January 29, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
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generously help The Sweetest Occasion keep the party rockin’!
You guys are well aware by now that my favorite tokens of affection to give and receive for Valentine’s Day are those that are sweet and simple with a homemade touch. Enter today’s super easy and utterly delicious Valentine’s Day idea – DIY chocolate box valentines! Paired with our free printable Valentine’s Day cards designed just for you by Carolynn of Two Brunettes, they’re as easy as downloading, printing, trimming and sticking in an envelope. Inspired by my favorite Lindt LINDOR milk chocolate truffles, these little babies make a great Valentine’s Day gift for everyone from your better half to your best friend to your coworker the next cubicle over.
- Lindt LINDOR milk chocolate truffles (10 – 15 per box)
- Paper mache boxes
- Paper heart appliqués
- Glue stick or glue dots
- Printable Valentine’s Day card (download here)
- Printer (or access to a local print shop)
- White card stock
- Envelopes (A7 size or similar)
- Baker’s twine (optional)
Begin by dressing up your paper maché boxes with a little heart action. I found these glitter paper heart appliqués (and the boxes) at Michaels, but you could also use a glitter paper and a heart paper punch to achieve the same thing. (You can usually find glitter papers in the scrapbook aisle of most craft stores.) Attach a heart to the lid of each box using a simple gluestick or glue dots or a similar archival-safe permanent adhesive made for paper.
Next up, download the PDF file for the printable card and print it onto white card stock. Or you can bring the file to your local office supply or print shop and have them do the printing! The file includes a card with a white background and one with a pink background so you can pick the one you love best to gift your valentine. Once printed, trim to size using a paper cutter or craft knife and a metal straight edge. Finally, pen a sweet message on the reverse side of the card, tuck it into a pretty red or pink envelope and done!
Don’t forget to stuff the box full of Lindt LINDOR milk chocolate truffles! They are my personal favorite and my mom used to include them with my Valentine’s Day gift every year when I was a kid. They just don’t make truffles any better in my book (which probably has something to do with the creamy, smooth melting center) and your valentine deserves the best, so there’s that. Also, the pretty red packaging makes for a pretty perfect Valentine’s Day gift, don’t you think? The traditional Valentine’s Day box of chocolates has never looked or tasted so good!
I’m pretty sure all of my favorite gifts to give or receive involve chocolate in some capacity, but especially on a day that’s really quite synonymous with chocolate, you absolutely can’t go wrong with taking a few minutes to make one or a few of these pretty little chocolate box valentines this year. It takes chocolate-giving to a whole new level that feels special and personal, which is what a day designed for celebrating love is all about.
[Photos by Cyd Converse | Printables by Two Brunettes for The Sweetest Occasion.]
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January 28, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
I was so excited to see this gorgeous Valentine’s Day dinner party from Nicole D Photography hit my inbox, because it’s a whole lot of things I love. Drawing inspiration from the now ubiquitous Park & Rec Galentine’s Day party episode, Nicole went totally glam and girly when pulling this celebration together. It’s all about your best friends, champagne, an excuse to wear a pretty dress and getting crafty making DIY floral crowns. How stinkin’ fun does that sound? The details here are over the top gorgeous, but if you break it down this is absolutely something you could do with your own girlfriends this Valentine’s Day. You can pick up your favorite take-out for dinner, bring home a few bottles of champagne and give your hand a try making something pretty to wear in your hair. (I love this DIY floral crown tutorial or you can pick a different craft idea you love!) Either way, I love the idea of taking a traditionally romantic day and using it as the inspiration to celebrate the ladies and friendships in your life, because you can never have too much of either if you ask me. Many thanks to Nicole for sharing!
Photography by Nicole D Photography | Floral design by Denise Fasanello Flowers | Hair by Fallon Fitzpatrick | Makeup by Dramatizon | Shot at The Green Building | Furniture rentals from Patina Rentals
Floral plates | White plates | Gold-rimmed glasses | Pink champagne flutes | Red lace dress | Red floral jumpsuit | Long white maxi skirt | Lace tank top
[Photos by Nicole D Photography.]
January 27, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early in the week to talk about happy hour so today I have another super yummy cocktail from Fresh Pours to share with you. We’re talking the fresh and fruity raspberry mojito! I have a serious love for a good mojito. We have a restaurant locally here that’s right on the water and they grow loads of mint right outside the front door so they can serve up amazing mojitos all summer long. Come winter, I start to crave those mojitos, which makes me pretty excited about this raspberry version. I think I might just need to whip up a pitcher of these this weekend when I’m debating whether I should be rooting for the Patriots or the Seahawks. (For the record, I’m leaning toward neither.) Is anyone else a huge mojito fan? I suggest you give this recipe a try!
- 1-1/2 oz white or silver rum
- 6 – 8 fresh mint leaves
- 6 lime wedges
- 1 oz raspberry simple syrup
- Splash of soda
- Fresh raspberries
In a shaker, muddle the mint, lime, and rum. Add ice and raspberry simple syrup to shaker. Shake well, and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with fresh raspberries and fresh mint leaf.
Photography by Kelly Cartney | Styling + cocktails by Fresh Pours | Design Consultation by Elizabeth Clark Weddings | Stationery + illustrations by Beet & Path
[Photos by Kelly Cartney.]
January 27, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Hi, friends! How’s everyone today? My apologies for being unexpectedly MIA since last week. Behind the scenes over here I’m gearing up for a lot of new things designed to help really make 2015 awesome. I realize that sounds annoying vague, but in reality these first few weeks of the New Year have largely been spent laying the foundation for my personal and professional goals for this year and beyond. I’m talking really exciting things like participating in webinars, reading and researching, taking lots of phone calls, reviewing contracts, budgeting, projecting, and so on and so forth. This is the first time in a few years that I’ve really made the effort to invest in the backend of the business (and by invest I mean with time, love and energy) and I feel like the time has been so well spent. But today, what I’m most loving is winter citrus. I can’t get enough of it come citrus season, and this color palette is all of that in a nutshell. Aren’t these colors just so pretty and happy? I love pretty and happy.
[Photos, from top: Talbott Teas | A Beautiful Mess | Desmond & Dempsey.]
January 22, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Apparently my reputation for loving a good cocktail precedes me, but today I’m convinced that’s a pretty good thing, because it inspired the fine folks at Fresh Pours to send over a few fun cocktail recipes to share with you! Fresh Pours is a new, hip cocktail and bartending service located in Toronto and today they’re sharing their signature cranberry basil cosmopolitan recipe. This is perfect for a dinner party, that bridal shower you might be planning or an at-home Valentine’s Day date night! Plus I just find the combination of cranberry and basil to be completely irresistible so there’s that, too. Stay tuned for more cocktails from Fresh Pours and many thanks to them for sharing!
- 1 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz Triple Sec
- 1/2 oz basil simple syrup
- 1 oz cranberry simple syrup
- 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Put cranberry simple syrup in the bottom of a martini glass. In a shaker filled with ice, add vodka, triple sec, basil simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. Shake well and strain into the martini glass. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.