3 Yummy Baby Food Recipes for Little Champions

This post was created in collaboration with Munchkin. It’s the little things. Thank you for
supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

When we started introducing Emerson to solids at around four months, it was always my intention to make all or as much of her food as possible. For the most part that is what we’ve been doing ever since, snippets of which I’ve shared on Snapchat several times now. What’s interesting to me is that when you tell people you make your baby’s food so often they seem sincerely shocked, as if you’ve accomplished some great feat on par with winning an Olympic gold medal. Spoiler alert! Making baby food is really really easy. Plus, you know exactly what you’re feeding your little one and have total control over all the ingredients, so you can making sure they’re eating nutritious, whole foods worthy of a little champion. Today I am excited to be teaming up with Munchkin, one of our absolute favorite baby brands (and one I’ve mentioned several times before), to share three yummy baby food recipes perfect for the over 6 month crowd! They’re not only healthful, nutritious and packed full of good-for-her foods, but they’re also tasty enough that any grown up’s palate would approve.

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

Butternut Squash + Quinoa with Basil

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel, slice and chunk up a small butternut squash. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and cumin, then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes until fork tender, turning occasionally for even roasting. Once roasted, allow to cool to room temperature. Place 2 – 3 tablespoons of squash and an equal amount of quinoa in a small bowl. Smash together with the back of a fork. Finely chop 1 – 2 basil leaves and work into the squash quinoa mixture. Bon appetitie, bébé! Tip: You can keep the ingredients separate in the fridge for up to a week and mix up small batches at mealtime. This one makes a great side for big people, too!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

Beet Pear Purée

  • 3 large beets
  • 3 medium to large pears

Peel and cube up the beets and pears. Separately, steam over high heat until tender. The pears will take much less time than the beets, which is why we keep them separate. Transfer both to a food processor and process on high until smooth, adding a bit of the leftover cooking liquid from the steaming process as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.

Roasted Red Pepper + Brown Rice

  • 3 whole roasted red peppers
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked

Roast three red bell peppers, then remove the skin. (A great resource if aren’t quite sure how to roast peppers.) Add peppers to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a bit of liquid (such as water or veggie stock) as necessary. Transfer puréed peppers to a mixing bowl and add in one cup of cooked brown rice. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes, then serve to baby right away or save for up to a week in the fridge!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

These days Emerson is starting to transition toward feeding herself a bit more, which is really fun, but also super messy. Let’s cut to the chase and put it right out there – I won’t judge you if you strip your baby down and feed her in just a diaper at this age! I’ve done it more than once myself. For a few months now we’ve been using the fresh food feeder from Munchkin to let her feed herself little snacks. Usually we stick a slice of apple or pear in there, but she also loves it with banana or blueberries. At the moment I swear by the stay-put suction bowls because I can toss in a few of her favorite little finger foods (generally quinoa, peas, black beans, roasted squash, cooked carrots and lentils), stick it to the tray of her high chair and she can have fun smashing it all over her face. (Which is the 8 month old version of feeding themselves if you didn’t know.) While she’s not exactly skilled at the spoon department, she knows what it is for and where it is supposed to go so it’s pretty fun watching her try to make it happen. Oh the determination! I love that Munchkin’s soft tip infant spoons are perfect for her to learn with and gnaw on while she’s in this fun stage of not-quite tiny baby and not-quite big baby.

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

Three Healthy Baby Food Recipes from @cydconverse and @munchkin | How to make baby food and baby feeding other tips!

I read somewhere and full heartedly agree that variety and flavor are the spice of life when it comes to feeding babies at this stage! Let them try all kinds of things and don’t be afraid to add in the same kinds of flavors, herbs and spices you’d use on your own food. (You know, just avoid things like pepper, salt and cayenne. Ha!) It’s no joke that baby meal times comprise a huge percentage of the day, so make it fun! Eat and play with your baby, have fun making them new recipes and try not to get frustrated when she ends up with quinoa up her nose when you have to be somewhere in a half hour. It’s all part of the journey! For more great tips, ideas and baby products to help you savor every victory, follow Munchkin on Facebook, PinterestTwitter and Instagram!

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[Recipes + photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This post was sponsored by Munchkin. All opinions and words are my own. Read more about our editorial policies. For more great ideas and tips, follow Munchkin on Facebook, PinterestTwitter and Instagram!

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Classic Negroni Recipe

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

In my continuing quest to share some of what I deem oldie but goodie cocktail recipes with you, today I present you with this negroni recipe! If you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, a negroni is an old man’s cocktail!” allow me to assure you – my sister agrees with you 100%. (Ha!) However, I know of a handful of rather stylish and chic women who agree with me that a negroni is just a damn fine cocktail. Perhaps you’d like to make one and decide for yourself? As it’s name might allude, the negroni is Italian in origin, pairing Campari with gin and vermouth. It’s sweeter than it’s martini counterpart, but it’s just as sophisticated in my book.

