An Ode to Fall Baking

As promised, I wanted to share a few more images from the pretty harvest feast that we all loved earlier in the week. All of these photos were captured in the kitchen, before dinner, amidst a flurry of flour and garden fresh veggies. Looking at these images I was reminded why I love cooking and baking, especially this time of year. For me there’s usually music playing in the background and I undoubtedly end up with flour in my hair. Without fail. Every single time. But that process of chopping, mixing and kneading is so therapeutic for me and there’s nothing that makes a house feel more like home than something yummy baking in the oven. Big Sunday night dinners? Sign me up. An impromptu batch of cookies baked fresh on a Saturday afternoon? I’m down with that, too. B and I share this love of being in the kitchen, making a mess and getting our hands busy making something delicious. (Although there’s no baking in his kitchen repertoire, that domain is all mine.) I think that’s why these images speak to me. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to get busy and make something yummy this upcoming weekend!

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

Making Pie Crust

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

An Ode to Fall Baking from @cydconverse

Salted Caramel Pears Salted Caramel Pears

Salted Caramel Pears

Fig and Cheese Plate Fig and Cheese Plate

Fig and Cheese Plate

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[Food + styling by Ann Whitaker | Photos by Britt Chudleigh.]

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DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper

One of my favorite party tricks is to dress up a simple white layer cake and turn into something really schmancy by adding a fun cake topper or other embellishment to make it shine. It makes dessert look really grand, when in reality it doesn’t cost a ton of money or require much skill. And your guests? They automatically think you’re the next Martha Stewart when you bring out something sweet to pair with coffee after dinner, especially when it also looks like a million bucks. So that’s what we’re talking about here today!

DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper by @cydconverse

This DIY falling leaves cake topper is a little something I dreamed up recently and it has just such an effect. It looks so pretty, but it’s basically just an upgraded version of a kindergarten construction paper craft. I love that.

DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper by @cydconverse

The basics here are colorful card stock, scissors, Glue Dots (or hot glue) and floral wire. It’s honestly about that easy! Print, cut, glue, stick wires into cake. Done, done and done. This cake topper is perfect for Thanksgiving (at least in my world) or any fall celebration. A birthday. A dinner party. A brunch you’re hosting for your best lady friends. You really can’t go wrong.

DIY Falling Leaves Cake Topper by @cydconverse

Ready to get started? Pop over to Momtastic where I’m sharing the full tutorial!

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[Photos by Cyd Converse for Momtastic.]

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Style the Look: A Fall Harvest Feast

Not surprisingly, I’m not alone in my love for yesterday’s harvest feast. It’s just so gorgeous and at the end of the day it’s a surprisingly simple look to pull off on your own at home. Perhaps that’s why I love it so much? With that in mind, today I’m bringing you the goods so you can style the look on your own. These aren’t the same exact pieces, but they have the same overall vibe so you should absolutely first look to your own cabinets to see what you can use to recreate a similar look at your own harvest feast or Thanksgiving dinner. I always preach that you can’t go wrong with buying a set of simple white dinnerware because it’s perfect for weeknight dinners as well as for entertaining. Paired with inexpensive gold chargers, those basic white plates take on a whole new look! Stay tuned later in the week for even more from this harvest feast, because the photos are just too gorgeous and I can’t resist.

Style the Look: Harvest Feast from @cydconverse

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[Style the Look | 1: Gold chargers | 2: Glass tumblers | 3: Wood cutting boards | 4: Gold flatware | 5: Cheese knife set | 6: White dinnerware | 7: Gray linen napkins.]

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A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

I am so excited about sharing this gorgeous harvest feast today. With a simple, seasonal menu boasting the likes of homemade veggies galettes and salted caramel dipped pears, there is not a single thing not to love here. Dining al fresco at a picnic table draped in simple white linen and pretty flowers? Even better! Captured by the immensely talented Britt Chudleigh with flowers by Sarah Winward of Honey of a Thousand Flowers and featuring the food and styling of Ann Whitaker, I find this little gathering to be the perfect inspiration for a fall dinner party. I love this kind of party! Great food, a bit of gold, a line of ivy down the table and easy, yummy food. Of course, you can never go wrong with a fig and cheese plate waiting at the ready when friends arrive. (But that’s coming from a self-professed cheese addict, so take that for what you will.) This, in a nutshell, is my favorite kind of entertaining.

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

A Gorgeous Seasonal Harvest Feast

p.s. See more from this feast here and see how to style the look for your next dinner party!

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[Food + styling by Ann Whitaker | Flowers by Sarah Winward | Photos by Britt Chudleigh.]

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Coming Soon: The 2014 Gift Guide

Ready or not, it’s that time of year again! This Friday will mark the start of my holiday gift guide posts. What?! How did that happen so fast? This year I thought I’d do things just a tiny bit differently and ask you what you want to see. Usually I hit all the major categories like hostess gifts, gift ideas for men and kids, and great stocking stuffers. Maybe that works for you? Or maybe you want more specific ideas like gifts for teens or gifts for those impossible to shop for friends who have everything. So this is where you come in! Leave a comment below letting me know what you’d like to see from this year’s gift guide – I would love your input! Additionally, if you have a great shop and would like me to check it out for possible inclusion in the guide, feel free to leave a comment with a link and I’ll be sure to check it out. Buckle your seat belts, friends! The holidays are coming and we’re so going to be ready.

The Gift Guide - @cydconverse

p.s. This DIY duct tape gift wrap is one of my most popular holiday DIYs! You can find the original tutorial here.

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

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