March 11, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Simply Orange. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
There are few things that say “spring” to me quite like brunch! After long months hidden inside, getting together with friends for brunch feels like such a joy. Today I am teaming up with Simply Orange as part of their nature-to-New York campaign to bring you my tips for hosting a sweet and simple farm to table inspired spring brunch! The star of the show? Mimosa popsicles made with Simply Orange® Pulp Free that are sure to wow your gal pals. That’s right. Mimosa popsicles. I’ve just gone and upped your brunch game from here on out. You’re welcome!
When styling a simple brunch like this, keep a light, neutral color palette in mind. It will make it really easy to use basic, white everyday plates and bowls while still looking really chic. A light colored tablecloth, a touch of metallic gold here and there and everything looks really elevated and elegant while honestly taking only a short while to pull together. Pro tip: Things like fruit and danishes look gorgeous plated on little white trays or set out in a cool colander or bowl. You don’t need to buy a bunch of new stuff nor do you have to spend three hours cooking before everyone shows up. A few little details can translate to a lot of wow factor!
For this brunch I really wanted to keep the focus on simple, spring dishes inspired by nature. I made little individual frittatas with farm eggs, fresh asparagus, tomatoes and radishes. You can even bake them the night before and just warm them up right before guests arrive! Fresh fruit, extra veggies as crudite and a few pastries were all that was needed to round out the menu. Too often I think we tend to overcomplicate things and that makes entertaining feel a bit daunting. I’m here to make it easier for you – keep it simple, fresh and loaded with seasonal spring flavors and you honestly really can’t go wrong!
The Mimosa Popsicles
The undisputed life of the party though has to be the mimosa popsicles. Your friends will think you’re a genius, but in reality this is as easy as can be. The day before brunch, fill a popsicle mold with Simply Orange®. (I like this mold the best!) I like that Simply Orange® Pulp Free is never frozen, never sweetened and never concentrated, making it seriously delicious for sipping or for popsicle making. Once your molds are filled, pop it into the freezer without inserting the popsicle sticks. After about 20 minutes or when the juice is starting to get a bit slushy, insert your sticks and then freeze overnight. Come time for brunch, serve each popsicle in a stemless wine glass. Pour bubbly over top and prepare to impress everyone you know!
For my New York readers, get your name in the hat to score prizes and coupons to inspire your own spring party at Gotham to Grove. For more details and to check out additional Simply inspirations and recipes, like the Simply Facebook page or visit the official website!
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
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March 10, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
I had my first Irish car bomb in college, as I’m sure many of us did. Let’s be real classy here for a second and allow me to admit that I love a good Irish car bomb. If you’re not familiar, a car bomb is essentially a shot of 50/50 whiskey and Irish cream that is dropped into a pint of Guinness and chugged straight down. While not very dainty, they are actually seriously delicious. Enter the Black Velvet. It’s very definitely my favorite of all the St. Patrick’s Day drinks and I choose to think of it as the older, more sophisitcated sister of the car bomb, made with stout and champagne. It’s a cinch to make, it looks super elegant served up in a champagne flute (aka you’ll impress your guests) and it could not be tastier. Hosting a St. Patrick’s Day shindig at some point in the next week? Keep scrolling because a bunch of my best blogger buds and I have teamed up for a little drink swap today! I’m linking to all of their recipes at the bottom of the post so be sure to click over and check them all out. Bottoms up!
- Stout (I prefer Guinness)
- Champagne or bubbly (I prefer a brut)
- Champagne flutes
Begin by filling a flute half full with bubbly. It’s easiest if you pour slowly so you don’t overfill the glass or spill over the top. Then slowly top off with Guinness to finish filling the flute. Ideally you’re looking to achieve a good head on the glass, similar to if you just pour a pint glass of Guinness. And that’s it – clink glasses, sip and enjoy!
Don’t forget to jump on over and pin the rest of the drink up concoctions! Whether you’re a party of one or hosting a whole crew this St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve got you covered. Join in the fun and show us what you’re mixing and shaking this weekend at with #partybloggerbash!