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipes
Makes 1 serving

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce Campari
  • 3/4 ounce vermouth
  • Orange peel to garnish (optional)

Fill an old fashioned glass with ice. Pour in gin, Campari and vermouth and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a fresh orange peel and sip!

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

To me a negroni is what I would best describe as a really great dinner party drink or a front porch sipping kind of a cocktail. It’s not really a backyard barbecue kind of drink although I’m not going to hate you if you offer me one. It’s definitely made for sipping, but the Campari makes it fun and the orange lightens the whole deal up a bit. Definitely give this one a try if you’re into the classics or if you’re already a martini fan! I think you may just surprise yourself with a new favorite.

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

Best Negroni Recipe | Best cocktail recipes, entertaining ideas, party ideas and more from @cydconverse

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls

This post was created in collaboration with V8. Real veggies for real people. Thank you for
supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

Last summer I was pregnant and could not get enough of everything frozen and fruity. This summer it is insanely hot on the east coast and I have had precisely zero interest in turning on my stove for weeks, effectively leading me to go back to craving all things frozen at every meal. Enter these fruity summer smoothie bowls! They’re my new favorite way to eat something wholesome and delicious, while also beating the summer heat. They’re made with V8 Veggie Blends juices, meaning they’re also loaded with veggie goodness. Maybe you hate eating veggies, or maybe your kids do. Now you can pack in all those good-for-you foods while also getting a break from the stifling summer heat. That, my friends, is the very definition of a win-win!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

The baby has a gaggle of little ladies around the block who absolutely adore her and they have all been taking turns coming over to visit and play with her over summer break. A couple of weeks ago it was approximately one million degrees out, so Emerson and I invited a couple of her pals over to cool off with a little afternoon treat. Ella and Charlie had lots of fun making smoothie bowls with us and I’m pretty sure they did not believe me when I told them afterward that those smoothie bowls also had a whole bunch of veggies hidden inside. Score! We topped our creations with lots of fresh fruit, coconut flakes, almonds and a sprinkle of dark chocolate for good measure, but I also love my smoothie bowls with dried fruit, granola and chia seeds, too. Yum!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people! How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people! How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

Summer Smoothie Bowls
Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup V8 Veggie Blends juice
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (berries, mango or bananas, etc.)
  • Toppings (fresh fruit, coconut, nuts, granola, dried fruit, chia seeds, etc.)

Begin by pouring the V8 Veggie Blends juice flavor of choice into your blender. (I am personally obsessed with the Pineapple Passion and Purple Power flavors!) Add frozen fruit and blend until smooth, but still thick, adding additional V8 Veggie Blends juice as necessary to create a smooth consistency. Pour smoothie mixture into a bowl and top to your heart’s delight!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

My favorite part about V8 Veggie Blends (and the reason they make amazing smoothie bowls) is that nothing is fake or artificial. There are no dyes, no processed junk and no added sugar, which you already know is something we try to be really mindful of in our day to day life. Plus, each 8oz serving packs in a full serving of vegetables meaning your smoothie bowls are not only going to taste incredible, but they’re also super nutritious. V8 believes in veggies for the masses, making veggie nutrition available to everyone. Their wide range of flavors (like Pineapple Passion, Carrot Mango, Red Radiance and Purple Power) also means there is something delicious for every palate! I’m crazy about the Purple Power (loaded with beets, purple carrots and apple) as well as the Pineapple Passion (made with sweet potatoes, pineapple, carrots and passionfruit.) But really? They are all seriously, sincerely delicious. For more tasty ways to get your veggies, join V8 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

How to Make Fresh Summer Smoothie Bowls | Made with amazing @v8juices - real veggies for real people!

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This post was sponsored by V8. All opinions and words are my own. Read more about our editorial policies. For more great recipes and veggie inspiration, follow V8 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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The Prettiest Shower Curtains You’ve Ever Seen

Pomeroy Plants Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

After the initial mad rush to tackle some of the first big renovation projects around the house immediately after closing, we’ve taken an extended break over the last several weeks as the rest of our life took precedence again. We pretty much look like we just moved in like a week ago. Not exaggerating. With my sister’s wedding this weekend, we’re going to have a few weeks that are a little quieter coming up and I’m looking forward to finally getting us feeling more settled and cozy around here. Allow that long winded introduction to be my way of saying that I believe in the power of a good shower curtain. Not only can the right shower curtain liven up a space and make it feel more personal, but it can also help distract from an otherwise lackluster bathroom. I have one of those! The lackluster bathroom, that is. Now I need the statement making shower curtain. So today I present you with my picks for the prettiest shower curtains you’ve ever seen. Which one would you pick?

