffee mill | 2: Nested serving bowls | 3: Lamp | 4: Hamper | 5: Pillow | 6: Piggy bank

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

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