July 6, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
I am precisely 100% sure I want nothing more these days than to spend them lounging on the beach. As in, every day. All day long. I have a case of summer vacation that is strong and real right now, friends. No joke. For some reason this year I am feeling really nostalgic about the summers of my youth. Backyard picnics, days spent reading thick books, toes buried in the sand, bathing suits worn under every outfit, hair bleached out from excessive use of Sun In. Ok, ok, I would skip the latter this time around, but the hot sunny lazy beach days? I’d take all of those. Today it’s an ode to the beach with these 12 beach-ready DIY ideas. Bring it on, summer! I am so ready for you.
1. DIY pom pom beach coverup [above]
2. DIY watermelon beach hat
3. DIY cooler makeover
4. DIY off the shoulder beach dress
5. DIY beach umbrella
6. DIY embroidered sun hat
7. DIY graphic beach towels
8. DIY summer nail art
9. DIY picnic basket
10. DIY tassel tote bag
11. DIY pom pom bikini
12. DIY embroidered picnic blanket
June 29, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Last year I was having a little love affair with pretty iPhone wallpaper designs and I rounded up a bunch of pretty patterns for summer. Turns out, that post was a random runaway hit with you guys, telling me that you love a good wallpaper download as much as I do. So, why not do it again? Today I’ve pulled together my current favorite wallpaper picks to dress up your phone and your desktop throughout the summer months. Bring on the flamingos, florals and popsicles, please and thank you! See even more iPhone wallpaper for summer right here!
[Row 1: Abstract flowers | Underwater | Ohh la la | Row 2: Watercolor flamingo | Palm leaves | Watercolor flowers | Row 3: Shibori | Painting | Dive right in | Row 4: Maya Angelou | Abstract pattern | Watercolor chain.]
June 27, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Our internet was down earlier without reason so I gladly stole some extra baby snuggles and spent some time thinking about this post. We’ll jump right into the cliches as I proclaim that I can’t believe that little Baby E is already seven months old. Really, how does it go so fast? Even when you know the time is going to fly, that each stage is fleeting, that every phase is finite, somehow, it still seems to pass in a blur. Sometimes it’s a blur of sleepless nights and spit up. Sometimes it’s a blur of giggles and hand clapping. Mostly we’re experiencing primarily the latter these days, although I still wear baby puke on my clothes far often than I should admit. And unless it’s a really bad one, I don’t even bother changing anymore. Keeping it really classy here today, friends. At any rate, it has been a couple of months so I wanted to take a minute and share a baby update with you! The last time around, E was five months old and I was struggling to find my groove. Now we’re seven months old and so so much has changed!
Because her birthday was so near to Thanksgiving, her one month checkup would have fallen right around Christmas and therefore got pushed into the new year so all of her appointments have happened behind schedule. All of that being a long winded way of saying that her six month appointment and shots aren’t until this Friday, which is actually ten days or so after she turned seven months old. All of that also being a long winded way of saying I don’t have her latest weight and length stats to share, but I can guarantee we’re still going to be at well over the 90th percentile for length. Our already long-limbed girl has been growing like a weed in recent weeks (although we still don’t have any teeth) and I swear it seems already like she’s transforming from baby to toddler in a way that makes me cry. Literally. Like three times a week. I’m officially that mom. She’s now rolling over easily, sitting up on her own, eating lots of homemade organic veggies and fruits 2 to 3 times a day, mimicking you if you clap to her, paying attention when you turn the pages during story time, sleeping on her belly at night and logging a lot of hours jumping in her bouncer. Every so often it even seems like she’s starting to hug you back when you squeeze her close and she seems to understand what kisses are, even if she’s not yet giving them back. Lately she’s been sleeping clear through the night from about 8 o’clock until 7 o’clock in the morning, always in her crib in her room all on her own like a big kid. Like I said. She’s basically barely even a baby anymore.
