An Easy At-Home DIY Manicure

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

Recently I have gotten a lot of questions both here on the blog and over on Instagram inquiring about my nails so today I thought I would fill you in on my super easy DIY manicure secret! As a bit of background, you should know a couple of things. One. I am a train wreck when it comes to painting my own nails. (A very, serious train wreck.) Two. I am so rough on my hands that paying for manicures is a total waste, because they never last more than a couple days. Enter my secret weapon! Namely, these seriously incredible Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. Before we go any further, allow me to assure you that the folks at Sally Hansen have precisely zero idea that I exist and this is in no way a sponsored or endorsed post. I genuinely love and use these bad boys all the time and thought some of you might benefit from trying them out. Want to see how easy they are to use? Let’s get started!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

To get the best results with the nail polish strips, you’ll want to start with clean polish-free nails. The package includes a little emory board for filing and buffing your nails, as well as a small wooden stick for pushing back your cuticles. I do all of this pretty quickly! It definitely does not need to be a super professional job, which works for me because I wouldn’t be able to do it all pro-like anyway. (A combination of lack of skill and lack of will, admittedly.) Other than the contents of the box, you’ll only need nail polish remover and cotton pads or cotton balls so you can quickly wipe down your nails to remove any dust after you file and buff.

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

Next up, find the polish strip that best fits each of your nails. They provide multiple different sizes with plenty of extras so you should easily be able to find a match regardless of the size and width of your nails. From there, work one nail at a time, removing the the protective clear plastic from either side of the polish strip. Position the nail strip along the base of your nail and then gently tap it into place. At that point, I slowly but firmly stretch the sides of the polish strip to get a perfect fit, using the edge of my thumbnail to press it into place so it looks really perfect.

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

The final step is getting the perfect fit along the length of the nail! Gently pull the polish strip taught (it has a surprising amount of stretch) and fold it over the edge of the nail, using the emory board to gently buff off the excess. And that’s it! It’s really that simple. No heat or special tools required and the nail strips run right around $8.50 a pack or a couple of dollars more for the French tip versions. Sally Hansen says they will last up to 10 days, which I think is definitely possible if you’re a little easier on your hands than I am. For me they easily last 5 – 7 days though which is super impressive! To remove them, I like to use a polish remover with acetone, soak a cotton ball and hold it on the nail for 15 – 20 seconds before wiping away the polish strip.

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

An Easy At Home DIY Manicure from @cydconverse

Want to see more posts where you can check out the nail polish strips in action? You’ll find me wearing them here, here, here, here and here. (Among many, many others.) I tend to prefer the simpler designs and colors, but they come in loads of patterns and color options so you can get as funky and colorful as you’d like with your manicure. I liked this black lace one for shooting Halloween posts, for instance. (They kind of match these DIY black lace candle holders!) If you give them a try, let me know! I’d love to know if they help solve anyone else’s nail woes, too.

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

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Loving The Crafted Life

Good morning, and happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a fabulous weekend. With loads of friends and family in town for our baby shower, mine was a complete and total whirlwind. Our house is now pretty much covered end to end with super cute baby paraphernalia and I’m honestly exhausted this morning as we start the week. That said, if you want to see a little tiny sneak peek of the shower you can pop on over to Instagram and #thesweetestbebe. I’ll be sharing more soon! All of that said, let’s get down to business because today I wanted to share another of my current favorite blog reads. Namely, we’re talking about The Crafted Life, where Rachel crafts colorful and vibrant projects designed to make DIY both fun and approachable. From home decor to jewelry to parties, she covers it all with her signature playful style, all intended to inspire you to pick up a paint brush or a hot glue gun and get crafty!

Loving The Crafted Life from @cydconverse

In addition to being super talented, Rachel is also just a totally awesome lady. She is, hands down, my favorite combination of sweet and sassy, the type of gal I could sit up all night gabbing with while drinking wine and wearing pajamas. If you aren’t already, you should definitely take note and become a big fan of The Crafted Life. Your craft-loving self can thank me later! (Oh! And you can follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, too!)

