September 18, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Happy Friday, sweet friends! Now that we’re getting closer, I thought I’d bump up the frequency of my baby updates. No worries, I still have zero intention of inundating you with baby stuff all the time, but I know how many questions I’ve had about, well, everything (and how much I’ve been researching and how many YouTube videos I’ve been watching), so I’m hoping that sharing my experience and planning process will be useful for some of you. So, the invitations for my baby shower were mailed this week! Most people should be receiving them in the mail today or tomorrow, so in advance of that I made sure to really research and plan out our baby registry. Today I am sharing some of the baby registry essentials that we settled on after compiling B’s experience being a dad (which is honestly so helpful) and consulting with friends who are already pros at baby-rearing themselves. Is there anything you would add to the list? I’d love to know what baby essentials you could not live without! Enlighten me. Please!
[For information and shopping links, be sure to click through to check out all the details after the jump!]
I’m not sure what it is about the number 30, but this week definitely feels like the start of the home stretch! I’m starting to get a bit more anxious overall, especially surrounding when and how our little one will make their arrival. The inability to really plan or know what is going to happen or when is admittedly starting to drive me a bit batty. For now I’m content to have the little nugget stay right in place for a bit longer, but I am definitely feeling the [self-afflicted] pressure to get a lot done over the next month. 30 weeks! I swear that happened in a flash.
It’s a Girl!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll likely have seen that last week we were finally able to confirm gender. It’s a girl! We’ve pretty much known since 20 weeks, but had a hard time confirming it due to a sleepy baby at 20 weeks and a cross-legged baby at 24 weeks, so we decided to keep it under wraps until we knew for sure. Honestly, I pretty much knew immediately after we found out we were expecting. Even when we would toss around baby names, there was always a voice in the back of my head telling me we were wasting our time even talking about boy names. Speaking of, we do have a name picked out (although we’re still settling on her middle name), but we won’t be sharing that with anyone until after she’s here. (I am crazy superstitious about that kind of thing!)
To C-Section or Not to C-Section?
Following full ultrasounds at 20, 24 and 29 weeks, we’re still looking at a c-section. My placenta has shifted some but as of yet not enough to clear me for vaginal delivery, plus the baby is breech at the moment. (Breech babies are pretty common with placenta previa, so that wasn’t entirely unexpected.) My next OB appointment will be next week, just shy of 31 weeks, at which time we’ll be starting to put together a more firmed up plan of action with our doctor. At this point, I am trying to double down on work so I can prepare to be laid up for a couple of weeks while I’m recovering. Any tips or advice?
And, of course, this is the part where I annoy all of you moms who have come before me by reporting that I still have had about zero symptoms. The continued issues with sleeping and discomfort in my hips (especially when I’m horizontal for longer than an hour or two) persist, but otherwise I feel great. No swelling, no aches or pains, no heartburn, no nada. The heat gets to me now that I’m getting further along, so I’ve been enjoying our occasional bursts of more temperate weather as fall sneaks into the picture. And I am definitely having more days where I feel more tired in general again, but by and large, other than one very stubborn placenta, I am kind of having a dream pregnancy so far. Knock on wood!
My baby shower is just under a month away and I’ve also seriously kicked the planning and organizing into high gear when it comes to the nursery. Several pieces have been selected and ordered, and we’re actually going to start clearing the room and putting the crib together this weekend. You can expect to see full details about both the shower and the nursery in the next month or two! I am sure I’ll be sharing sneak peeks on Instagram in the meantime, but you can rest assured that I will be documenting and posting about all the details. Stay tuned!
September 17, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Earlier this year I shared 12 of my favorite iPhone wallpaper designs for summer, and that post has become a huge run away hit! I seriously never saw that one coming, but you guys pinned like crazy and I listened, making me figure it was a safe bet you might like to see a round-up of fall iPhone wallpaper designs, too? Super! Glad we’re all on the same page. I searched far and wide for my picks for the best phone wallpapers for the season and here they are! See one you love? Click through to download using the links at the bottom of the post. And if you want to spread the love, I certainly will not complain if you’d like to pin this post, too. Here’s to fall, friends!
[Row 1: Gold flowers | Hello Fall | Abstract | Row 2: Happy Fall Y’all | Pumpkins | Orange Flowers | Row 3: Hello October | Gold Swirls | Falling Leaves | Row 4: I Like Big Cups | Leaves on Black | Hello Fall.]
September 15, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Ever a lover of all things gold leaf, I recently decided to jazz up a plain, simple white frame with a bit of a metallic touch. I’d had this pineapple photograph print (by Ez Pudewa of Petit Pippin) for going on a year and a half (or honestly it may have been closer to two years) and wanted to finally get it framed and displayed somewhere in our house. Gold leaf seemed to be just the thing for making over an otherwise ordinary frame so I got to it! Disclaimer: I now officially want to gold leaf every frame I own. Follow along for the step-by-step tutorial!