I’m sure all parents think so, but we’re pretty convinced that this tiny little girl is smart. Like, smart smart. She appears to really get things and understand them quickly. She is perpetually curious and is constantly observing what’s going on around her. If it’s watching her big siblings play or checking out the dog or people watching when we’re visiting friends, she is like a little sponge soaking it all up. She is also easily the happiest, friendliest baby I’ve ever seen, readily giving of her big, infectious slightly lopsided grin. Sometimes she just wants her mommy, as babies do, but for the most part she is seemingly content to be social and doesn’t much mind being passed around a room. When her big siblings get home or Daddy comes home after a long week of work (because he’s still gone Monday morning until Friday evening most weeks), she gets outright gleeful, clapping her hands and reaching for them eagerly. She babbles and sings and makes bird-like chirps and noises (mostly resembling those of a pigeon) for hours, a constant stream of da-da-da and ma-ma-ma and na-na-na happening around the clock. And, guys, that giggle. If you have a tiny baby who isn’t laughing yet, or you’re pregnant or you’re longing to be a mommy, I promise you that those baby giggles are everything. You can be wearing crusty puke speckled clothes with bags under your eyes for days, but that giggle will solve all of your woes.
This past weekend we took her on her first picnic and she also got to go to the beach for the first time and go swimming! I snapped all of these photos on my iPhone 6s and edited them on my favorite app (A Color Story) and they were too cute not to share. We’ll be taking more family portraits soon with Alice (we’re trying to do them every few months for the first couple of years of her life as she’s changing so quickly), but I also chase her around daily taking photos. She has been loving being outside so far this summer since things really warmed up and got sunny. Yesterday after her little dip in the water she was content to simply lay on her beach blanket and play with her hands and toys, and pull grass and toss it around. We’re looking forward to taking her camping and boating and kayaking all summer long! Honestly, we’re at a stage right now where it all feels a like too quick. A little too temporary. This age is so fun and so so rewarding (when some of the early months you’re just trying to survive) that I sincerely wish with all my heart that I could pause time for even just a little while. I’m not ready for her to crawl or walk or talk, because I want so badly to savor the sweetness that she radiates every day right now. I’m doing my best to hang on tight and enjoy the ride. Certainly she is my greatest adventure yet!
Baby’s Outfits –
Floral dress from Old Navy | Straw sun hat from Old Navy | Cherry bikini from Target | Picnic blanket DIY tutorial
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
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June 24, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Over the last few months I’ve mentioned spending a lot more time on Snapchat, which has taken me by surprise! About a year ago I played around with it and I just didn’t get what the hype was all about. So I deleted the app off my phone and that was that…until it wasn’t. For whatever reason earlier this year I decided to give it another go and low and behold, I fell in love. It is very quickly becoming my favorite social media platform! That said, a common critique I hear from new users is that they don’t know who to follow on Snapchat or how to find people to follow. Admittedly because the app doesn’t have any kind of general or public feed, it can be a little tricky. Again, I think that’s actually part of the intentional design of the platform, forcing you to seek people out, so today I thought I’d share my short list of 10 cool creatives to follow on Snapchat. (Additionally, don’t forget you can use Snapchat to search your contacts in your phone if you want to connect with more people you know in real life, too! I always forget that. Oops!) Click through for some of my favorite Snapchatters and feel free to give me a follow, too! My username on the snaps is cydconverse and I’ve been updating more frequently, so if you’re curious about what’s happening in reno land or what I have brewing for posts behind the scenes, that is where you’ll find it!
June 22, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
As a rule I like to keep a well stocked bar at our house at all times for a few different reasons. The primary of those reasons, far and away, is because I really love being able to mix a guest’s drink of choice on a whim. Generally speaking if you keep a good array of spirits and mixers around, you’ll be able to do that or at least come up with a close second. In addition to keeping the bar stocked, over the last couple of years I’ve taken to wanting to perfect my hand at some of the classic cocktail recipes that were probably a bit too sophisticated for my youth. Think martinis, Manhattns, Old Fashioneds, Negronis and the like. So today, I’m sharing my version of a pretty perfect vodka martini. I like mine shaken so it’s super cold with a twist. As it turns out, I also love a good gin martini, dirty with lots of olives. Total opposites. Both amazing in different ways. If you’re new to true martinis (as in, not the kind loaded with chocolate and syrups and sweet liqueurs) beware that they are surely meant for sipping lest you want to fall down after just one drink. Not a good look anyone, friends. Do with this information what you will, but herewith I present you with one very ladylike vodka martini with a twist. Cheers!
Classic Vodka Martini with a Twist
- 4 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce dry vermouth
- Lemon for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker to the top with ice. Add vodka and vermouth, then shake until the shaker is super cold to the touch. Optionally, add a small squeeze of lemon to the shaker before shaking. Pour chilled vodka mixture into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist or slice. For a super chilly drink, you can opt to chill your martini glasses for 15 – 20 minutes prior to mixing your drink.
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]