Friday Link Love

Friends, I do believe I overdid it yesterday. After shooting all day I had to practically drag myself into bed at 8:30 last night, and today I have just not been able to bounce back. I had a standard OB appointment this morning (where everything was looking really great), and since then I have just been unable to shake the fatigue. So, all of that said, I’m throwing in the towel. I am actually going to crawl into bed for a bit this afternoon and hope that I bounce back and feel energized going into the weekend so I can get a few things done around the house and get a jumpstart on work for the week. In the meantime, here’s wishing you all a beautiful weekend! xoxo

Printable Halloween Treat Bags from @cydconverse

[One of my favorite Halloween posts of yore – download your printable BOO! Halloween treat bags! Photo by StudioDIY for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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5 Party Pins from the Week

Last week I asked you guys to chime in by taking the holiday reader survey and your responses have been so helpful as I’m planning away for the next couple of months! (By the way, you can still take the survey for a chance to win a $50 J.Crew gift card!) Not surprisingly, a whole bunch of you cited Pinterest as one of your favorite ways to scout out holiday ideas and recipes, so I thought I’d make sure all of you are following me over there. If not, you can do so right here! Of course I share lots of my own projects and posts, but I also pin inspiration from all of my favorite blogs and sites, too. In fact, Pinterest is hands down my favorite social media platform, without a doubt. Today I am running out the door for another all-day shoot and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite party pins from the week. I feel like I went on a bit of a Pinterest binge this week, and I couldn’t resist sharing a few pins that really caught my eye. In the meantime, have a great day and I’ll be back tomorrow!

DIY Feather Cupcake Toppers

[DIY Feather Cupcake Toppers from A Subtle Revelry.]

DIY Birthday Balloons

[DIY Balloon Letters from Oh Happy Day.]

DIY Glitter Crowns

[DIY Glitter Crowns from A Subtle Revelry.]

DIY Hand Painted Wrapping Paper

[DIY Hand Painted Wrapping Paper from Lay Baby Lay.]

DIY Wall Banner

[DIY Wall Banner by Lay Baby Lay for Land of Nod.]

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DIY Black Lace Candle Holders

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

As much as I really, truly love Halloween (or, more specifically, watching Hocus Pocus on repeat), I will admit it is just not traditionally my go-to holiday when it comes to crafting. I feel like it comes so quickly after summer and I tend to go much bigger for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so Halloween feels a bit too much like work. That said, this year I wanted to come up with a Halloween-inspired craft that was quick, simple and totally doable for those of you who, like me, just don’t want to be bothered with intricate, time consuming Halloween projects. Enter these super pretty DIY black lace candle holders! They aren’t strictly Halloween either, because you could keep these out all year long or make them with any color lace you choose. Ready to get started? Let’s get crafty, friends!

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

supplies

  • Clear candle holders or vases
  • Scissors
  • Assorted lace and/or sequin trim
  • E6000, hot glue or similar
  • White candles

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

Begin with glass candle holders (or clear vases would work, too) that have been thoroughly cleaned and dried. Then measure your lace trim around the circumference of the candle holder by simply holding it up to judge the length you’ll need. I picked my lace and sequins up in the by-the-yard trim section at Joann. Be forewarned, trims like these can be a bit pricey, but you can find great coupons online for Joann pretty much 100% of the time and they have great sales, too. Allowing for a bit of overlap, trim your lace to size with scissors.

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

Next up, place a small bead of glue along the bottom rim of your candle holder and tap the corner of one end of the trim into the bead of glue to secure it in place. If you’re using hot glue, take care not to burn yourself. If you’re using E6000 or something similar, be sure to work in a super well-ventilated area or, even better, wear a mask while you’re working especially if you’re pregnant like this lady. (Yes, I skipped out on sharing photos of my mask-clad face. Nobody needs to see that sight!) Continue running a bead of glue along the rim, pausing every so often to secure the trim in place. When you get to the end, pull it taught and then glue down the edge where the trim overlaps onto itself. Allow the adhesive to dry completely and you’re all set!

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

DIY Black Lace Candle Holders by @cydconverse

Load these bad boys up with candles (I personally prefer white candles with the black lace), give them a light and you have instant Halloween decor! Albeit of the really pretty, somewhat Victorian-inspired variety, which I totally dig. Scatter a handful of these beauties around the house with these DIY Halloween spider lanterns of yore and you’ll be ready for the trick or treaters when they come knocking at your door!

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[Art direction + 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 a maximum of 1 – 2 images from 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

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Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party

This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl® Cocktails. Thank you for
supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Back in March when I was in New York at the Skinnygirl® Cocktails Influencer Summit along with a bunch of other awesome ladies, we had the opportunity to take a really fun cooking class and enjoy lunch together at My Cooking Party. The chefs at My Cooking Party had created the most amazing menu, all inspired by and using various Skinnygirl® Cocktails wines and spirits. It was such a fun afternoon and I’ve been excited about sharing a bit of that experience with you! Today I’m dishing up two of the recipes we made that day, which is just about all you need to host a ladies night dinner party with your best girls. Don’t forget the wine, of course.

