Winner: SPG Starpoints Travel Experience

I am so excited this afternoon to have the pleasure of announcing the winner of the SPG Starpoints Travel Experience giveaway from American Express and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. All of your travel ideas and suggestions absolutely blew me away – I wish I could go everywhere! While there can only be one winner, don’t forget about American Express’s limited time offer (which ends today!) providing new Starwood Preferred Guest Cardmembers with up to 30,000 in Starpoints (10,000 at First Purchase and 20,000 more by spending $4,500 in 3 months). The limited time offer also includes $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. So basically, if you’re a travel junkie like me and you want to plan a killer trip, hurry up and apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest card today! For ideas on how you can maximize the power of your Starpoints, read through the comments on the original contest post where many devoted Starwood Preferred Guests chimed in with their input. Love all the inspiration!

Congratulations to Rosaleen, the winner of the 100,000 Starpoints from American Expressand Starwood Hotels and Resorts whose comment reminded me how much I’ve been longing to go to Vieques, Puerto Rico! (Rosaleen, email me to follow up!) For everyone else, here’s Rosaleen’s vacation inspiration –

One word: VIEQUES! Stay at the W Retreat & Spa (part of the Starwood Caribbean Collection) and make sure you rent an all wheel drive car to visit some of Vieques’s gorgeous, but more secluded, beaches like Navío, Red and Blue Beaches. Go horseback riding through an old plantation, explore old Navy bunkers or kayak through mangrove channels. But the real star of Vieques, and this is me burying the lede, is its bioluminescent bay (swim in starlight). I would highly recommend you take the All-In-One Biobay Tour with Abe’s Snorkeling. As for food, I always eat in the Malecón, but I’ve been to Chez Shacks too and it’s pretty tasty.

Thank you to everyone who participated in sharing your vacation inspiration and for all of the incredible ideas! I have so many new places I want to explore. And don’t forget to and apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest card today if you’re interested because the Starpoints promotion ends today!

This post was sponsored by American Express.


Melinda + Chris: A Pretty Indie Wedding

Good morning and happy Monday, friends! I always love starting the week with something really beautiful and today Melinda and Chris’s wedding does the trick. Always a favorite look for me, the mix and matched gray bridesmaid dresses are gorgeous and I can’t get enough of the flowers, which are classically romantic. With gorgeous photos by Celine Kim, a unique sense of style and pretty homespun touches, I just love the sweet feel of this celebration.

{Photos by Celine Kim.}


Reminder: Win Your Dream Vacation!

Don’t forget to enter to win your dream vacation from American Express and Starwood Hotels and Resorts! Entering is easy. Just leave a comment on the original contest post with your inspiration for my upcoming vacation. I’m loving all of your ideas so far! A lot of people have mentioned Sonoma and Napa Valley, which reminded me of how long I’ve wanted to go there. Long days of sipping wine, great cuisine and exploring the Northern California countryside sounds like bliss.

{What I’d wear in Sonoma: Cropped jeans, top, fedora, scarf, sandals, sunglassesbracelet, belt, bag.}

This post was sponsored by American Express. Note: Comments on this post will not be considered in determining a contest winner.


A Backyard Birthday Dinner

Posting has unexpectedly been light this week as I’ve enjoyed some much needed down time in South Florida celebrating my little niece’s first birthday and my big brother’s thirty-second birthday. We’ve had long, lazy dinners, loads of fresh seafood and more cake than should even be legal. It’s been so nice to have this quiet family time to celebrate, which might be why I love this pretty backyard birthday dinner party. Why not celebrate with a wreath of flowers in your hair, great food and your best people? It sounds like perfection to me!

{Photos by Nikaela Marie via You Are My Fave.}

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Giveaway: SPG Starpoints Travel Experience

As a blogger I am always really thrilled to be able to bring my awesome readers unique inspiration and the inside scoop on fabulous opportunities. That said, today I am so excited to tell you about the most incredible giveaway! American Express and Starwood Hotels and Resorts are giving one lucky The Sweetest Occasion reader 100,000 Starpoints redeemable at any of the Starwood properties to plan the vacation of your dreams! (Insert some pretty serious squeals of joy over here.) I am an absolute travel fanatic so the opportunity to share that experience with you is killing me with glee right now!

Wondering how to win? It’s simple! American Express and Starwood are also giving me 100,000 Starpoints to take my own dream vacation and I’d love your input on where to go, what to see, where to eat and what to do. Have a favorite restaurant in Montreal or beloved memories of a ski resort in the Rockies? Tell me all about it! Comment here with your travel inspiration for my upcoming trip between now and Monday, August 22nd at 9am EST and one lucky winner will be announced that day!

But the awesome doesn’t stop there! Between now and August 22nd American Express will be running a promotion providing new Starwood Preferred Guest Cardmembers with up to 30,000 in Starpoints (10,000 at First Purchase and 20,000 more by spending $4,500 in 3 months). The limited time offer also includes $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. So basically, if you’re a travel junkie like me and you want to plan a killer trip, apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest card, charge up the batteries for your camera and start making memories!

For my own trip, I’m loving The Liberty Hotel in Boston, one of my absolute favorite cities. I can never get enough of strolling along the Freedom Trail, visiting the museums, wandering through Quincy Market and eating some of the best seafood and pastries you’ll find anywhere. (Mike’s Pastry in the North End is not to be missed.)

{What I’d wear in Boston: Striped tank, flare pants, flats, bag, sunglasses, necklace, belt.}

I’ve also heard the most amazing things about San Antonio lately where the Sheraton Gunter Hotel looks right up my alley. I already know I could get lost for hours exploring the River Walk and the Alamo.

{What I’d wear in San Antonio: Dress, bag, boots, glasses, scarf, belt.}

That said, I think I have my heart set on jetting off to the Sunset Key Guest Cottages, a Westin resort in Key West. I mean, it’s Key West! After a really busy, life-changing summer I’m thinking long lazy days of sunshine, icy cocktails and the slow pace of island life are just what I need.

{What I’d wear in Key West: Bathing suit, sandals, cover up, tote bag, sunglasses, sun hat.}

(Editor’s Note: To give you a sense of how the points translate, 10,000 Starpoints alone could get you a free night at a Category 4 hotel, such as a Westin or W hotel, and 30,000 Starpoints could get you up to two weeks-worth of free nights at a Category 1 hotel such as the Four Points by Sheraton. In other words, the winner is going on one heck of a honeymoon or vacation!)

This post was sponsored by American Express.