April 1, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Ok, my fellow pet-loving friends. This post is for you! Many of you may know the work of my insanely talented friend Carolynn Lemke of Two Brunettes. She pops in here pretty regularly with pretty things like this printable art print and this one, too. Over the last few years she’s spent an increasing amount of time honing her chops illustrating pets of all shapes and sizes, which today gives way to Noble Friends! An all-new, all-awesome couture pet shop featuring your pet, illustrated and plastered all over the cutest art prints, iPhone cases, throw pillows, tote bags and more! Guys, the stuff is sincerely adorable. For months I’ve been helping Carolynn debate the advantages and disadvantages of different fabrics, papers, you name it. The attention to detail she has put into creating these products has been so fun to watch. For her, it all comes from being a pet lover herself and wanting to design a place where those of us who recognize our pets as family can get really awesome wares designed with their cute little faces acting as muse. Here’s just a tiny taste of all the great things you’ll find over at Noble Friends – scroll to the bottom of the post for an exclusive discount code, too!
I told you! So crazy cute. Plus, if you shop between now and April 8th, Carolynn is offering The Sweetest Occasion readers an exclusive 15% discount that you won’t find anywhere else. Just enter the code SWEETESTFRIENDS15 at checkout. Hooray! Jump on over to Noble Friends and hop to it!
[Photos by Alice G. Patterson for Noble Friends.]
March 31, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
It’s pretty possible that I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a candy fan. Chocolate, yes. Baked goods, yes. Ice cream, absolutely. But candy? Meh. Not so much. The exception to that rule are Cadbury mini eggs. Good grief, what is it with those things? They’re like absolute candy crack. I can’t even have them in the house or it goes down. Hard. So when Melina of Sugary & Buttery sent over her sweet and pretty confection of the month and I saw these vanilla cotton candy cupcakes topped with mini eggs, well, that was that. Needless to say, I’m buying a bag of Cadbury mini eggs today and the little gentlemen of the house and I are fixing to make some Easter cupcakes.
For the Cupcakes
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- Cotton candy
- Cadbury Mini Eggs (or similar)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line mini muffin tin with 24 mini cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar.
Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk, and seeds of 1 vanilla bean until combined. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Divide batter among 24 cupcake liners (or 24 mini) and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
To decorate, carefully form little nests of cotton candy and place them on each cupcake. Place 3 little candy eggs in each nest and you’re done! NOTE: The cotton candy can melt and dissolve in as little as 30 minutes depending on your weather and humidity. If you live in such a climate, it’s best to decorate right before serving.
A huge thank you to Melina for sharing these adorable little cupcakes with us today! Don’t forget, if you give these a try be sure to share them with me on Instagram using the hashtag #thesweetestoccasion.
[Photos + recipe by Sugary & Buttery for The Sweetest Occasion.]
March 30, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
You wouldn’t know it by the dark as coal skies this morning or the fresh dusting of snow we got overnight, but it’s Easter week! Coincidentally, it’s also my birthday week. As a kid I loved it when Easter fell near my birthday, it was just so much celebration and so much spring all in a few short days. Plus, I got to wear no fewer than two pretty dresses in the same week! While it’s every bit feeling and looking more like winter at the moment, I’m committed to championing the spring cause and this color palette is bringing it home. Here’s hoping the start of your week is bright and sunny, even if only on the inside!
[Photos, from top: Leslie Shewring via decor8 | Ruth Eileen via Style Me Pretty | Sublime Spy.]
March 29, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Hi, friends! Happy Sunday! This is the part where I shake my head ruefully and admit that I completely went off the rails in the whole blogging department the last part of the week. I was in Charleston hosting a workshop with my girl Erika which was kind of a whirlwind, and happened to come down with some kind of stomach bug the night before the workshop, which was kind of awful. Luckily, I pulled it together, the workshop went off without a hitch and I made it home late yesterday afternoon feeling much better, if incredibly exhausted. In full disclosure, I’ve done basically absolutely nothing but watch movies and rest on the couch since then. So today, we’re talking about Easter eggs! Because any plans I had to make some pretty ones to share with you apparently stand very little chance of happening in light of my wild schedule and crap immune system lately. No worries, today I’ve got some of the prettiest Easter egg DIY ideas going, just in time for you to get busy with it before Easter next week.
[DIY Foliage Easter Eggs from Say Yes]
[DIY Pineapple Easter Eggs from Studio DIY]
[DIY Watercolor Eggs from Only Deco Love]
[DIY Typography Easter Eggs from Lovely Indeed]
[DIY Hanging Easter Egg Planters from Fall for DIY]
March 25, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
While big Easter dinners were typically how we celebrated as a family when I was a kid, I have to admit that I’ve become a bigger fan of Easter brunch as an adult. Maybe because I’m just a sucker for brunch in general? And the fact that a holiday brunch makes day drinking (you know, mimosas) totally acceptable? Or it could very well have to do with the fact that I just love breakfast foods so any chance I get to mix sweet and savory in one meal is a chance I’m going to take. So today, with Easter brunch in mind, we’re making mini asparagus frittatas! Made in little crème brûlée dishes or ramekins, these are perfect for hosting a few or a bunch and they’re super easy to make. Plus, these are really quite healthy, making a handful of Cadbury Mini Eggs later in the day absolutely acceptable.
If you’re into such meat things (which we know I’m not), a side of crispy bacon would go really well here. Definitely don’t skimp on thick-cut crusty toast! Otherwise, some fresh fruit, loads of yummy jam, a pitcher of mimosas and coffee are all you need to round out your Easter brunch. There is nothing difficult there! Just how I like to roll.
Makes (4) mini frittatas
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 20 stalks fresh asparagus
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil or cooking spray
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 450° and then chop down the asparagus to slightly shorter than the width of your dishes. Lightly steam in a saucepan with a bit of hot water for 2- 3 minutes until bright green. Do not steam all the way through, the goal is to just start the cooking process so the asparagus is nice and tender after baking. While the asparagus is steaming, vigorously whisk together the eggs, half and half, pepper and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add more or less salt and pepper to taste. For a Paleo-friendly variation, skip the half and half and sub in a bit of water or plain, unsweetened almond milk. Then add in chopped red bell pepper and whisk again.
Lightly grease your dishes with the olive oil or cooking spray. Place all of the dishes on a baking sheet, then pour egg mixture into each to about halfway full. Arrange five or so asparagus stalks across the top then slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake on the middle rack for 18 – 20 minutes or until ever so slightly brown around the edges. The egg will puff up as cooking. Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
I used 4.5″ crème brûlée dishes for my mini frittatas. If you use something that’s deeper or wider you’ll need to adjust the baking time accordingly. Start by baking for 8 – 10 minutes and then check every couple of minutes until done. I intentionally keep these simple so that it was very easy to whip them up on Easter Sunday when most of usually have a zillion other things going down. That said, they’d be amazing with some caramelized onions, a bit of parmesan or mozzarella, or whatever other veggies you’d like to add. Yum! They’re seriously even easy enough for a weekday breakfast – just set them to bake before you jump in the shower.
[Photos + recipe by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]