April 22, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Valspar. Thank you for supporting the
sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
Friends, I’m excited to share with you a little mini master bedroom makeover that I recently tackled! This room has been on my list since we moved in over a year ago and it has been essentially neglected. This is the opposite of my usual approach. Typically when I move the master bedroom is my first priority, because I always feel that a settled and happy bedroom makes all the other moving stress much more manageable. I don’t know why that didn’t happen this time around, but I knew that it was time to get it done. So, when Valspar asked me to make over a room in our house featuring one of the colors from their Color Trends 2015 palettes, I knew exactly what was going down. The four palettes each feature six beautifully coordinated Valspar colors, hand selected to help you work current design and color trends into your decor without skipping a beat. Also, the colors are just super gorgeous.
Oh, man. It pains me physically, emotionally and psychologically to share this before photo. Granted, the room has amazing architecture. It’s actually a huge room and the pine plank floors are a dream. They were hidden under the ugliest forest green carpet when we first saw the house, but having spied the plank floors along the landing at the top of the stairs, I got right down on my hands and knees in the closet and started tugging on a corner. Happily, the plank floors were under there and our landlord agreed to ripping up all the old carpet. Joy! The honey mustard walls on the other hand? Sadness. Complete and utter sadness. I hated them from day one (we know how I feel about yellow in general, I mean come on) and then somehow just didn’t get around to changing the color.
So a couple of weeks ago, the makeover was on. I’d always wanted to go with a very pale gray or slightly off-white color in this room. I wanted the warmth of a bit of color, but essentially just wanted to keep it very neutral and light, with loads of texture. Our old bed was entirely too large for the sloped attic ceilings and our boxspring didn’t fit up the narrow stairs of our 1907 house, so one thing we had already done was build a very simple pine frame platform bed. All of those elements taken into consideration, and Valspar’s Transparent VR106E ended up being the absolute perfect color. From the Sixth Sense color trends palette, it’s a moody and modern gray/white color with a bit of a green undertone so it doesn’t read overly blue and cold, but nor does it look brown or yellow at all. It’s officially my new favorite color. It is just so peaceful and calming. Together, the entire Sixth Sense palette is all about a balance between modern technology and a peaceful living environment. For me, the colors just speak to me.
To get started, the whole room got a coat of Valspar Optimus in the eggshell finish, which is available at Ace Hardware stores. And yes, the room got just the one coat with just a few little touch ups here and there. I raved about this paint formula when I painted our front door, and here I am raving again. It’s just that good. It’s a true one-coat paint and primer formula that is sincerely genius. Next up, I rolled out the new carpet I had already purchased a couple of months ago but had not yet put in place. The carpet is perfect in the space and added just the right amount of pattern and texture. Then I just made the bed with our usual bedding (it’s all the same as in the before photo, just styled differently), hung up some of the artwork I inherited from my grandmother’s collection and called it good. So seriously simple and yet the room is completely transformed.
Yikes! Man, that was bad. It’s funny how you become desensitized to something and then seeing it all fresh and crisp and new you become painfully aware of what you were living with before. Granted, the room looked a little cozier before these photos were taken, but I took them quickly after I had already cleared a lot of things out of the room. At any rate, you get the point. It was in sad, sorry shape. It just wasn’t a space that was welcoming or made you want to hang out, which I think a bedroom should be. If ever there were a testament to the power of color, this makeover would be it for sure! Old, tired, sickly paint is never anyone’s friend.
Does anyone else have a room you’ve been neglecting that could use a makeover? The Valspar Color Trends 2015 selections include a ton of gorgeous neutrals, earth tones, jewel tones and brighter shades to suit any style and any home. Because they’re already grouped together into those mini palettes it makes choosing colors that work well together super simple even for those who might be intimidated about selecting paint. I love so many of the colors and am so thrilled with out how our room looks transformed with a wash of soft white. It’s the perfect, restful den I was aiming for and a much-needed respite after spending long days tethered to my computer and iPhone.
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
Paint is Valspar Optimus from Ace Hardware in Transparent
Pintuck bedding from West Elm
White throw pillows from Target
Gray quilt from HomeGoods
Rug from Rugs USA
Nightstands are an IKEA Rast hack
Candle holders from Target
Wood elephant is vintage (it was my grandmother’s)
Illustrated art print by local artist Paul Lee
This post was sponsored by Valspar. This post contains affiliate links. Read more about our editorial policies.
April 21, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
It’s been a bit since our last color palette, so it felt like high time to get on that today. This color palette is matching the weather perfectly at the moment. We’ve had this weird mix of it this week, spurts of torrential rain and high winds followed by loads of sunshine. Yesterday the power was even out for most of the day, a result of fallen trees here, there and just about everywhere. So these pretty painterly jewel tones are where it’s right now for me.
[Photos, from top: Leslie Shewring via decor8 | Yao Cheng via The House the Lars Built | Jen Huang Photography.]
April 20, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
I’m struggling to find words to write this post today, although I’ve been meaning to sit down and do so for nearly a week now. I’ve been wanting to do so in part because I realize over the last week or so my posts have gotten sporadic at best and also, in part, because my grandmother has long been my number one fan. Now well into her 80s, she has been a daily reader since my very first posts back in 2008, but long before that she was my first editor and first sounding board when I’d bring her my short stories and novellas to read as a little girl. (Always by way of the white wicker basket on my bike. Always.) With that in mind, it doesn’t seem right not to acknowledge that right now, even as I type, my life and that of my family as a whole is in the process of changing forever.
