October 22, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
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!
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!
- Acrylic paint
- Cotton muslin bags
- Card stock
- Paint brushes
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.
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!
For more of Sara’s fun, colorful party ideas, be sure to follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!
[Styling + photos by Tell Love and Party for The Sweetest Occasion.]
October 21, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Ristorante Pizza by Dr. Oetker. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
[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.
October 20, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
October 19, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Good morning, and happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a fabulous weekend. With loads of friends and family in town for our baby shower, mine was a complete and total whirlwind. Our house is now pretty much covered end to end with super cute baby paraphernalia and I’m honestly exhausted this morning as we start the week. That said, if you want to see a little tiny sneak peek of the shower you can pop on over to Instagram and #thesweetestbebe. I’ll be sharing more soon! All of that said, let’s get down to business because today I wanted to share another of my current favorite blog reads. Namely, we’re talking about The Crafted Life, where Rachel crafts colorful and vibrant projects designed to make DIY both fun and approachable. From home decor to jewelry to parties, she covers it all with her signature playful style, all intended to inspire you to pick up a paint brush or a hot glue gun and get crafty!
In addition to being super talented, Rachel is also just a totally awesome lady. She is, hands down, my favorite combination of sweet and sassy, the type of gal I could sit up all night gabbing with while drinking wine and wearing pajamas. If you aren’t already, you should definitely take note and become a big fan of The Crafted Life. Your craft-loving self can thank me later! (Oh! And you can follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, too!)
[Row 1: Printable temporary tattoos | Printable envelope liners | Row 2: DIY jewelry box | Row 3: DIY painted wooden beads | DIY wooden hello sign | Row 4: DIY color blocked keychain | Row 5: Office makeover | Ban.do buttons | Row 6: Instagram wall art.]
October 16, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Once upon a time, I discovered myself shocked as can be to learn we were expecting a little one. Fast forward (as in, super warp speed fast forward) several months and tomorrow is the day of my baby shower! It’s such a surreal feeling because some days, other than the fact that stairs have become increasingly tricky to navigate, I actually still forget I’m pregnant. I have friends coming in from literally all over the country this weekend to be here to celebrate this baby and it is the most overwhelming feeling. Of course, Alice will be there taking lots of photos so we can share the celebration with you at some point in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, I’m sharing just a few baby shower ideas (you can find more here) inspired by the festivities plus a full 34 week baby update! 34 weeks. It’s all happening so fast! Here’s wishing you a beautiful weekend and I’ll see you here on Monday! xoxo
[About to Pop baby shower | Ombre cake | Hot pink baby shower | Confetti Oreo cookies | Wishes for Baby.]
Today officially marks 34 weeks pregnant! It’s hard to believe that we’re down to just a handful of weeks before the baby celebrates her birthday and I am feeling loads of emotions as we get closer. Basically every emotion known to man, if I’m being completely honest. There’s actually part of me that wishes we had a bit more time before she arrives, because I feel like it’s all rushing by a bit too quickly. Is that normal? Please tell me I’m not going crazy!
Hello My Name Is
We’ve been essentially settled on little girl’s name since about 20 weeks along. That said, we’ve been up, down and all over the place trying to find the perfect middle name. As of a few days ago I think we may have figured it out! In the meantime we’re staying pretty mum on her name until she’s here. A very small handful of our closest people know what we’ve decided on for a first name, but beyond that we are keeping it quiet. We don’t use her name when we refer to her and we don’t plan to do so until she’s here with us officially. We love love love her name though and I’m excited to share it with you once she makes her big debut!
Baby Got Legs
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not exactly known for my height. I am perfectly average in height, but actually have slightly shorter than average legs. Were it not for my torso being of reasonable length, I’d be totally stumpy. All of that said, the fact that we have a little one on board boasting legs that are 97th percentile in length is completely entertaining to me. She very clearly got those legs from her 6’2″ daddy, not from this lady. As of right now, they’re telling us to expect a long baby and we’re so excited to see how it plays out!
At next Friday’s OB appointment I will be 35 weeks pregnant, at which point they’ll be ordering a fifth and final ultrasound. They’ll be doing a full growth chart again, checking placenta placement and determining if the baby has flipped head down at that point. Last we knew for sure she was breech, but it was still early so they weren’t overly concerned. We don’t believe she has flipped yet though so now they’ll start to monitor that more closely. All of these various factors have us still of the mindset that we are headed for a scheduled c-section, but we won’t have that firmed up for sure for a couple of weeks. The waiting game? Beyond stressful at this point!
At about 32 weeks I really started to feel the fatigue again. It’s not necessarily every day, but when it hits it’s real. We’ve been shooting a lot lately, prepping for when the baby comes so I can hopefully take a bit of real time off for a few weeks. On those shoot days I end up so exhausted I can feel it deep inside my muscles, like everything is vibrating or humming. Fatigue aside, I’m experiencing more tired muscles in general if I walk or stand for too long. Grocery shopping or running errands in general is becoming much less fun! It’s not necessarily causing me any pain, everything just feels tight, tired and in need of a serious massage. Otherwise, I am still having a pretty amazing pregnancy and have largely avoided just about every scary symptom and side effect you read about. I feel really really lucky and know that feeling so good throughout these months is what is allowing me to work double time and get myself into a position where taking time off will be a bit easier. Now that we’re entering the home stretch, I am hoping to be able to start slowing down in the next few weeks so I can do that whole nesting thing and just soak in the last days of being pregnant. I’m telling you it’s utter craziness!