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

vodka-sauce

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 pint crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian spices
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 6-8 large basil leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Place a sauce pan over high heat until hot. Add extra virgin olive oil and butter to the pain. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté over medium-high heat until the shallots are translucent. Add Italian spices and mix well. Reduce heat to low and remove pan from the heat. Add the Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka and carefully return the pan to the heat. The alcohol will catch fire and burn off, so be sure to angle the pan away from you and keep your face away from the flame. Return the heat to high and continue cooking until the flames have died down. Mix in the heavy cream, paprika, basil and crushed tomatoes. Season to taste with black pepper and salt, cooking uncovered for 8 minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from the heat, add parmesan cheese and mix well.

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Now, while I’m always an advocate of making homemade pasta if you feel up to it, let me tell you a little secret. This vodka sauce recipe is so over the top delicious that all you really need to do is pick up some fresh pasta from the local market or specialty shop and pair it with this sauce to make the most incredible meal. Invite your girls over to join you in the kitchen chopping, dicing and stirring and you have the makings of the ultimate ladies night!

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Host a Ladies Night Dinner Party by @cydconverse

Next up, dessert! And guess what? I’ve got another delicious and simple recipe that will make you the belle of the dinner party ball in a flash. First, you’ll need to swing by your favorite bakery for the yummiest brownies you can find. Yup, we’re talking about buying brownies instead of baking them. We’re getting rebellious! Then, whip up this fresh, sweet raspberry coulis with which to drown said brownies and you’ll have an over the top dessert in no time.

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

raspberry-coulis

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons Skinnygirl® Sweet’arita
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon

Place raspberries in a sauce pan. Add lemon juice, zest, Skinnygirl® Sweet’arita and sugar, and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the pan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the liquid into a blender and mix for 2 minutes on high. Strain the coulis through a fine strainer.

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

I am crazy about this idea for a ladies night, because I honestly just love cooking with and for people so much. I really can’t think of anything more fun than gathering in the kitchen and making a killer dinner with friends. And I’m serious when I promise that these recipes are the perfect secret weapons to have stashed up your sleeve. Speaking of which, have you signed up for the Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers program yet? If not, you need to jump on it! When you get on the list, you gain exclusive access to special perks, discounts, rewards and exclusive behind-the-scenes info. Once a month you’ll get the opportunity to take advantage of awesome promotions and win some amazing prizes! In addition, you’ll get loads of fun party ideas, recipes, cocktails and more, brought to you by me and some of my blogger friends, all inspired by our favorite Skinnygirl® Cocktails beverages.

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

Brownies with Fresh Raspberry Coulis by @cydconverse

And there you have it, friends! Your shortcut to the best ladies night in the history of ever. For more recipes and ideas, follow Skinnygirl® Cocktails on Instagram and don’t forget to get yourself all signed up for the Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers program!

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

Skinnygirl® Cocktails is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. (“Beam”) and is used with permission. The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Beam, its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees. Beam does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website. Read more about our editorial policies. Drink responsibly. 

Skinnygirl® Sweet’arita, Made with Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, Natural Flavors and Carmel Color, 9.95% Alc./Vol. ©2015 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL (Per 1.5 oz – Average Analysis: Calories 37.5, Carbohydrates 2.7g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g)

Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka with Natural Flavors, 30% Alc./Vol. ©2015 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL (Per 1.5 oz – Average Analysis: Calories 75.1, Carbohydrates 0g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g)

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Baby Talk: 32 Weeks + A Nursery Inspiration Board

Happy Friday, friends! Today I am officially 32 weeks pregnant and I feel like time is slipping away from me. It sounds a bit like a pregnancy cliché, but seriously, the weeks and months are just passing by in a blur. This weekend we’re looking to spend a bit of time tackling the baby’s room so I thought I would share some of my nursery ideas and inspiration with you! Overall I’m looking to keep things largely neutral with lots of texture and great art mixed with pieces that can grow with the little babe as she morphs into a toddler over the next few years. The color palette will, again, be neutral but otherwise I am playing around with a bit of neon pink and mint green. Many of these are exact pieces that I’ve already chosen and have en route, it’s now just a matter of pulling everything together. I hope overall it’s a space that’s fresh, modern and a touch whimsical, so she can spend a lot of hours in her room dreaming and learning. Otherwise, I’m still feeling much the same (which is really great overall) so in lieu of my typical pregnancy update, keep on scrolling for this week’s dose of Friday Link Love! xoxo

Modern Girls Nursery Ideas from @cydconverse

[1: Mermaid art print | 2: Ombre playhouse | 3: Heart screen print | 4: Elephant nightlight | 5: Crib |6: Wood + neon nightstand | 7: Striped hamper | 8: Floral art print | 9: Moroccan rug | 10: Storage baskets | 11: Glider | 12: Lamp.]

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