Color Palette: Bourbon + Winter Surf

Another Monday, another pretty color palette from my heart to yours! I have to tell you. Sometimes these color palettes take me eons. As in, literally hours. Sometimes they get shelved entirely or stuck on a back burner for another day. Then other times, it’s like the color stars and heavens all align and something comes together so perfectly I literally find myself clapping. (Oh gosh. I’m going way too far with sharing my oddities today, aren’t I?) Welp. This color palette was one of the latter. I’m so crazy in love with these colors that this may be my new official color palette for winter. It’s particularly appropriate for late winter, because it almost starts to feel a touch like spring, but all the bourbon and fig goodness keeps it grounded and cold weather perfect. Also, any cocktail involving maple and bourbon is a sure win. Seriously. Trust me.

Bourbon and Winter Surf Color Palette

[Photos, from top: This Modern Romance from Elizabeth Anne Designs | Michael Graydon | Cheese and Chocolate via The Boys Club.]


January Favorites

Well, friends, we’re doing something a wee bit different today! In part, because it’s 2014 and we’re working on shaking things up a touch around these parts this year. And also because sometimes I feel like the usual Friday Link Love posts leave me wanting to share even more of what I’m seeing and loving. That said, today is the first installment of a new series I’m calling Monthly Favorites. In short, the first Monday of every month I’m going to share a big huge helping of my favorite things from the month before. We’re talking products, posts, articles, DIY projects, recipes and more. The topics each month will be somewhat random, all rolled up into one over-the-top mish mash of link love awesomeness. Are you digging it? I sure hope so! Because assuming you do, to plan is to keep this party rockin’ all year long. So let’s jump into it, shall we? Here are my monthly favorites from January!

Monthly Favorites: Donuts | The Sweetest Occasion

Let’s kick things off by talking about donuts, shall we? Because you know I think donuts are kind of awesome, particularly the homemade kind. But this month I also learned that donuts can be made into amazing little sweets perfect for Valentine’s Day. Clearly we all should have thought of that one long before now, don’t you agree? Better late than never I say! Sure, donuts don’t do any favors for our New Year’s resolutions, but for Valentine’s Day they’re clearly a must.

Favorite Donuts | 1: Donuts Over You Printables | 2: Blood orange dark chocolate cake donuts | 3: Conversation heart donuts | 4: Pretty sprinkled donuts

Monthly Favorites: Bathrooms | The Sweetest Occasion

So, um, let’s not talk about the awkward transitions from donuts to bathrooms, ok? Ok, good. I’m glad we got that out of the way. See, lately I’ve been finding myself really drawn to beautiful bathrooms. Generally with loads of natural light and often with gorgeous tile. What does this say about me? Perhaps that I need to take more bubble baths. Or just that I have a thing for lovely tubs, sinks and commodes. I’m honestly not sure. But I know that in the past month or so, these are just a few of the dreamy bathrooms that have caught my eye.

Favorite Bathrooms | 1: Light Locations | 2: Color Me Carla | 3: Lonny Magazine | 4: Lonny Magazine

Monthly Favorites: Words | The Sweetest Occasion

If you follow me on Pinterest, chances are you know I’m some kind of a freak for pretty type, hand lettering and motivational phrases and quotes. We’re talking nearly 800 pins and counting kind of freak. January being the month of resolutions that it is, this past month I definitely found myself drawn to those words that pumped me up and got me excited to tackle plans and to-do lists. Some of these are available as art prints and some are free desktop wallpapers, so be sure to check them out to get inspired yourself. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which clearly I really really am.

Favorite Words | 1: Today I Choose Joy | 2: Things Are About to Get Really Good | 3: Make Your Own Momentum | 4: Make It Count

Monthly Favorites: Fashion | The Sweetest Occasion

This is the part of this post where I admit to being some sort of weird giant fangirl of Kendi. If you aren’t reading her blog yet, today is the day you should start, ok? Pretty much I want to live inside of her closet or take up permanent residence in her shop. Plus I’m pretty sure in real life she’s one cool chick and we’d have a whole lot of fun over a cup of coffee. Or possibly margaritas. Also, I just gushed about her on the internet and she has no idea who I am. Uuuuugh. Yeah. So so awkward. Anyway, Kendi’s style is pitch perfect, completely in line with things I would choose for my own wardrobe, only she’s way cooler than me. These are four of my favorite looks from January!

Favorite Kendi | 1: The Blues | 2: Number 5 | 3: Frenchie | 4: Stuck On You

Monthly Favorites: Reads | The Sweetest Occasion

I’m a book junkie from way back, but sadly I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that I shared any favorite books with you. How sad is that? I feel like I’ve seriously failed you and our friendship. Lame. So today I wanted to share a few of my favorite recent reads. My pick in books varies wildly, but generally trends toward what I call modern literature. I’m not so much into chick lit (but I can get down with it for sure from time to time) and I really gravitate toward books with richly developed characters. The Fault In Our Stars is actually what I’m currently reading, so I can’t speak too much about it yet other than to say that a few chapters in I’m absolutely hooked. I’ll plow through it by mid-week for sure. The Engagements may seem chick litty on the surface, but don’t be fooled. At it’s heart it’s a story of love in all it’s different forms and the ways we’ve grown to express that love as a society. Such an interesting read and I was sorry when it was over. I picked up The Girl Who Stopped Swimming at a thrift shop for $1 and then promptly left it in the seatback pocket on a plane when I was only half finished. I immediately bought it on Kindle the next day so I could finish it up. It’s kind of haunting, but it was also really beautiful. Does that make sense? You know it does. Finally, do you know Jodi Picoult’s books? They’re everywhere, admittedly, and I think there’s a reason for that, of which The Storyteller is a perfect example. Her stories always revolve around some tragedy, but it’s the rawness of human spirit and the way she develops characters that makes her books so good.