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[Row 1: Printable temporary tattoos | Printable envelope liners | Row 2: DIY jewelry box | Row 3: DIY painted wooden beads | DIY wooden hello sign | Row 4: DIY color blocked keychain | Row 5: Office makeover | Ban.do buttons | Row 6: Instagram wall art.]

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Baby Talk: 34 Weeks + Colorful Baby Shower Ideas

Once upon a time, I discovered myself shocked as can be to learn we were expecting a little one. Fast forward (as in, super warp speed fast forward) several months and tomorrow is the day of my baby shower! It’s such a surreal feeling because some days, other than the fact that stairs have become increasingly tricky to navigate, I actually still forget I’m pregnant. I have friends coming in from literally all over the country this weekend to be here to celebrate this baby and it is the most overwhelming feeling. Of course, Alice will be there taking lots of photos so we can share the celebration with you at some point in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, I’m sharing just a few baby shower ideas (you can find more here) inspired by the festivities plus a full 34 week baby update! 34 weeks. It’s all happening so fast! Here’s wishing you a beautiful weekend and I’ll see you here on Monday! xoxo

Unique Baby Shower Ideas from @cydconverse

[About to Pop baby shower | Ombre cake | Hot pink baby shower | Confetti Oreo cookies | Wishes for Baby.]

34 Weeks Pregnant

Today officially marks 34 weeks pregnant! It’s hard to believe that we’re down to just a handful of weeks before the baby celebrates her birthday and I am feeling loads of emotions as we get closer. Basically every emotion known to man, if I’m being completely honest. There’s actually part of me that wishes we had a bit more time before she arrives, because I feel like it’s all rushing by a bit too quickly. Is that normal? Please tell me I’m not going crazy!

Hello My Name Is

We’ve been essentially settled on little girl’s name since about 20 weeks along. That said, we’ve been up, down and all over the place trying to find the perfect middle name. As of a few days ago I think we may have figured it out! In the meantime we’re staying pretty mum on her name until she’s here. A very small handful of our closest people know what we’ve decided on for a first name, but beyond that we are keeping it quiet. We don’t use her name when we refer to her and we don’t plan to do so until she’s here with us officially. We love love love her name though and I’m excited to share it with you once she makes her big debut!

Baby Got Legs

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not exactly known for my height. I am perfectly average in height, but actually have slightly shorter than average legs. Were it not for my torso being of reasonable length, I’d be totally stumpy. All of that said, the fact that we have a little one on board boasting legs that are 97th percentile in length is completely entertaining to me. She very clearly got those legs from her 6’2″ daddy, not from this lady. As of right now, they’re telling us to expect a long baby and we’re so excited to see how it plays out!

C-Section Update

At next Friday’s OB appointment I will be 35 weeks pregnant, at which point they’ll be ordering a fifth and final ultrasound. They’ll be doing a full growth chart again, checking placenta placement and determining if the baby has flipped head down at that point. Last we knew for sure she was breech, but it was still early so they weren’t overly concerned. We don’t believe she has flipped yet though so now they’ll start to monitor that more closely. All of these various factors have us still of the mindset that we are headed for a scheduled c-section, but we won’t have that firmed up for sure for a couple of weeks. The waiting game? Beyond stressful at this point!

