May 4, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Over the winter, the sweet Lauren of Lauren Werkheiser Photography shared her super yummy homemade chocolate truffles with us and today she’s back! These lemon-lavender hand pies are a perfect treat now that the sun is shining and everything lemon seems to be the order of the day. (At least for me, anyway.) They’d make a sweet addition to your Mother’s Day brunch, too! Actually, I need breakfast and I could totally go for these.
For the Dough
- 2-1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 sticks butter, cold
- 1/4 cup cold water
For the Filling
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 lemons
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the Icing
- 1/2 cup powered sugar
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon culinary lavender
Preheat oven to 400°. Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in cubed, cold butter. Once mixed in, add in ice water. Roll into a ball and refrigerate one hour. Lightly flour a surface and roll out dough. Using a cookie cutter, or small cup, cut out two circles for every pie you are making. Repeat until you run out of dough.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix until combined. Add cornstarch, juice from both lemons and salt. Zest lemons and add 1/2 tbs. into the mixture. Heat this mixture on low heat about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Once thick, remove from heat and let cool completely. In the center of a circle, scoop 1 tsp. lemon curd filling. Place second circle over and seal edges with a fork. Using a standard egg wash mixture, brush lightly over the top and bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
In a small bowl, mix together powered sugar and the juice from one lemon to create a glaze. When no clumps of sugar remain, pour over the hand pies. Sprinkle on culinary lavender. Serve warm and enjoy!
[Recipe + photos by Lauren Werkheiser Photography.]
April 28, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Historically speaking, I tend to be the type who buys an iPhone case and keeps the same one for months or even years, until it’s completely beat up. Lately though I’ve been into changing my chase up more often and kind of feel a little, “Duh, why wasn’t I doing this before?” about the whole situation. At the moment I’m loving a clear case that shows off the back metallic panel on my phone, but decided to jazz mine up with a bit of metallic rose gold foil, because, why not? Today I am sharing the crazy easy DIY tutorial with you so can rock a pretty DIY iPhone case, too. Of course, this will work for you Android lovers, too. No discrimination here!
To get started, all you need is a clear phone case and metallic foil washi tape. I picked up this 3-pack in the scrapbook/washi tape aisle at Michael’s. Actually, I picked up about three 3-packs, because I have a feeling I’ll be putting this stuff on everything, but I digress. Give your case a good cleaning with Windex (which helps break down any fingerprints or oils leftover from your hands) and let it dry and then you’re ready to go.
You’ll need to decide on the number of stripes you’d like and your placement. I did that by doing just unrolling some of the tape and playing around with it a bit. The tape is paper-backed so you don’t have to worry about it sticking prematurely. When you’ve roughed out a plan of action, cut strips of the tape slightly longer than the width of your phone, with enough room to wrap up and around the sides. I chose five stripes, you do what works for you. Then you can remove the paper backing from the first strip of tape.
Then it’s time to start sticking down your stripes! I did so just by eyeballing the placement and tapping down the center of the piece of tape before smoothing toward the outside edges. When you reach the edge, wrap it around and over the front lip so that your stripes will continue around the front edge and give it a really clean and professional look. Repeat the process for as many stripes as you like and you’re all set!
Ahhh isn’t it so fun? I seriously love it! Now, a disclaimer to wrap things up. As this is washi tape and washi tape is thin, this embellishment is by no means permanent. That said, it does no damage to your phone case and it’s kind of fun to be able to switch things up and play with different colors of tape or different patterns, too. For me and how I use my phone, the tape generally holds up for about two weeks, which isn’t too shabby for a quick and inexpensive iPhone case makeover!
[Design + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo
April 22, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
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sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
Friends, I’m excited to share with you a little mini master bedroom makeover that I recently tackled! This room has been on my list since we moved in over a year ago and it has been essentially neglected. This is the opposite of my usual approach. Typically when I move the master bedroom is my first priority, because I always feel that a settled and happy bedroom makes all the other moving stress much more manageable. I don’t know why that didn’t happen this time around, but I knew that it was time to get it done. So, when Valspar asked me to make over a room in our house featuring one of the colors from their Color Trends 2015 palettes, I knew exactly what was going down. The four palettes each feature six beautifully coordinated Valspar colors, hand selected to help you work current design and color trends into your decor without skipping a beat. Also, the colors are just super gorgeous.
