July 6, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Good morning and happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone had a really great weekend and that those of you here in the States celebrated the 4th of July in fine fashion. (Popsicles, fireworks, ice cream. Yes? Good.) It dawned on me over the weekend that somewhere along the weekend that I had unknowingly abandoned this little column so today, Shop by Color is back! It has always been one of my favorites and it felt like time to bring it back. Today it’s all about white hot pieces perfect for updating your summer wardrobe! We’re talking white accessories, jewelry, baubles and more. What’s your favorite piece? I’m personally crazy about that necklace!
[Shop | 1: White geode necklace | 2: Panama hat | 3: Espadrille slides | 4: Raw quartz earrings | 5: Essie Marshmallow | 6: S’well water bottle | 7: Shoulder bag | 8: Cotton eyelet shorts | 9: Michael Kors aviator sunglasses.]
This post contains affiliate links. Read more about our editorial policies.
July 3, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Well, friends, it’s about that time! Time for me to check out for a few days and get to celebrating one of my favorite weekends of the year. For all of you here in the States, here’s wishing you a very happy 4th of July weekend! I hope there are many icy cold drinks and fireworks in your future over the next few days. Next week we will be picking up where we left off, talking about all kinds of pretty and delicious things. Fair? Fair. Until then, be sure to scroll down for your dose of summer-inspired link love. See you on Monday! xoxo
[Photo by Ivy & Stone Photography from Style Me Pretty.]
July 2, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
After Christmas (and Christmas Eve of course), July 4th is hands down my favorite day of the year. There is absolutely no contest. I may just be a sucker for a good, loud celebration, but something about all the stars, stripes and fireworks makes me downright giddy. This weekend we’ll be joining some of our closest friends for a big bash and enjoying all the requisite 4th of July things. Swimming, cooking out, a campfire, smores, fireworks. I can’t wait! In the meantime, I’ve rounded up some of the yummiest July 4th recipes for you. Because I’m nice and I love you.
Click through and check out 12 delicious things to eat and drink this holiday weekend! (And for those of you not in the States, I promise you’ll love them, too!)
July 1, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl® Cocktails. Thank you for
supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
Every once in a while, I seriously blow my own mind. I know, I know. That’s probably completely uncouth of me to say, but it’s true. These blackberry raspberry sangria popsicles? Mind. Blown. Back when I was in New York with Skinnygirl® Cocktails in March, I had the opportunity to taste all of their wines. I was skeptical. Low calorie wine? How can this even be ok? Turns out, it’s not ok. It’s seriously really really good! Not surprisingly, the pinot grigio was one of my favorites, and a few weeks ago I decided I should use it as the base for sangria. (We all know I love a good sangria!) And then I decided to take it one step further and make that sangria into super refreshing and utterly delicious popsicles. Now, you get to the do the same! You can thank me later.
Lest you should be intimidated about making popsicles, let me assure you. There is nothing complicated about this process. We’re talking about all of four ingredients including the wine, a popsicle mold (I have this one), a saucepan or two, your stove and your freezer. A couple of quick berry compotes, a bit of that awesome Skinnygirl® Pinto Grigio and some freezing time. Done and done! These are easy enough to make on a weekday or over the weekend so you have a stash on hand for a little weeknight treat. They’re also special enough to make for a party!
Makes 10 frozen pops
Place the raspberries in a small saucepan and mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Add half of the sugar and heat slowly over medium heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Repeat the process with the blackberries. Once the berry mixtures have cooled, gradually add 1/2 of the wine to each of the berries. Scoop into a popsicle mold, alternating berry flavors, until the mold is 3/4 full. Insert popsicle sticks per manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze at least 4 – 5 hours or ideally overnight. To release the pops from the mold, run warm (not hot) water over the backside of the mold for 15 – 20 seconds. Then gently pull on the popsicle stick until the pop slides out.
Of course, you can play with the flavor profiles here however you like! Choose a different wine varietal, add in strawberries or fresh peaches. The possibilities are fairly endless! I am officially addicted to making (and, uh, eating) homemade popsicles now and have a feeling I’ll be playing with different recipes pretty much all summer long.
You definitely need to put these bad boys on your must-make list this summer! While you’re at it, don’t forget to make sure you’re all signed up for the Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers program, too. When you get on the list, you gain exclusive access to special perks, discounts, rewards and exclusive behind-the-scenes info. You’ll receive monthly emails throughout the year giving you the opportunity to get yourself entered to join in on awesome promotions and win some amazing prizes! And we all love prizes, am I right?
[Photos + recipe by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
Skinnygirl® Cocktails is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. (“Beam”) and is used with permission. The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Beam, its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees. Beam does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website. Read more about our editorial policies.
Skinnygirl® Wine Collection ©2015 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL (Per 5 oz – Average Analysis: Calories 100, Carbohydrates 5g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g). Drink Smart®
June 30, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Friends, you know I love grocery store flowers. They’re affordable, seasonal and readily available whenever you decide you need a few pretty blooms around the house or a need a hostess gift on the fly. That’s definitely why I keep trying to convince you that grocery store flowers are absolutely your best friend. (See evidence here and here.) Today we’re back at it, this time showcasing one of my favorite flowers from the super market and more tips for how to arrange flowers like a pro without even really trying.
The star of today’s show is stock. Stock is super budget-friendly, comes in a ton of gorgeous colors and I can almost always find it no matter what grocery store I wander into. It’s easy to work with, almost impossible to mess up and you can use it alone or mix in other blooms. I’m showing it to you both ways here. The co-star here is a white pitcher. (Those of you with eagle eyes may note that this is the same Target pitcher that we went ahead and marbled with nail polish.) Pitchers pull double duty as awesome vases so I like to keep at least a few around the house with interesting shapes.
To get started you’re going to work with the stock first. Strip off excess leaves along the bottom of the stems and then roughly measure against the side of the pitcher for height before trimming. Make sure no leaves will fall below the water line to help with the life of your flowers. (See more of my easy tips for how to keep flowers fresh!) Then it’s time to start placing the stems into the pitcher. I do this pretty randomly, just checking every so often to make sure everything looks balanced. You can rotate the pitcher or walk around it as you work to make sure everything is looking good. And don’t overthink it! So much about flowers is just letting them do their thing.
Keep working with the stock until your pitcher is nice and full. At this point you can call it good! I particularly love the way white stock looks in this white pitcher with just the touch of greenery. This is quite possibly as easy as flowers get and you’re left with an arrangement that is perfect for adding a little something pretty to your kitchen or dressing up the table for brunch. You can also mix in multiple shades of stock for a more colorful look that is still super budget-friendly. It’s all up to what you love!
In this case I decided to take things one step further by mixing in bold blue delphinium. Delphinium as a rule is a bit more expensive so mixing it with the stock is easier on the wallet, plus the two together looks gorgeous. I tend to be the one called on to do flowers for any kind of party or shower among my circle of friends and this is my secret for putting together flowers quickly and inexpensively when I need multiple arrangements. Stock in one or two colors, one other accent flower, and a whole bunch of pitchers or mason jars. Done and done.
The end result is so pretty, don’t you think? I just tucked the delphinimum in among the stock so everything looks really full and balanced, but without worrying about perfection or symmetry. Also (*wink wink*) this blue and white combination is particularly striking with the 4th of July coming up this weekend!
[Design + 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 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