A Few Favorite Valentine’s Day Ideas

Fun Valentine's Day Ideas from @cydconverse

I think Valentine’s Day is easily one of my favorite excuses to get crafty! I’m basically adamantly opposed to the super commercialization of Valentine’s Day, but I L.O.V.E. the sweet sentiment behind the holiday so some adorable little handmade gesture or two is right up my alley. While I’m working on a few fun new Valentine’s Day ideas to share with you over the next couple of weeks, here are a few of my favorites from the archives!

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[1: DIY Pipe Cleaner Heart Toppers | 2: DIY Photo Strip Valentines | 3: DIY Banana Valentines | 4: DIY Chocolate Heart Wall | 5: Love Sweet Love Printables | 6: Blood Orange Pink Lady | 7: Love You More Printables | 8: DIY Mini Bouquets.]

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Baby Emerson’s Nursery

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

At long last, I am so excited to share our baby girl’s nursery tour with you! I really wanted to create a special space for her, one that was modern but still super cozy. It was important to me that it feel playful and whimsical without screaming “baby” in the traditional sense. It took several months to come together and just a few short days before she was born, I finally finished getting the room painted, furnished and styled. I’ll list and link as many sources as possible at the bottom of the post so you can see where I found everything, plus you can catch even more photos and a little interview with me over at The Glitter Guide today, too! As always, thanks to Alice who came over to capture these gorgeous photos. I am so happy to have them to share with Emerson one day!

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour @cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour | DIY Baby Blocks @cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to stick to a largely neutral color palette with lots of texture so the room felt really warm. The wall color, Moon Shot VR095D by Valspar, was the perfect starting point. Once I knew we were having a girl, I picked up the neon pink heart screenprint from Gus & Ruby Letterpress. It’s the perfect burst of bright, happy color! The moroccan inspired shag rug from RugsUSA and the bedding from Land of Nod are so fun together and I love the neon pink pom poms along the crib skirt. I was also really picky about a glider! I wanted something upholstered with clean, modern lines and something that wasn’t stereotypical baby so it could be used in another room later on if we wanted. I finally found this one at Target and it’s completely perfect and very comfy.

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour @cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour  @cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

While the room has gorgeous natural light, huge windows, tall ceilings and original hardwood floors, it’s honestly a pretty small space overall. The IKEA Gulliver crib has super simple lines and a shorter profile that is perfect in the room. (Also, it’s so inexpensive for such a great piece!) To save space, I decided I wanted a rather petite dresser with a changing pad on top that could later be removed so this one from Babyletto (with the adorable mint green accent) fit perfectly. From there it was all about books and art! Lots and lots of books and art. We’ve already logged a lot of hours in the glider rocking, feeding and reading books, which is exactly what I envisioned when I thought about a nursery and how we would spend our time.

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour @cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour @cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

The trio of abstract paintings on the wall were created by Emerson’s big sisters and her big cousin. I set the three of them up in our drop cloth covered dining room and let them loose with paints, brushes and poster board. To keep it cohesive, I limited their paint options to the same colors our guests used to decorate the wooden baby blocks at our baby shower. When they were done, I trimmed each of their pieces down to fit simple white matted frames, which I picked up at Target. They had so much fun doing it and it was a really sweet to include them in preparing for the baby. Whenever any of the three of them walk into her room they get so excited to see their art hanging up! I love that we’ll have them forever (they’re signed and dated on the back) and that they’re so special and one of a kind.

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

@cydconverse's Nursery Tour

Now that our little girl is starting to get bigger and I know her days of actively playing are close on the horizon, I am even more excited about her nursery and all the memories we’ll make here in the coming months. That wool shag rug? I see some serious tummy time going on. In the meantime, stay tuned! I have a couple of awesome giveaways coming up over the next several days to help you with your nursery nesting, too. Hip hip hooray!

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[Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

Sources –
Paint color: Moon Shot VR095D by Valspar | Rug: c/o RugsUSA | Crib blanket + crib skirt: c/o Land of Nod | Glider: Target | Crib: IKEA |Crib sheet: Target | Dresser/changing table: c/o Babyletto | Curtains: IKEA | Book ledges: c/o Land of Nod | Floating shelves: Target | Hamper: c/o Land of Nod | Heart screenprint: Banquet Atelier & Workshop from Gus & Ruby Letterpress |  Gray stuffed bunny: Target | Lamp: c/o Land of Nod | Owl pillow: Target | Throw blanket: Target | Side table: c/o Land of Nod | Mermaid art print: Rifle Paper Co. | Wooden toy crate: Target | Flower painting: Lulie Wallace | Diaper pail: Target | Pouf: Amazon | Elephant art print: c/o Land of Nod | Rainbow heart print: c/o Minted | Rainbow stacker: c/o Land of Nod | Curtain rods: Target | ‘E’ throw pillow: c/o Land of Nod | Gold pig bookends: CB2

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Sunny Clementine Cocktail

Sunny Clementine Cocktail from @cydconverse

After an abnormally warm and practically balmy December, our weather here is officially frightful. On days like today, I am really grateful that I don’t have to leave the house if I don’t want to go out. Enter this sunny clementine cocktail, shared with us by Andrea Harper of Gray Harper Event Maker. It makes all the best of winter citrus, using the juice of fresh clementines, with a pinch of cayenne pepper to make you feel warm on a cold winter day. Add tequila and triple sec and it’s basically a gourmet clementine margarita. I don’t know anyone who is going to complain about that! Can’t get your hands on clementines? Make this with any fresh winter citrus you can find. Grapefruit would be particularly delicious!