1. Pomeroy plants shower curtain [above]

Jardin Des Plantes Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

2. Jardin des Plantes shower curtain

French Tassel Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

3. French tassel shower curtain

4040 Locust Wyatt Space Dyed Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

4. Space dyed shower curtain

Catamarca Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

5. Catamarca shower curtain

Forest Critters Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

6. Forest critters shower curtain

Isra Floating Weft Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

7. Isra floating weft shower curtain

Quiet Town Shower Curtain | Pretty shower curtains and more home decor ideas from @cydconverse

8. Quiet Town shower curtain

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Sparkling Margaritas + My Summer Entertaining Essentials

This post was created in collaboration with Lunazul Tequila. One sip, and you know. Thank you for
supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

Summer Entertaining Essentials from @cydconverse | Summer party ideas, cocktail recipes and more!

Since closing on our house a few months ago, we’ve been doing quite a bit of entertaining even by our standards. Of course we love to entertain as it is, but over the last several weeks we’ve had friends in and out to check out the house, hosted several impromptu barbecues, and this week we have house guests and family milling about as we gear up for my sister’s wedding this weekend. All in all, the house is quickly evolving into exactly what we hoped it would be – a hub for our friends and loved ones to gather and celebrate. I have a few hostess tricks up my sleeve that help make this kind of on-the-fly entertaining a lot simpler than it probably sounds, which is what we’re talking about today! I’m breaking down my must-have summer entertaining essentials. For me this includes everything from a stash of paper straws of nearly epic proportions (because they make even lemonade feel real fancy) and a go-to pitcher cocktail recipe featuring Lunazul Tequila that is out of this world. Seriously. By the time you text your friends and tell them to pop over, you can have this sparkling margarita recipe prepped and ready to go when they show up at the front door. So let’s hop to it, shall we? Three cheers for easy, awesome summer entertaining!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

I’m pretty sure you guys know I’m a margarita lover from way back. The kind made with real lime juice and simple syrup, and never from a mix. That said you also know that I like to keep things fuss-free, while still feeling really special when entertaining guests. That’s where Lunazul Tequila comes into play. It’s the ideal tequila for serving up a big pitcher of margaritas at your next backyard shindig. It’s simple, uncomplicated and just really good. It’s the type of spirit you want to keep on hand for impromptu gatherings or for when you just get a craving for a margarita. During a summer as hot as this one, that’s practically every day for me lately. You can’t hate a girl for that!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more! Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margaritas
Makes 24 servings

  • 4 cups fresh lime juice
  • 10 oz Lunazul Tequila
  • 6 oz orange liqueur
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 2 bottles of prosecco
  • Fresh limes to garnish
  • Sea salt or margarita salt (optional)

In a large cocktail pitcher, add the lime juice, Lunazul Tequila, orange liqueur and simple syrup. Stir to to combine with a big spoon. I prefer my margaritas every so slightly tart, so feel free to add additional simple syrup if you prefer a sweeter drink. (Add a little at a time until you hit your desired sweetness level.) To serve, fill a cocktail glass (with or without salt per your guests’ personal preferences) with ice and pour half full with margarita mixture. Top off with prosecco, stir then garnish with a fresh lime wedge. Don’t forget your obligatory paper straw!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more! Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more! Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

When in doubt, here are my best quick tips for throwing a party that won’t drive you crazy. Cold cocktails. Something to nibble on. (Chips and guac anyone?) A few cute details and accessories. (Those paper straws again, friends. Seriously. People love them.) And in the summer, bring on the color! Maybe it’s a great serving tray, some cute melamine plates or a vase full of festive grocery store flowers. If you’re feeling frisky (as I usually am), perhaps it’s all of the above. Keep scrolling for the details on my entertaining essentials, and be sure to follow Lunazul Tequila on Facebook, and Instagram for loads of great summer party ideas!

Summer Entertaining Essentials from @cydconverse | Summer party ideas, cocktail recipes and more!

Summer Entertaining Essentials from @cydconverse | Summer party ideas, cocktail recipes and more! Summer Entertaining Essentials from @cydconverse | Summer party ideas, cocktail recipes and more!

Summer Entertaining Essentials from @cydconverse | Summer party ideas, cocktail recipes and more!

Summer Entertaining Essentials from @cydconverse | Summer party ideas, cocktail recipes and more!

Summer Entertaining Essentials

  • Lunazul Tequila (for perfect, simple, uncomplicated summer cocktails)
  • Paper straws (for dressing up beverages of all varieties)
  • Melamine plates (cute, colorful and summery, they’ll instantly dress up a table)
  • Wooden utensils (inexpensive, less mess than flatware, but cuter than plastic)
  • Serving tray (for serving up drinks, of course)
  • Picnic blanket (for extra seating or use it as a tablecloth)
  • Drink pitcher (for your next batch of sparkling margaritas)
  • Bottle opener (to keep all your party wares coordinated)
  • Cloth napkins (because they make things feel a bit more special)
  • Cocktail glasses (from which to sip your cocktails, naturally)

Sparkling Margarita Recipe from @cydconverse | Summer entertaining ideas, summer cocktails and more!

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[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lunazul Tequila. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post was sponsored by Lunazul Tequila. All opinions and words are my own. Read more about our editorial policies. For more cocktail recipes and summer party ideas, follow Lunazul on Facebook, and Instagram!

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