Oh, man. It pains me physically, emotionally and psychologically to share this before photo. Granted, the room has amazing architecture. It’s actually a huge room and the pine plank floors are a dream. They were hidden under the ugliest forest green carpet when we first saw the house, but having spied the plank floors along the landing at the top of the stairs, I got right down on my hands and knees in the closet and started tugging on a corner. Happily, the plank floors were under there and our landlord agreed to ripping up all the old carpet. Joy! The honey mustard walls on the other hand? Sadness. Complete and utter sadness. I hated them from day one (we know how I feel about yellow in general, I mean come on) and then somehow just didn’t get around to changing the color.
So a couple of weeks ago, the makeover was on. I’d always wanted to go with a very pale gray or slightly off-white color in this room. I wanted the warmth of a bit of color, but essentially just wanted to keep it very neutral and light, with loads of texture. Our old bed was entirely too large for the sloped attic ceilings and our boxspring didn’t fit up the narrow stairs of our 1907 house, so one thing we had already done was build a very simple pine frame platform bed. All of those elements taken into consideration, and Valspar’s Transparent VR106E ended up being the absolute perfect color. From the Sixth Sense color trends palette, it’s a moody and modern gray/white color with a bit of a green undertone so it doesn’t read overly blue and cold, but nor does it look brown or yellow at all. It’s officially my new favorite color. It is just so peaceful and calming. Together, the entire Sixth Sense palette is all about a balance between modern technology and a peaceful living environment. For me, the colors just speak to me.
To get started, the whole room got a coat of Valspar Optimus in the eggshell finish, which is available at Ace Hardware stores. And yes, the room got just the one coat with just a few little touch ups here and there. I raved about this paint formula when I painted our front door, and here I am raving again. It’s just that good. It’s a true one-coat paint and primer formula that is sincerely genius. Next up, I rolled out the new carpet I had already purchased a couple of months ago but had not yet put in place. The carpet is perfect in the space and added just the right amount of pattern and texture. Then I just made the bed with our usual bedding (it’s all the same as in the before photo, just styled differently), hung up some of the artwork I inherited from my grandmother’s collection and called it good. So seriously simple and yet the room is completely transformed.
Yikes! Man, that was bad. It’s funny how you become desensitized to something and then seeing it all fresh and crisp and new you become painfully aware of what you were living with before. Granted, the room looked a little cozier before these photos were taken, but I took them quickly after I had already cleared a lot of things out of the room. At any rate, you get the point. It was in sad, sorry shape. It just wasn’t a space that was welcoming or made you want to hang out, which I think a bedroom should be. If ever there were a testament to the power of color, this makeover would be it for sure! Old, tired, sickly paint is never anyone’s friend.
Does anyone else have a room you’ve been neglecting that could use a makeover? The Valspar Color Trends 2015 selections include a ton of gorgeous neutrals, earth tones, jewel tones and brighter shades to suit any style and any home. Because they’re already grouped together into those mini palettes it makes choosing colors that work well together super simple even for those who might be intimidated about selecting paint. I love so many of the colors and am so thrilled with out how our room looks transformed with a wash of soft white. It’s the perfect, restful den I was aiming for and a much-needed respite after spending long days tethered to my computer and iPhone.
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
Paint is Valspar Optimus from Ace Hardware in Transparent
Pintuck bedding from West Elm
White throw pillows from Target
Gray quilt from HomeGoods
Rug from Rugs USA
Nightstands are an IKEA Rast hack
Candle holders from Target
Wood elephant is vintage (it was my grandmother’s)
Illustrated art print by local artist Paul Lee
This post was sponsored by Valspar. This post contains affiliate links. Read more about our editorial policies.
April 21, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
It’s been a bit since our last color palette, so it felt like high time to get on that today. This color palette is matching the weather perfectly at the moment. We’ve had this weird mix of it this week, spurts of torrential rain and high winds followed by loads of sunshine. Yesterday the power was even out for most of the day, a result of fallen trees here, there and just about everywhere. So these pretty painterly jewel tones are where it’s right now for me.
[Photos, from top: Leslie Shewring via decor8 | Yao Cheng via The House the Lars Built | Jen Huang Photography.]
April 20, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
I’m struggling to find words to write this post today, although I’ve been meaning to sit down and do so for nearly a week now. I’ve been wanting to do so in part because I realize over the last week or so my posts have gotten sporadic at best and also, in part, because my grandmother has long been my number one fan. Now well into her 80s, she has been a daily reader since my very first posts back in 2008, but long before that she was my first editor and first sounding board when I’d bring her my short stories and novellas to read as a little girl. (Always by way of the white wicker basket on my bike. Always.) With that in mind, it doesn’t seem right not to acknowledge that right now, even as I type, my life and that of my family as a whole is in the process of changing forever.