A Cup of Hot Cocoa

Despite an unseasonably warm weekend, I find myself starting to grow more excited about winter and the upcoming holiday season. Living in the Northeast means long, brutal winters, but it also brings the thrill of watching each season meld into the next and that never gets boring for me. I’ve been craving cold winter nights and big mugs of steamy hot chocolate lately and love the idea of serving cocoa at a winter wedding. Add homemade marshmallows, chocolate shavings or peppermint sticks for an extra yummy touch.

winter-birthday-party-churros-hot-chocolate{Hot cocoa and churros from Sophie’s birthday party.}

christmas-mug-hot-cocoa{Photo by dothezonk.}

homemade-chocolate-marshmallows{Homemade marshmallows from Whimsy & Spice.}


{Photo from The Inspired Bride.}

hot-chocolate-wedding{Photo Victor C. Sizemore Photography via Style Me Pretty.}

winter-wedding-ideas-hot-cocoa{Photo by Two Auer Photo via Elizabeth Anne Designs.}

peppermint-cocoa{Photo by Bethany Wouters.}


Introducing Sweet Occasions Studio

I’m excited today to finally share Sweet Occasions Studio with you! For the last few years I’ve been designing, planning and coordinating events and weddings on the side in addition to my day job and writing a blog. At long last, it felt like time for a dedicated portfolio site with a little more information about who I am and what I do. I am still working on getting the gallery fully updated so I’ll continue to add past events throughout the coming weeks. While I am based in Upstate New York and primarily work in the Finger Lakes and Thousand Island regions, I can be available for events throughout the Northeast with reasonable travel fees. I have also been receiving a lot more inquiries about providing design consulting for remote clients so that is something I am now officially going to be offering. Need help creating a vision for an upcoming event? We can chat via email, phone or Skype to get you started, with reasonable hourly rates.


A huge thank you calligrapher Kelle McCarter of designsgirl for working with me on my vision for the new logo. A fellow dog lover and momma to two rescued golden retrievers, Kelle and I have developed a delightful rapport through our work together for Bella Figura. It was such a pleasure working with her and I just love how the final look has come together. For those of you in the market for a website, I actually designed and coded the site from the ground up in a weekend (albeit a very looong weekend) using Squarespace. (This blog is run on WordPress and will continue to do so, but I found Squarespace to be a great solution for getting the new site up quickly and inexpensively.) Granted, I had spent months thinking about layout and design so that made the design end of things much easier, but definitely check out Squarespace if you need a simple website on the fly. And with that, I hope you’ll pop over and take a look and let me know what you think!


Friday Link Love (and an Inspired Creations Video!)

Hello hello and happy Friday, friends! I am so excited for the weekend, how about you? This week has flown by but I’m feeling a little low on energy so I am going to sneak out of the office a bit early today. I am really looking forward to kicking back and relaxing this weekend. Before I bid you adieu though, I have to share this incredible video from Ambient Sky Couture Imagery shot on location at the shoot for the first Inspired Creations newsletter, which officially launched earlier this week. The shoot was art directed and photographed by the incredible Sara Gray who was the grand prize winner of our first Inspired Creations contest. (Remember this?) Sara blew us away with her vision for our special newsletter and the reader response has been tremendous so be sure to sign up in the sidebar if you haven’t already! In the meantime, here’s a look behind the scenes at this incredible editorial shoot…

The following Portland, Oregon vendors contributed to the Inspired Creations newsletter -
Sara Gray Photography

Ambient Sky Couture Imagery
The Cleaners at The Ace Hotel
Sammy’s Flowers
The Party Place

Of course the week isn’t complete without a little link love…

With the holidays coming up, this is a great idea for kids.

Tasty pie in a jar treats.

I want all of these.

It’s not too early to think about a pretty advent calendar.

Lovely lovely DIY gift wrap ideas.

A little inspiration for your weekend.

These have Thanksgiving written all over them.

Obsessed with this new feature on a favorite blog.


Halloween Party Fun

Kate Martin of Beautiful Days (and the florist behind Whitney’s bridal shower) sent over this adorable Halloween party she planned for her family and friends. Sure, we’re running headlong into the holiday season right now, but I couldn’t resist one last Halloween post. I love Kate’s ideas for simple, easy to recreate Halloween decor and the spread of caramel apples and cupcakes is not only seasonal but delicious. Kids came in costume to play games in the yard and were even treated to a puppet show. How fun is that? Tuck this one away in your inspiration folders for Halloween next year!









{Photos by Beautiful Days.}


Letterpress Invitaitons from Claremont Collection

Have you heard about the newly launched Claremont Collection yet? Designed by my lovely friend Brooke Forry, Claremont Collection offers stunning letterpress wedding invitations, save the dates, favor tags, thank you cards and more all with an exquisite attention to detail. From unique die cut shapes to lovely patterned liners, the collection ranges from romantic to the modern with a ton of great ink color options. Claremont Collection has been many months in the making, a true labor of love for Brooke and her partners at Curious & Company so I’d love for you to take a look – you won’t be disappointed!









{Photos by Claremont Collection.}