Inspired by Charm’s Leprechaun Kiss Martini
Freutcake’s Lucky Leprechaun Rum Punch
Sugar & Cloth’s Marbled Creme de Menthe Ice Cream Shots
Lovely Indeed’s Irish Mule with Edible Gold Ice Cubes
Studio DIY’s Rainbow Cereal Milkshake
Pizzazzerie’s Mojito Sherbet Punch
Sugar & Charm’s Irish Pear Mule
Julie Blanner’s Shot of Gold
[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]
March 9, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Little Baby E has been fighting a cold for about a week now (and/or possibly we have some early teething going on) so she has been needing some extra hugs and snuggles this week. I’ve got a really great cocktail recipe coming your way tomorrow in plenty of time for St. Patrick’s Day, but in the meantime I wanted to go old school today with a quick little post sharing some of the things I’ve been recently pinning. Pinterest is still my go-to social media platform and I admit that if I’m going to open an app on my phone and just scroll, scroll, scroll it’s almost always going to be that. Do you follow me there? Here’s a little peek at some of the pretty in pink things I’ve been pinning lately, plus you can follow me on Pinterest to keep tabs on everything I’m loving in the moment!
[Row 1: Roasted strawberry smoothie bowl | Gorgeous white kitchen | Row 2: Enjoy today | Blackberry lavender chevre ice cream | Row 3: Champagne raspberry popsicles | Dining room.]
March 7, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
Back in my early days of blogging (circa 2008), Vané of Brooklyn Bride fame became one of my first blogging buds. Fast forward eight years later and Vané now has an incredible new book on shelves (Weddings in Color) that is loaded with wedding inspiration in her signature clean, modern style. Even cooler than that, in November we gave birth to a little girl and a little boy just one day apart and have been passing emails back and forth for months about the finer points of swollen ankles and nap time woes. (Namely, how neither of our children care much for napping with any regularity so good luck trying to plan anything. Ever.) All of that being one very long-winded way of saying that I am so happy to have the privilege of sharing Vané’s beautiful, modern baby shower with you today! Held at iCi Restaurant and featuring stationery and paper goods from Paper+Cup Design along with stunning images from Brklyn View Photography, you’ve got party inspiration for days here, friends.
The graphic, black and white color palette was carried throughout all of the details from the table linens to the flowers to the black and white cookies packaged up as favors for guests. Nine Cakes rocked out the most amazing mint chocolate chip cake and Vané’s hostesses even arranged for a photo booth that doubled as a guest book. (Why didn’t I think of having a guest book at my baby shower? I love that idea!) I love every last little detail. For even more, pop over to Vané’s lifestyle blog, Brooklyn Living!
Vendors + Sources –
Photography by Brklyn View Photography | Venue: iCi Restaurant | Cake: Nine Cakes | Photobooth: Shake & Share Media | Flowers: Flowermuse | Stationery + paper goods: Paper+Cup Design
[Photos by Brklyn View Photography.]
March 4, 2016 | by Cyd Converse
It’s onto the weekend we go, friends, and in honor of the first week of March, this weekend’s to do list is an ode to all things green. Share with me what you’re trying, making and doing this weekend over on Instagram with #theweekendtodolist so I can take a peek! Hopefully these recipes, drinks and craft ideas will get you started as you kick back over the next couple of days. Scroll down for this week’s salute to some of my fellow bloggers who are doing and announcing awesome things this week. And without further ado, have a great weekend and I’ll see you here next week! xoxo
1 | Sip This
I mentioned earlier this week, that I want to try out the current matcha craze and this iced coconut match latte looks like just the right way to give it a whirl! [Photo by Sprinkle of Green]
2 | Craft This
Boasting itself as the easiest St. Patrick’s Day garland ever, this sweet shamrock swag is the perfect way to add a touch of green to your decor. [Photo by Pictilio for A Subtle Revelry]
3 | Make This
Feeling a touch more ambitious with your Irish pride? Make this green ombré cake you’ll sufficiently wow just about 100% of people you know. [Photo by I Am Baker]
4 | Try This
My idea of the perfect Sunday afternoon is making homemade pasta for dinner that night. This asparagus ravioli recipe looks like one definitely worth trying! [Photo by Nicky & Max]
5 | Eat This
Have you jumped on the smoothie bowl bandwagon yet? It’s definitely a trend worth trying! This green smoothie bowl would make a great weekend breakfast plus it’s loaded with spinach. [Photo by Lauren Caris Cooks]
6 | Download This
My lovely friend Maddy of Splendid Supply Co. designed this gorgeous art print exclusively for The Sweetest Occasion readers last year about this time. Download it here!