Sunny Clementine Cocktail from @cydconverse

Sunny Clementine Cocktail from @cydconverse Sunny Clementine Cocktail from @cydconverse

Sunny Clementine Cocktail from @cydconverse

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Makes 1 cocktail

  • Juice of 3 clementines
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz tequila
  • Sprig of marjoram
  • Clementine wedge to garnish
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt

Moisten the rim of your glass with clementine juice. Combine a pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt (course ground is best) in a shallow bowl or plate. Turn the glass over onto the plate and coat the rim. Pour juice, triple sec, and tequila into a shaker. Shake well and pour over ice. Garnish with marjoram sprig.

Sunny Clementine Cocktail from @cydconverse

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[Cocktail recipe + styling by Gray Harper Event Maker | Photos by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures.]

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Weekly Link Love

Behind the scenes I’m working on getting it together to get back in the usual flow around here. It might still take a couple of weeks to really get in the groove, but I’m excited that Alice and I will be shooting together next week for the first time in over a month so stay tuned for lots of good stuff coming up! In the meantime, I know a lot of people are off work today for the holiday so I thought we’d start the week with a little long overdue link love. And, seriously, don’t you just love this art print? It’s a free printable from my sweet friend Rachel over at The Crafted Life! I think it’s the perfect motivation for getting organized and back in gear for 2016. Get it here.

Make it Happen Printable

[Photo + printable by The Crafted Life.]

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Our Newborn Photos + The First 6 Weeks

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

It’s hard to believe that baby E is already going on two months old! Combine bringing home a newborn with the craziness of the holiday season (she was born just two days before Thanksgiving) and much of the last several weeks is a blur to me at this point. When the baby was a couple of weeks old, Alice came by the house on a Sunday morning and took newborn photos for us. I am just in love with all of the sweet moments that she captured so I wanted to share a few today in addition to a little update on life with baby. Not surprisingly, a whole lot has changed, but we’re finding our groove, moving past the utter exhaustion phase and looking forward to watching this little lady grow day by day. We’re entirely biased, but we’re pretty sure she’s absolutely perfect.

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Something I don’t talk about here in specific detail very often is the fact that I largely fly solo during the week. Bob is gone most nights during the week for work so his return to work when the baby was a little over a week old was fairly traumatizing. We got home from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving, which we celebrated at home. I was wearing maternity leggings, my mother came to us and cooked, and I spent a good chunk of the day hidden away in our bedroom pumping. (How’s that for keeping it real?) It was altogether a really wonderful day and our first weekend at home was pretty perfect. Cue the onset of postpartum hormones and by a week after delivery, I was a mess. A complete, ugly cry face, sobbing mess. Combine that with Bob going back to work and it was not pretty around here. Actually, it was bad. Bad bad. Luckily, my hormones started to balance out over the next several days and by the time she was about two and a half weeks old I was feeling much like my usual self. (But seriously. What the hell is with those postpartum hormones?! Absolute and complete torture. Not cool.)

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

At about three weeks old, we hit a patch of colic. You know, right as I was starting to think I was killing it in the whole newborn rearing department. In the midst of that, I had a deadline to hit that had been on the books since before the baby was born and I’m still not quite sure how we did it, but somehow between my mother, Alice and I we pulled it off. It involved a whole lot of my mom and I passing the baby back and forth, countless boxes of Christmas paraphernalia strewn all over our dining room, several French presses of coffee and a whole lot of creative cropping on Alice’s part as she was shooting. (Not to mention my stepfather helping lug boxes of props down from our attic and my best friend helping wrangle the baby so I could shop and prep. It takes a village!) It was right around then that I was definitely at my most exhausted. The little baby who easily slept 4 – 5 hours at a stretch as soon as she was born suddenly didn’t want to sleep for more than an hour or two and spent an easy 80% of the rest of the time crying. If you don’t have kids yourself, let me tell you – it is shockingly easy to find yourself bawling while simultaneously marveling over the fact that a tiny seven pound human has managed to cripple you.

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

The holidays came and went and with them, our little girl had the great fortune of being loved on by any number of family and friends. Bob got to take a bit of extra time off, mommy got a bit more sleep, my sister finally got to meet her niece and all of a sudden at around six weeks old, our little nugget started sleeping through the night almost every night. Simultaneously, she has basically written off napping during the day (making any kind of work feel nearly impossible), but knowing I can go to sleep at night and pretty predictably count on at least 5 – 6 hours before I’m back up again frankly feels like I’ve hit Powerball. Enter in the fact that we’ve also hit the stage where she’s starting to smile and every so often is even giggling and cooing, and well, I can confidently say I now understand why people don’t swear off kids after the first one. (I wondered far more than once while sleep deprived and sobbing how anyone could go for round two. Is that awful or what?)

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

Newborn photos for @cydconverse

And here we are! Working to get back in the groove over here, figuring things out day by day. I have a lot of other details I’m happy to share if you happen to be interested! I was thinking about rounding up my must-have newborn essentials if it would be helpful and also sharing some of the best gifts we received. (You know, things that our seasoned parent friends knew we’d need that I didn’t think to get.) I’m also happy to share her birth story and a very long winded explanation about why I’m not breastfeeding (although we did try), depending on what floats your boat. You have all been the best as we’ve embarked on this journey and I want to continue sharing it with you in whatever capacity you’d like to hear about our adventures! In the meantime, thanks for all of your love and support as we’ve welcomed our little love nugget into the world. I am eternally grateful for your friendship and can’t thank you enough for all of the advice and well wishes over the past several months. You guys rock. xoxo 

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[Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]

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