- Gold leaf sheets
- Gold leaf adhesive
- Gold leaf sealer
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Painter’s tape
- Photo frame
- Craft brushes
- Photo or print (mine is this one)
I opted to gold leaf just the corners of my frame and began by determining how far off the corner I wanted the gold leaf to go before getting started. You can frame more or less of the frame to suit your taste, then use a measuring tape and a pencil to measure and mark where you’d like to gold leaf with a pencil tick mark. In these photos I’m using a smaller frame for demo purposes in these photos, but for reference, in the finished photos my frame is 18×22 (picked up with a 40% off coupon at Michaels) and the gold leaf measures 4″ from the corner on each edge.
Using your pencil tick marks as a guide, mask off each corner with painter’s tape. It’s helpful to mark each edge with a tick mark when you’re measuring so you can line up the tape and keep a nice, clean and straight line. Then use a clean paint brush to apply a thin layer of gold leaf adhesive and allow it to set until super tacky. Usually that’s about 20 – 30 minutes, but it will vary depending on the manufacturer of your adhesive and humidity, etc.
Next up is my favorite part – playing with the gold leaf sheets! Press a gold leaf sheet to the adhesive to cover the corner of your frame entirely. Use a second clean paint brush to lightly burnish it into the adhesive and to remove any excess. When each corner is covered in gold leaf, gently remove the painter’s tape. Finally, carefully apply a very thin layer of sealant directly on top of the gold leaf and allow it to dry completely. Tip: I find removing the tape and then tracing over the gold leaf with the sealant works better than leaving the tape on for the final step as it results in a cleaner edge when the tape is removed. And that’s that! Insert your print or photograph and show off your pretty new frame! DIY gold leaf frames for the win.
[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
September 14, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Happy Monday, friends! So here’s the deal. Are you following me on Instagram yet? I may or may not have spilled the beans on the gender of our little nugget over there last week! We are so excited that at last week’s ultrasound (after three attempts) the little one finally cooperated and showed us the goods. It’s officially game on when it comes to all things baby! I’ve kicked nursery designing and planning into high gear and picked up the first few adorable outfits over the weekend. So you should go over there, give me a follow and scope out the news!
While you’re over there, I also figured I’d share 12 of my favorite Instagram accounts! I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with Instagram, but lately I’ve really fallen in love with it all over again. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to interact and share with all of you. Over the last few months I’ve stumbled upon and fallen in love with so many great Instagram users who are seriously so inspiring. These are just a handful of the feeds I’m loving at the moment – have any favorites I should check out?
September 9, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Alouette. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that
so generously allow The Sweetest Occasion to keep on keepin’ on!
I’m not even going to front when it comes to my love for good party snacks. Planning the menu is one of my favorite parts of entertaining! With football season upon us, I’ve teamed up with my fellow cheese-loving comrades over at Alouette to bring you three fresh, quick and delicious football party snacks that are sure crowd pleasers. You can make these ahead a couple of hours before the game or set it up self-serve style so guests can make their own tasty little bites while they watch the game. Otherwise, all you need is a stockpile of cold beer and you’re set!
So here’s how it goes when you’re partnering with a food brand. You chit chat about ideas for collaborating, they send you some of their product, you taste it and from there you start brainstorming recipe ideas. In this case, Alouette sent me each of their four Le Petite Fromage varieties to get the wheels spinning and I became immediately obsessed. The flavors are unexpectedly and deliciously fresh and robust, and all pair perfectly with any kind of veggie, meat or fresh herbs you want to throw at them. My personal favorite is the Garden Salsa followed closely by the Parmesan & Basil, but really, both B and I gave all of them two thumbs up. They are that good.
Le Petite Snack Crackers
For our snacks, I chose simple, buttery crackers and looked for ones that were a bit larger so they could handle more cheese and toppings. From there you can top your crackers with any of the Le Petite Fromage flavors before getting generous with the toppings. I went with things like kalamata olives, pico de gallo, fresh cucumber slices, prosciutto, salami, basil, tomatoes, avocado and even sprouts, but get creative! B and I both agree that our favorite pairing including one of the Le Petite Fromage varieties with a slice of cucumber and a little pile of pico dumped on top. (We all know I don’t eat meat, but B also highly recommends prosciutto paired with the Garlic & Herb!)
Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
We love snacking on these mini sweet peppers in general and try to keep them around the house at all times, so it seemed like a natural fit to stuff them full of cheese! Spoiler alert: they’re really really good. Simply cut the peppers in half lengthwise, clean out the seeds and remove the stem, then pack them full with your favorite Le Petite Fromage flavor. That’s it! Done and done.
Mini Veggie Wraps
Finally, mini veggie wraps! I think wraps are a perfect party food, especially on game day, so we took things to the next level by playing off the flavors of the Le Petite Fromage. I loaded mine up with more cucumbers, pico, sprouts and leaf lettuce, making it super easy to set everything up so guests can mix and match their own flavor combinations as they choose. (Or just make up a bunch of different kinds, cut them into smaller sizes and serve them up on a platter!) You could easily work in your favorite deli meats here, too, like turkey or roast beef.
I personally love the tiny, perfectly portioned packaging. It makes it so easy for friends to pick and choose, make a little plate, grab a beer and get to watching the game. For more cheese-inspired ideas, recipes and creations, be sure to follow Alouette on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! You can follow along with the hashtag #ThisIsCheese on Instagram, too! In the meantime, here’s three cheers for football season and yummy party snacks!
[Recipes, styling + photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
This post was sponsored by Alouette. Read more about our editorial policies.