July 25, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
Am I the only one who finds myself a little surprised when Friday comes around each week? I know we all say it month after month, year after year, but it just feels like the weeks fly by! So now it’s Friday again and this week I’m loving all things fiesta flavored. From delicious street corn to the tastiest margaritas to big, bright piñatas, I love the idea of hosting a little summer soiree with a Mexican vibe! My mom and I host a margarita party every summer and this is absolutely the perfect inspiration. So today I leave you with a few fun summer fiesta ideas and your weekly dose of Friday Link Love. TGIF! xoxo
[Mexican street corn | Blood orange margarita | DIY pineapple piñata.]
July 25, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
I make no secret of the fact that I’m pretty much obsessed with all things strawberry. Jam, ice cream, shortcake, scones, cake. And cocktails! Absolutely, definitely strawberry cocktails. Is there anything quite as perfect for summer as cocktails muddled with fresh strawberries or swirled with homemade strawberry syrup? I’m pretty sure that answer is an unequivocal “no.” With strawberry season still producing some of the yummiest berries I’ve seen in a long time, today we’re paying homage to the strawberry cocktail. Whether you like them frozen or spicy, there’s something here to suit every palate!
So what are you waiting for, friends? Click through for 10 of the best summery strawberry cocktails!
July 24, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
[Tutorial + photo by Hank + Hunt for The Sweetest Occasion.]
It was just shy of three years ago that Jenny brilliantly crafted these DIY party animal candles and with them took the internet by storm. Truth be told, all these months later, that tutorial stands strong as one of our most popular posts to date! I have no problem crediting her with the veritable golden menagerie that has become Pinterest over the last few years. Who knew little tiny gold animals would make people so damn happy? Turns out, they do! The coolest thing about that project? The countless ways it has been reinvented and reimagined, to the point where DIY gold animals pop up just about everywhere these days. Today I’m sharing six of my favorite ways that other crafty types have reinvented our now famous party animal candles. All you need is a bit of gold spray paint and you’re on your way!
From gilded bookends to playful wedding cake toppers, I’m still totally in love with gold animals. If you’re craving a little golden zoo for your own home, check out Jenny’s original tutorial and send me a photo via Twitter or Instagram so I can see what you dream up!
[1: DIY gold animal figurines | 2: DIY gold animal cake toppers | 3: DIY animal jars | 4: DIY gold animal straws | 5: DIY animal memo holders | 6: DIY gold animal bookends.]
July 23, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
The summer months have been crazy busy for us and with that craziness many (ok, most) of the projects on our home centric to-do list have been pushed to the back burner. By far the room that has been most neglected is our dining room. It’s a big room with loads of natural light and it’s also the first room you enter when you walk in our front door so having it look a fright still stacked high with boxes is unacceptable. All of that said, I’ve committed to knocking this room out and completing it’s makeover over the course of the next few weeks. Want to see what I’m planning? It’s going to be good!
First, a glimpse above at the “before” state of our dining room from right before we moved in. The large doorway to the right opens onto the living room and the front door to our house is to the left. So far we’ve painted out everything and ditched the cheap yellow oak trim and the ghastly yellow walls. The walls are now Sherwin-Williams Aloof Gray and the trim is crisp and bright, painted out in Sherwin-Williams Pure White. That alone has completely transformed the room! (I’ll be sharing progress photos soon, I promise.) My go-to style is a mix of vintage, classic, boho and New England prep, and I think my inspiration for our dining room makeover is a perfect example of my rather eclectic style. Modern and colorful mixed with loads of neutrals and a few traditional elements thrown in the mix.
I’ve been scouring Craigslist for weeks (possibly months) and I think I’ve finally found the perfect vintage farmhouse table. (Fingers crossed!) I love our current table, but it’s undersized for the space and we need something larger for big family dinners, too. The table I’m hoping to bring home this week is very similar in style to this table from Pottery Barn, but with a price tag about 1/10 of the size. No matter what happens with the table, we’ll be keeping our existing chairs, which are a classic Windsor style. I scored ours on Craigslist a few years back (of course), but they’re similar to these chairs from Crate & Barrel.
Another major upgrade is the lighting! We’ve already ditched the dated 80s train wreck of a chandelier and swapped it out with this gorgeous pendant light from Kenroy Homes. It’s the perfect mix of modern and timeless, and I love how it looks. Underfoot I opted for an area rug from Flor in their Remembrance pattern in the teal color. It has the feel of a distressed Turkish rug that I think is utterly gorgeous. I’m hoping to get it assembled and in place this week once I sort out whether or not we’re bringing home a new table. Right now I’m leaning toward long, simple white drapes, but I’m still playing with the idea of DIY shibori curtains, too. Our large oversized art print from Minted will be taking center stage in the wall decor department, but I’ll also be hanging the Pottery Barn pillar candle sconces I’ve had for years. (They’re most similar to these.) Other than that, it will just be little details like hints of metallic gold here and there, and finding a way to display some of my favorite glassware.
Updates to come soon! I cant’ wait to get this space finished and show it off to you guys. It’s long past time that we make this house feel like a real home and I’m excited to see it all come together. Stay tuned!
[1: Sherwin-Williams Aloof Gray | 2: Abstract Herringbone art print from Minted | 3: Nate Berkus window sheers | 4: Farmhouse table | 5: Pottery Barn wall sconces | 6: Flor Remembrance in Teal | 7: West Elm gold flatware | 8: Crate & Barrel windsor chairs | 9: Kenroy Home Sanborn pendant light.]
July 22, 2014 | by Cyd Converse
A couple months ago I was honored to host a picnic for some of my best girls in collaboration with Martha Stewart. Not unlike a lot of ladies in general and countless lifestyle bloggers specifically, I’ve been a fan of Martha for decades. Even as a little kid I remember watching her on television and flipping through the magazine knowing full well that someday I would grow up and have the prettiest house, all dutifully organized to perfection, to serve as the backdrop for hosting killer dinner parties. While I don’t exactly have that amazing house just yet, I am pretty crazed about making sure my towels and sheets are folded just right, so I’m on my way, don’t you agree? At any rate, today I am over the moon to share that my work is being featured by Martha Stewart! I don’t have many words that sum up how cool that is to me, but “Look, Ma! I did it!” seems to work pretty well. See the feature here!
Of course, another thank you is owed my amazing mom and also my girls Darlene, Erica, Carolynn and Alice for being a part of the festivities!
[Design + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]