Symptoms

At about 32 weeks I really started to feel the fatigue again. It’s not necessarily every day, but when it hits it’s real. We’ve been shooting a lot lately, prepping for when the baby comes so I can hopefully take a bit of real time off for a few weeks. On those shoot days I end up so exhausted I can feel it deep inside my muscles, like everything is vibrating or humming. Fatigue aside, I’m experiencing more tired muscles in general if I walk or stand for too long. Grocery shopping or running errands in general is becoming much less fun! It’s not necessarily causing me any pain, everything just feels tight, tired and in need of a serious massage. Otherwise, I am still having a pretty amazing pregnancy and have largely avoided just about every scary symptom and side effect you read about. I feel really really lucky and know that feeling so good throughout these months is what is allowing me to work double time and get myself into a position where taking time off will be a bit easier. Now that we’re entering the home stretch, I am hoping to be able to start slowing down in the next few weeks so I can do that whole nesting thing and just soak in the last days of being pregnant. I’m telling you it’s utter craziness!

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Give Me Something Good to Eat Printables

Give Me Something Good to Eat Halloween Printables from @cydconverse

We’re revisiting an oldie but a goodie today with my absolute favorite Halloween printables of all time! Created just for The Sweetest Occasion readers by the super talented and incredibly sweet Jamie of A Pair of Pears, these cute little things are all you need to channel your inner goblin. We’re talking about the most adorable treat bag tags and Halloween party invitations that you ever did see. Scroll down and click to download your Halloween printables, then just print and trim and you’re ready for the Halloween festivities. Trick or treat!

Give Me Something Good to Eat Halloween Printables from @cydconverse

Give Me Something Good to Eat Halloween Printables from @cydconverse

Give Me Something Good to Eat Halloween Printables from @cydconverse

Give Me Something Good to Eat Halloween Printables from @cydconverse

 

Give Me Something Good to Eat Halloween Printables from @cydconverse

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[Design + illustration by A Pair of Pears | Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

The fine print: As with all of our printables, these designs are provided for personal non-commercial use only and may not be distributed, copied or sold in any fashion. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share them, please link to this post directly and do NOT host the file yourself. Thanks so much! xoxo

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DIY Cheesecloth Ghost Cake Toppers

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

I will be the first to admit that there are a million different variations of this project floating around out there, but that’s also kind of why I love these little ghosts. We made a version of these every year with my mom when we were kids, sometimes out of cheesecloth and kitchen twine like these, or other times out of tissues and thread. Basically, whatever we had on hand. We’d hang them from doorways or the chandelier in the dining room, or we’d stick them on skewers and pop them into houseplants at random. Today we’re making little homemade ghosts and calling them cake toppers, but you can’t go wrong however you use them in your Halloween festivities!

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Supplies

  • Cheesecloth
  • Kitchen twine
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Scissors
  • Super glue
  • Cotton balls

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

Begin by laying your cheesecloth flat and cutting out squares approximately 5 inches by 5 inches. For larger ghosts, cut squares that are a bit larger or cut smaller squares to create smaller ghosts. I prefer a double layer of cheesecloth for each ghost, so I make sure my cheesecloth is folded in half while I’m cutting. No worries about clean edges! The rough edges of the cheesecloth when it’s cut is one of the best parts of these little ghosts. Next up, grab 2 – 3 cotton balls and use your fingers to pull them apart a bit and puff them up before placing a mound of cotton at the center of each square to form the ghost’s head.

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

Gather the cheesecloth around the cotton of the ghost’s head to form the ghost shape. Insert a bamboo skewer with a dab of super glue on the end, so that the glue holds the skewer in place once it’s inserted into the cotton ball. Cut a length of kitchen twine about 4 inches long, and wrap it snugly around the base of the ghost’s head a few times to form the neck. Knot it in place tightly, trim the ends and behold! The world’s cutest little cheesecloth ghost, ready to take flight on top of your favorite cake just in time for Halloween.

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

Crafts like this are my favorite! Quick, easy, super inexpensive and kid-friendly to boot if you have little ones who like getting crafty with you. With this one, you don’t even have to bake the cake. Pick up a simple, white cake from your local grocery store or bakery, stick a few ghosts on top and you’re party-ready in no time. Or, you know, skip the cake entirely and just go wild hanging ghosts all over the house. That’s a completely legit option.

DIY Ghost Cake Toppers by @cydconverse

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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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