Our Favorite Beers for Late Summer and Fall

While I would never call us beer aficionados, B and I really love trying new beers. Whether it’s a new seasonal release or something interesting on tap, we have a lot of fun exploring all the many awesome craft beers on the market. In general we’re huge fans of pretty much every variety of Samuel Adams with just a few exceptions. In summer we love a good shandy, hefeweizen or summer ale. In the next few weeks we’ll start to move a bit darker and by the time fall is in full swing we’ll be all out loving on various Octoberfest varieties, darker porters, harvest ales and pumpkin inspired brews. Today I’m giving you our favorite beers for late summer, transitioning into fall! Some of the summer beers are already becoming scarce in stores so when we find them we tend to stock up, but in late August I’m still not quite ready for fall seasonals. While we have a lot of other beers that we love, these are some of favorite go-to standbys this time of year. Is there any you’d recommend? We’d love to give them a try!

Favorite Beers for Late Summer and Fall from @cydconverse

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[Leinenkugel Summer Shandy | Samuel Adams Summer Ale | Ballast Point Pale Ale | Blue Moon | Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat | Samuel Adams Boston Lager | Samuel Adams Octoberfest | Harpoon Pumpkin UFO | Abita Pecan Harvest Ale.]

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Pretty Back to School Supplies for Grown Ups

Our summer schedule has been so hectic (in a really awesome way) between weddings, parties, family functions and trying to pack the boys’ summer vacation full of fun things like camping, swimming and trips to the water park. With the school year kicking off next week, I’m definitely feeling in need of some renewed organization to get my work schedule back on track. I haven’t been able to log as many hours as I’d have liked in the studio this summer so next week my focus is going to be all about setting some new work hours, getting the studio space finished (finally!) in time for the craziness of the upcoming holiday season. So here are a few things I’m loving right now, all which make me feel a little bit more inspired and give my inner organizer a happy little kick. Is anyone else shopping for grown up back to school supplies?

Pretty Back to School Supplies for Grown Ups from @cydconverse

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[1: Stacked storage boxes | 2: Like a boss mug | 3: Tape dispenser | 4: Cow photo print | 5: Gold cake stand tray | 6: Felt tip markers | 7: iPhone case | 8: Fountain pen | 9: Forged iron utility shears.]

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10 Best Back to School DIY Ideas

10 Best Back to School DIY Ideas from @cydconverseNext week marks the official start of the school year for us and I just can’t believe that summer vacation is nearly over! I know school has already started back up in many parts of the country, but I still wanted to take today to share some of the best back to school DIY ideas. I always loved starting the school year feeling fresh and organized and ready to tackle the academic year ahead. Did anyone else always feel that way?

From irresistibly cute printables to fun teacher’s gift ideas, there’s a little bit of everything here and a whole lot of fun for kicking off the school year with a bang. Ready to get started? Click through for 10 of the best back to school DIY ideas!

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Three Camping DIYs + Monday Link Love

Hi friends! Happy Monday to you! We’re back from four awesome days of camping, boating, swimming and relaxing with our family and friends and I’m already looking forward to our trip next year. Today is a day that will be spent doing laundry from the weekend (I swear we made more laundry in four days than we did in the last year), cleaning up all of our camping gear and getting back in the swing of things. While I’m working on that, I wanted to stop in with one last dose of camping love today, sharing three awesome camping inspired DIY ideas and a whole bunch of camping theme link love. Here in our area, this next week is a popular camping time heading into Labor Day weekend so hopefully you find a little something here to inspire your camping adventures if you’re packing up and heading out this week. Hip hip hooray for camping!

Camping Inspired DIYs

[DIY campfire cooking station | DIY camp chair cover | DIY herb  firestarter.]

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DIY Bottled Cocktails

I’m going to take you back a few years now. Make that nine years. To the apartment I lived in during my senior of college, which more closely resembled a shanty tacked onto the back of a decrepit former frat house than an actual apartment. Where friends packed in tight to sit on a creaky metal futon and watch Project Runway. Where the winter cold seeped in through every crack possible and the pipes in the bathroom froze on a regular basis. It was truly a ramshackle little place, but it was also a place where awesome memories were made. Incidentally, it’s also where I first learned how to brew beer and make wine at home, an experience that ultimately lead me to try bottling my own cocktails. So here’s the thing. Bottled cocktails are so smart. You can make them in advance to stock up the cooler before a camping trip (which is what I did this week) so you don’t have to mess around with bottles of booze and mixers. They’re also perfect for weddings and parties and backyard barbecues, picnics at the park, tailgating or just stocking the fridge at home.

DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse

To get started, you’ll need to pick up a few specialty items at a local home brewing shop or you can order online using the links below. While there’s a little bit of an upfront cost, the best part is that everything here is reusable (save for the bottle caps) so you can make your own bottled cocktails over and over again once you have everything you need. That’s the long way of saying, don’t be daunted by this because it’s fun, easy, awesome and sure to impress your friends.

DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse

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Begin by washing your glass bottles and allow them to dry completely. Then it’s time to mix up your cocktail of choice! I’ve read that if you’re planning to keep your cocktails unrefrigerated for an extended period of time that it’s best to avoid citrus mixers, as they tend to be less shelf stable than those with other ingredients. That said, I don’t usually make these too far in advance. I haven’t had any issues with using citrus mixers and keeping them for a few days before taking them on a camping trip or serving them at a party. Once you’ve determined your cocktail of choice, mix it in a pitcher and use a small funnel to fill each bottle. If you’re going with a carbonated or sparkling cocktail, be sure to pour short of the neck of the bottle so the carbonation has somewhere to release when you open your cocktails later.

DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse

DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse

Next up, it’s time to cap those bottles! You’ll need the crown capper for this, which is really easy to use. Just place a cap on top of each bottle, center the capper over top of it and then push the handles down. It takes a little bit of elbow grease to get the job done, but overall it’s a very simple process. It takes just a few seconds to cap each bottle so you can do up a whole bunch in fairly short order. From start to finish, including mixing up my cocktails, it took me less than a half hour to bottle and cap an entire case worth of cocktails. Boom!

DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse

When it comes time to serve ‘em up, you can stick a straw in it or just sip directly from the bottle. Or you can load up a glass with ice and pour over top. Totally your pick! I tend to like my campground/backyard cocktails in a mason jar filled to the top with ice, but the best part about these bad boys is that there is no glass required. This is the part where I tell you that I hope you give these a try. Because I really really do. They’re so much fun and people think they’re really cool, which they are. (And, so are you.) If you do make up your own bottled cocktails shoot me a photo on Instagram or Twitter and I’d love to see!

DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse

DIY Bottled Cocktails by @cydconverse

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[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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