April 20, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
Howdy, friends! Today I am going to share with you one of the simplest and prettiest DIY projects in the history of history. Painted mason jars are one of my favorite, go-to tricks in my craft repertoire and for good reason. You can buy a case pretty inexpensively, collect them used from garage sales or just save pickle jars and condiment jars as you use them up at home. Then, with a coat of paint you have a sweet and pretty vase, pencil cup, planter, utensil holder, you name it! Today I’m sharing how I personally prefer to paint jars for a flawless finish every time and a few ways you can put them to work for you.
Supplies for this one are as basic as it gets! A collection of clean jars and an assortment of your favorite spray paint colors. I like playing around with a mix of glossy, flat and metallic finishes, but choose whatever suits you the best. I’m crazy about a flat paint on a jar with texture or lettering, I just love how it looks.
To paint the jars, flip them upside down on a piece of cardboard. This will keep the lip of the jar from getting all gunked up while you’re painting. Then just hit each jar with a light even coat of paint. I preach this all the time, but with spray paint you’ll find that several (in this case five or six) lights coats are absolutely always preferable over one or two thick coats. This approach will help avoid drips or overly thick paint that won’t dry properly and ultimately ends up smudging later on down the line.
Allow the jars to dry between each coat and just keep layering on the paint until you have a smooth, even finish. As long as you take patience and work in light, even coats with long strokes about 10″ or so away from the jar, you can’t go wrong. In the end, you’ll have a ton of gorgeous jars that can be used all over the place for just about anything you can imagine. Personally, I hoard and paint jars on a regular basis. Painting the outside of the jars is, in my opinion, the best option because it provides the nicest finish on the glass and it also allows you to use the jars as a vase or a planter without worrying about the paint chipping away on the inside.
Little gold jars make perfect holders for succulents, pencils and office supplies. They look super chic and they won’t cost but pennies to get that gilded look. Also, metallic gold and silver pencils from Target are officially my new staple to keep on hand alongside my favorite Ticonderoga pencils.
A big, mint colored pickle jar full of gorgeous, rose-colored tulips? Yes, please! I will also tell you that brightly painted mason jars make the ideal vessels for tiny potted cacti. I have a few of those scattered around the house right now and they are about as adorable as they come. Definitely start collecting jars. Definitely paint them all the colors your little heart desires. Painted mason jars are my favorite!
[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
Editor’s Note: Valspar is a sponsor of The Sweetest Occasion, but this post is not sponsored. Read about our editorial policies.
April 15, 2015 | by Cyd Converse
This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl® Cocktails. Thank you for supporting
the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible!
Last month I shared that I was going to be in New York for a few days with Skinnygirl® Cocktails, and today I’m excited to tell you a bit more about how I’ll be working with them this year! Plus, I’m going to share my new favorite margarita recipe with you, so you can put it on your must-sip list for Cinco de Mayo. Because you guys know that I’m crazy about Cinco de Mayo and any day involving a killer margarita. Sound good? Good!
So for starters, let’s talk about this mint jalapeño margarita. It’s light, crisp, super refreshing and perfect for sipping on a warm spring evening or by the pool this summer. The mint and jalapeños give it an unexpected kick that is seriously irresistible. You guys are already well versed on how I feel about overly sweet, sticky margaritas and more than once I’ve encouraged you to just squeeze some fresh limes and get the job done right. Good news! You no longer have to do that. The Skinnygirl® Margarita comes ready-to-serve and is perfectly party-ready straight out of the bottle, minus all that extra added sugar that makes most bottled margaritas a no-go in my book.
- 5 – 6 fresh mint leaves
- 4 oz Skinnygirl® Margarita
- 2 – 3 thin slices of fresh jalapeño
- 3 – 4 slices of fresh lime
Begin by muddling the fresh mint leaves, jalapeño and limes in slices in the bottom of a glass or mason jar with the back of a wooden spoon. Muddle for a good 20 – 30 seconds until the juices really start to form. Reserve one lime slice for garnishing. Fill glass to the top with ice. Add Skinnygirl® Margarita to the top and gently stir to combine. Garnish with the remaining lime slice and serve with a cute straw. Alternately, you could swap in the newly released Spicy Lime Margarita variety if you’re looking for an extra, super delicious, spicy kick!
While in New York with Skinnygirl® Cocktails, a bunch of other awesome bloggers and I had the opportunity to taste and try many of the Skinnygirl® Cocktails wines, spirits and ready-to-serve cocktails. We even got to meet founder Bethenny Frankel and enjoy cocktails with her! (And, guys, she totally posted a photo with us on Instagram!) While we were all hanging out, we got to learn all about the new Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers program, which has just launched. In a nutshell, the Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers program invites you to share your love of Skinnygirl® Cocktails in exchange for all kinds of perks, discounts, rewards and exclusive behind-the-scenes info!
Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers will receive monthly emails with details about exclusive promotions. By participating in those promotions, you’ll have the chance to get some amazing prizes! (Of course, fans must be 21+ to join the program.) Alongside all of that, throughout the year myself and my fellow blogger pals will be bringing you loads of party ideas, recipes, cocktails and more, all inspired by our favorite Skinnygirl® Cocktails beverages. So much fun! Want in on that fun? Get yourself signed up to be a part of the Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers program so you won’t miss out. In the meantime, give this mint jalapeño margarita recipe a try! It’s simple enough to sip on a weekend night, but also special enough to whip up for a party. Plus, margaritas. Win, win and win.
[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.