February 6, 2013 | by cyd
Raise your hand if you’re a Pinterest junkie! Yup, I thought so. Personally, I use Pinterest to catalog inspiration for everything from my home to my dinner table to holidays like Valentine’s Day. That said, sometimes I feel like the things I am loving get a bit buried so starting today I am going to be sharing more of the things I am pinning and feeling inspired by of late. Once a week I’ll pop in with a handful of pins that I’m loving, just to share the pretty. I am actually loving today’s little mini-collection of pins. There’s a definite color story tying them together. Turns out, I am pretty drawn to soft neutrals with pastel accents lately.
Want to get in on the fun? Leave me a comment below with the link to your Pinterest account so I can be sure to follow you, too. And if you’re not already, you can follow me on Pinterest here.
[Row 1: Soulvaki for the Soul | Bolig Pluss | Row 2: Michelle Smith | Hazel Wonderland via Oh So Beautiful Paper | Row 3: Notes on a Party | Wedding Chicks.]
February 6, 2013 | by cyd
Well, I’ll be danged. Can you even believe that Valentine’s Day is next week? As in, a week from tomorrow. Wow. Why, hello, mid-February, where did you come from? Naturally I couldn’t let the occasion pass us by without talking about a little Valentine’s Day appropriate fashion. Date night fashion, naturally. This look is super feminine and romantic and I’m kind of digging it for that reason. An impossibly pretty floral dress, a rockin’ pair of booties all decked out in bows and a bright pink lip? I’m so into it. Throw on some cool geometric earrings and maybe a long gold necklace and you’re set to steal your Valentine’s heart all over again!
[Shop: Floral dress | mint earrings | feather necklace | lipstick | purse | bracelet | bow booties.]
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February 6, 2013 | by cyd
Earlier this week I promised you a new column and this morning I am here to deliver with a little something I’ve dubbed Nook! For a couple of years now a lot of readers have been asking for more home decor and living content, and as interior design truly is my first love, I was bound and determined to find a way to bring you the goods in 2013! That said, I wanted to do it in a way that was fresh and fun, rather than just rehashing what other totally awesome sites are doing and doing so very well.
Featuring small, beautifully designed spaces from real people, Nook is all about inspiring you to introduce little pockets of pretty throughout your home. You don’t have to have a huge budget or designer furniture to make your home a real haven. It’s really all about the details! To kick things off, today’s Nook features one of my best friends, Carolynn Giordano Lemke of Two Brunettes. Her home office is, literally, a little nook off of her master bedroom. It’s filled with beautiful natural light, collected finds and a whole lot of personality. Click through for all the details!
February 5, 2013 | by cyd
This post was sponsored by Minted. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so generously help keep The Sweetest Occasion rockin’!
So here’s a random Tuesday afternoon confession. I am obsessed with art prints. You could categorically call it a condition. A condition that has me constantly seeking out new and beautiful art prints for basically every room in my home. I was really excited to get my hands on a few of the new art prints from Minted. I’ve been eyeing them for quite a while now and just loving the designs and the bright, punchy colors. Their love art prints in particular really charmed me with their sweet sentiments. (I even featured one in this color palette a while back!)
Perfect as Valentine’s Day gifts, I selected a pairing of three heart-themed prints all in white frames. (You can purchase Minted’s prints with or with frames in your choice of white or black, in sizes ranging up to huge 44×60″ poster size prints. Love!) I went with an 8×10, an 8×8 and a 5×7. I’m moving in a few weeks, which means the apartment is currently in shambles. This didn’t keep me from immediately hanging these pretty little things up over my desk. I can’t wait find a space for them in our next place!
Hi. Totally adorable, right? Not only would they make amazing Valentine’s Day gifts, but I am also dubbing them perfect as engagement, wedding and anniversary gifts, too. The printing quality is fantastic, the frames are pretty incredible for the price and they already come with hangers on the back so literally all you have to do is tap a nail into the wall and hang these bad boys up. Maybe you should gift yourself with one (or two), too. I suggest it.
Oh, that bunting? It’s also from Minted and their new line of party decorations. It’s been hanging over my desk for months and although it’s technically meant for the holidays, I may just rock it all year long!
[Photos by Cyd Converse.]
This post was sponsored by Minted. Read more about our editorial policies.
February 5, 2013 | by cyd
Do you remember the mini Nutella pies we had a couple of lengthy conversations about during the holidays? (Those conversations, in review, basically went on and on about how amazing they are.) With Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to put a little twist on that tried and true favorite. So I started thinking about hearts and I started thinking about really incredible Bonne Maman cherry jam and, well, a little bit of magic was born. These are the perfect little treats for your sweetheart or for the kids. Served up alongside coffee? Brilliant, if you ask me.
- Your favorite pie dough (my go-to recipe is this one from Martha Stewart)
- Flour for rolling dough
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 large egg, with a splash of water
- Cherry jam (or other filling of your choice – think jam, peanut butter or Nutella)
- Lollipop sticks (I picked up a package of the oven-safe kind at Michaels)
- Heart cookie cutter
Before starting, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start by rolling out your dough until it’s smooth and even, roughly 1/4″ thick. I always encourage making your own dough if you have the time. The flavor is incredible and it’s not nearly as difficult as people want you to believe. That said, in a pinch, you can absolutely buy ready-made pie dough and it will still be delicious! Once your dough is rolled out, use your cookie cutter to cut out as many hearts as you can. Recombine the scraps of dough and repeat until you have a whole bunch of little dough hearts.
Next up, spoon a bit of cherry jam or your filling of choice in the center of half of the hearts. (You’ll reserve half of the hearts as tops!) I like to load mine up as much as I can while still leaving a little border around the outside of the heart.
If you’d like to make these into pie pops, now is the time when you place a lollipop stick on each crust, pushing down with a bit of pressure so it kind of sticks into the dough without pushing through the other side. You can also skip this step if you’d rather just have little mini pies. The choice is totally yours!
Once you’ve licked your fingers, beat the egg with a splash of water. Using your fingertip or a pastry brush, run a bit of egg wash along the border of the crust of the heart. This creates a seal for the top crust. Once you’ve done that, start plopping the tops on the hearts, using a fork to pinch the edges together. (And making them so pretty in the process!)
Next up, give the top of each pie a light coating of the egg wash, to help them get golden and crispy while baking. Take a pinch of white sugar and dust each top and you’re ready for the oven! Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until they’re golden and delicious. I usually start checking mine at around the 15 minute mark, but find that they generally take at least 25 minutes to bake.
[Recipe + styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion. | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]
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