Favorite Reads | 1: The Fault In Our Stars | 2: The Engagements | 3: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming | 4: The Storyteller

Monthly Favorites: DIY | The Sweetest Occasion

Seriously. Can we just be real for a moment? I’m constantly blown away by all the truly awe-inspiring DIY ideas that my fellow bloggers are dreaming up. It’s ridiculous. Ladies, you got some serious talent going on. In January I was definitely most inspired by home-centric DIYs and easy little upgrades and projects that were just about handcrafting a little pretty without a whole lot of fuss. Think freshening up your bed with a pair of sweet pillows or adding a bit of light to an otherwise dark corner with a crafty wall sconce. And can we talk about concrete counters for a moment? Because I’m obsessed with concrete countertops (have been for years) and this DIY project makes me really wish I had some old ugly counters to makeover. True story.

Favorite DIY | 1: DIY XO Pillows | 2: DIY Concrete Countertops | 3: DIY Copper Wall Sconce | 4: DIY Leather iPad Case

Monthly Favorites: Posts | The Sweetest Occasion

No linkapalooza would be complete without a look back at a few of my favorite posts of the month! In January I shared my tips for how to get a cake out of a pan and Melina was back to share her amazing banana cake recipe with us. (Yeah, for the record. I love cake in kind of a big way.) We also got a glimpse at this stunning rustic dinner party that still has me wanting to host a dinner party sooner rather than later. Not to be forgotten, I shared an easy DIY tutorial for making mini Valentine’s Day bouquets that would make sweet little gifts all year long.

Favorite Posts | 1: How to get a cake out of a pan | 2: DIY mini Valentine’s Day bouquets | 3: A rustic farm dinner | 4: Banana cake with honey cream frosting

Sooo, does anyone love this new column as much as I do? (Please, at least three of you raise your hand or it’s going to feel real awkward real quick.) If so, I’m going to be cataloging all of these favorites each month over on my Monthly Favorites Pinterest board so check it out, ok? Cool. xoxo


Last Minute Super Bowl Recipes

Popping in on a Saturday with a little extra dose of drool-worthy inspiration for you today! Specifically, perfect game day foods that you’ll want to whip up in time for your Super Bowl festivities tomorrow. (And, yes, just watching the commercials absolutely counts as Super Bowl festivities worthy of some tasty snacks!) We’re going to be rooting for the Broncos in our household tomorrow, although we’re both big Giants fans. (Siiigh. Clearly this was not our team’s year.) Our plans are to spend the morning making homemade pizza and a big pot of chili for what will most likely be a Super Bowl party of two. Whether your bash will be for two or twenty, here are a handful of last minute Super Bowl recipes that are sure to please a crowd large or small.

Last Minute Super Bowl Recipes

[Black bean sliders | Cheddar tailgate bread | Baked sriracha wings | BBQ sweet potato chips | Roasted tomato pizza | Serrano corn salsa | Ginger beer cocktail | Fudge brownies.]


Three Inspiring Studio Things

Studio Inspiration - The Sweetest Occasion Studio

Since getting back from our few days out of town over the weekend, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the new home for The Sweetest Occasion and drumming up studio inspiration. Right now these three bright, white spaces are definitely speaking to me the most. I want a space that’s a blank canvas so I can easily transform it as need be for photo shoots and also switch things up on a whim when it comes to colors and accessories. Open shelving to house all of my props and glassware is also a major must-have item on the list. Currently a majority of my pretty things are housed in giant plastic bins where it’s hard to see them or access them quickly. Getting all of that organized and on display is a major focus in creating a space that really works for me. We popped into IKEA on our way home on Monday where I picked up a few things to get the organizing process started. This week I should hopefully be finalizing my lease and then it’ll be onto selecting paint colors! (You know I’ve already started that process though, let’s be real.) I also started a studio centric collection over at Keep* to organize the things that are catching my eye that I might want to bring into the space. More updates to come!

[From top: Cannelle et Vanille via SF Girl By Bay | Chic Sprinkles via Pretty Fluffy | Muskoka Living.]

*Keep is a much-loved sponsor of The Sweetest Occasion, but this is not a sponsored post. Read more about our editorial policies.

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10 Best Valentine’s Day Crafts

10 Best Valentine's Day Crafts

We’re just over two weeks out from Valentine’s Day, friends, and you know what that means! If you’re on the hunt for something sweet and crafty to whip up for your Valentine, now is the time. Luckily there seems to be no shortage of heart-festooned creations floating around these days. The only trouble? Choosing which crafty concoctions you love best! I suppose that’s where I come in here. I’ve rounded up 10 of the best Valentine’s Day crafts going. From charming little gifts to over-the-top Valentine’s Day party backdrops, there is a little bit of something for everyone among these beauties!

Ready to show a little love? Tis the season, after all. Click through for 10 best Valentine’s Day crafts!

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